Light in the dark

I went out just a few minutes ago, well after dark, because I needed a photo. This is the sky…dark on the ground, but magic above (with the camera’s computational powers).

Spring tulip…ifera

More backyard labor this morning. No privet to attack. Other species, names unknown to me, attacked. This, however, is the decorative, woody perennial Liriodendron tulipifera.

Parse details carefully, repeat

For a short while, after visiting the UN when I was about ten, I thought I wanted to be a simultaneous translator. Of course, I only knew one language, and that rather irregularly. The simultaneous translator idea didn’t last long, BTW. Still, I have retained a curiosity about language.

So, an article this week was right up my alley. It’s by Timothy Snyder, in the New York Times, dated April 22nd, and titled, The War in Ukraine Has Unleashed a New Word.

The new word is “рашизм.” And it’s Ukrainian, if you didn’t catch that; written Ukrainian uses Cyrillic letters, like Russian, but it’s not Russian (duh). Roughly, рашизм translates as “Russian fascism.” The article is about how much that translation skips all the cleverness folded into the actual word. Lesson: plenty is missed in translation.

First, рашизм’s seriously multi-lingual, including English. So clever, so complicated. Go to the article (apologies: paywall) and learn all the intricacies.

One thing I didn’t know, while English refers to Russian and Rus (red), etc., with the vowel u, in Ukranian and Russian the vowel is o. I had no idea (why would I, actually?). (And it’s more than o, actually, as Russians pronounce it like an a. Surprise.)

And now, we have handy pocket translators, good for a giant assortment of languages. I have not checked what mine makes of the Ukrainian рашизм.

Flora, continued

I vanquished another privet today, or perhaps the joke’s on me, as it left several lateral roots behind that could spring up above the ground again very soon. The bed’s a mess, and needs more cleansing, but: progress. Neither of us has a plan for what to do with it. Very shady. Light-wise.


I had my way with a privet today. By “had my way,” I mean I uprooted it and sent it off to the compost. Took a half hour with a mattock—thump thump, wrench, strain. [This fading peony is much nicer.]



Typically when I name photos for this space, I use an underline (_) between words. For some reason, I didn’t today. I intended “shaft of light,” but I read “shaft o’ flight.”


We just started a new international television series. It’s called Pera Palas’ta Gece Yarısı, or Midnight at the Pera Palace. For enquiring minds: the Pera Palace is a real hotel that had its grand opening in 1895.

Turns out that just like Finnish and Swedish, we can’t understand Turkish merely by listening to it.


On our wee jaunt yesterday, we found abundant evidence that the highway department’s routing specialists have gone for traffic circles in a big way in recent years. In our experience, they can showcase, um, interesting art. And varied detritus.


I got out early for my third day of Weed Attacking. Embarrassingly, I found this giant specimen, which has survived our awareness long enough to reach almost eight feet tall. Wish our basil had that much robusticity.

After a shower, we hit the road and headed south-southwest…where we could see Alabama from our perch. And spotted a great blue that I swear is on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee.

On our return leg, we drove atop Pine Mountain…yes, there is a mountain south of Atlanta.

I’m telling

I spent some time this afternoon finding tell settlements. It’s very rewarding. Many mounds like this: standing above the landscape, and possibly with archaeological trenching. Hard to miss.

Others were plenty tricky to find. Hah!

This peony: hard to miss. And a target for bees.