Gimme pollen

Busy bumblebee

I have not heard that the pesticides, weather, mites, whatever the toxic soup of factors is that’s been battering the honeybee population has been affecting the bumblers*. We had several visiting our bee balm today.

* Maybe not, but habitat problems have to be in play, at minimum….

Haphazard gardening

Fennel abloom

The fennel is hanging in there, as leggy as always. The Thai basil successfully reseeded itself. The pear tomatoes—I haven’t found a-one. Either the conditions weren’t right (I doubt it), or they just had two years of self-seeding in them…. I’ll miss them.

Compost tale

Compost antibiotic

This morning, before the heat of the day, I found this loverly brilliant yellow…potential-antibiotic* on my compost. The afternoon rains turned it dead black. And probably dead.

Next to it: a very young avocado tree.

I know that can be edible!

* Remembering not just the Fleming/penicillin story….

And it’s invigorating

Cattle in fog

I enjoy fog. Maybe if I had to commute in fog frequently or had it keep me land-bound, I’d feel different. But, mostly I get to look out at fog or walk around in it, without it limiting my activities. So, I find it special. It changes sound. It changes perceptions about the landscape. See, interesting.

Surface tension rocks

Redbud n raindroplets

The rain gods checked in for a bit this morning.

So far, we are lucky, and the water level in Lake Lanier is holding its own. We can bathe up until the late-year rains arrive, I think.

Harvest begins

Thai tofu homemade

Used the first picking of the Thai basil of the year in this quickie Thai Tofu (red curry sauce courtesy of TJs), perhaps our favorite short-cut meal….


Rock in the woods with moss

I need a walk in the woods right about now. I’ll meditate on this moss-laced rock instead for a bit…and console myself that this way I won’t have to do a tick-check.

Sixteenth-century High Line

Stars on oilcloth

The image is oilcloth, or what passes for oilcloth. Funny stuff, oilcloth. The oil in oilcloth traditionally was linseed, that is oil from flax (Linum usitatissimum) seeds. Flax has a long history, and has been used for both fiber and seed-oil. Linseed oil has an usual property: over time, it sets up. So, for example, to make window glazing, it was mixed with chalk dust (hence the white glazing in old photos and paintings).

In “the old days,” oilcloth, although heavy and stiff, was a good choice for waterproofed applications. Waxed fabrics were another option. The later rubberized fabrics were a huge breakthrough.

No connection I can come up with between oilcloth and an unexpected thing I learned about today: the Vasari corridor. It’s a hobbit-trail/enclosed passageway dating to post-Medieval Florence…uhem…Firenze.

It connects the Palazzo Pitti with the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio. It crosses the Arno above the shops along the Ponte Vecchio, and passes through the upper reaches of a church, and above many homes. This is how the wealthy in pre-limo days commuted from home to office. In this case, the commuter was Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519–1574). He lived on the south side of the Arno, in the gigantic Palazzo Pitti, and worked, or at least presided over, events in the Uffizi (offices), on the north side of the river. The corridor…just made his work-day easier.

The corridor was designed by Giorgio Vasari and built in five months in 1564. Today, access is nearly always closed, although along the walls of the almost 1 km long enclosed hallway are over 1000 paintings/works of art—the Uffizi’s self-portrait collection, which continues to receive new additions. There’s a second corridor off the north side of the Uffizi, with access to the Palazzo Vecchio. Thus, if you had the chops, you could move easily between the decision-making centers of Florence, and the stinky populace would have no idea you were strolling above.

The High Line is about a mile long, is in NYC, and the earliest section opened in 2009. It’s public, not private, and open to the skies, and thus quite different from the Medici pathway. They both have art, though.

Sporting standoff avoided

Five lined skink I think

Five-lined skink, I think, that I spotted the other week in VA. Love the blue tail…that may mark it as a juvenile?

Hockey? Baseball!

Different channels.

And, I venture, a different mindset to boot.

Longest day

Chandelier bauble

Time is a difficult concept to grasp, frame, and master. But, as humans, we try mightily to do so.

The simplest time concept, I think, is the continuum—it’s all the same thing, going on and on.

Then you can get fancy, and introduce starting and ending points. Events, you might say.

Sometimes you can employ/deploy the idea of hinge points, or pivots, when something happens and things change going forward.

I keep thinking that overall it’s a matter of perspective, that reality is subjective, that we’re just fleas on Mother Earth’s back, belly, or neck.