Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lady Mortimer Christmas Glam Shot 2012

This year, my dear snake didn't climb the tree,
but I got some photos of her exploring the presents.
She moves rather fast, so sometimes her head is not as focused as the rest of her.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

For measuring and decorating a tree, nothing beats a tall nephew

Today we got our Christmas tree!
With a little help from my sister, niece and especially nephew.
There is a very nice tree lot in the neighborhood,
and we went to look at flocked trees,
because my parents and I have a nostalgia for flocked trees.
There were a lot of shapes and sizes,
but I was drawn to a tall thin lodge pole pine
(didn't want anything too wide, 
as we didn't have a very big space for it.)

Well, our tree - the flocked one-
isn't actually super tall,
which is a good thing because our ceilings are not super high.
Ethan here, who just measured at 6 foot 4 inches,
is actually a pretty good measuring stick for the tree.
Within a few inches of his head is a good height!

Then the nice folks bagged up the tree and put it on the car
for the short drive back home.

Not all that heavy- Ethan managed quite well...


Next step was to get the kids wired up--
on doughnuts and with lights--
and help trim the tree.

 The advantages of a 6'4" nephew are great.
No more stepstool!
All he has to do is reach up.

Lodgepole pine trunks were used by the Nez Perce
to make tipi poles.
This tree would still be a bit short for that--
if the tipi were to house an Ethan!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Totally Weird

This is called a dragonfruit.
I saw it in the grocery store and was captivated-
by its bright pink and spiky green exterior.
I had to check on the internet to find how to eat it-
cut it open, scoop out the interior.
It tastes quite a bit blander than a kiwi,
though the seeds and texture are very similar.
The label said it was imported from Vietnam.
I wonder what produce we have here that the Vietnamese would think was totally weird?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sun Effects


Sun and rain and bow refraction...
to snow and sun and evening

Canyon hike, Thanksgiving Day

Beautiful even so late in the season:
rose hips,
scrub jay,
and trail views

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rolling Down the Hill

Perfect late fall day,
and perfect grassy hill...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Put her in a pumpkin shell

I put Lady Mortimer inside my jack o'lantern this year.
I was hoping she would slither out of the eyes or mouth,
in a Spielbergesque pose,
but she just peered out of the openings.
I don't think she liked the pumpkin shell very much,
so I didn't make her stay long.
She likes being around my neck better,
and that's where I'll put her tonight,
when I answer the door for trick-or-treaters.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Yoda at York

An old friend 
in a York department store.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Snakes in the British Museum

Aztec-Mixtec turquoise double-headed snake
 Aztec fire serpent
(it's a rattler, see the fangs?)

 Aztec rattlesnake, 
Crotalus durissus
(the Aztecs did like snakes)
 I am not sure what this figure is doing with this snake,
but it's a detail inside a late Egyptian coffin

 This Roman-era Egyptian child's coffin
also has a serpent on the lid.

Also Roman, this detail of "Mithras slaying the bull"
shows a dog and snake drinking the blood of the bull
that the god is spilling.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Temptations and Serpents

 A few days ago I visited the Courtauld gallery.
It is small but very choice.
The above painting is by Cranach, Eve tempting Adam.
(I always think of Judith Merkle Riley's book
The Serpent Garden and her heroine Susanna painting Eve)...

The bottom one is a detail of Rubens,
Moses and the Brazen Serpent.
Serpents often get bad press, but here is one Biblical good snake.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The London Eye

Amazing experience!
Great views!
We had a perfect evening for this sight seeing excursion.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


One of our outing highlights was hearing some wonderful birdsong at Capitol Reef. We weren't sure what kind of bird it was-- it was singing all kinds of calls. And it was up in a tree, hard to see, until we saw it fly straight up in the air and flutter its wings out, displaying a large white wing bar in a dark wing. Then Dad knew it was a mockingbird.
It did this bounce/flutter move several times, coming back to rest on its original branch, so I got a couple of photos: