Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Orchids Native to North America? You Gotta Be Kidding

I have read about native North American orchids for all my life.

Until two years ago, however, I had always looked upon such things as kindred with unicorns.

I had never seen one.

Then one day in April 2012 my wife and I were wandering along the crest of a ridge above San Juan Channel and I saw a flash of pink down in the moss and tiny plants that make up the forest floor in this part of the North American rain forest.

Something told me to look at it closely.

I did.


I could not believe it.

But it didn’t care if I believed it.

It was, nonetheless, an orchid.

I took its picture.

I took several other pictures of orchids that day.  And I was relatively happy with what I got.  But I was not really happy.  The thing – actually seeing an orchid in the woods of Washington State on a rather cold afternoon in April - had been such a surprise that, even though I had had a camera with me , I really wasn’t prepared to shoot images of unicorns.

And that was what would have been necessary to have done it correctly.

In the intervening two years I have played out in my mind how I would shoot those tiny specks of color so many times that I think I could do it asleep.

I have, in fact, dreamed about it.

Today the time of the year, the time of the month, the time of the day and the slant of the sun seemed to bode well for the execution of those plans for capturing orchid images.

And it was.

And here they are.

lopez orchid 042214 00000lopez orchid 042214 00002lopez orchid 042214 00003lopez orchid 042214 00004lopez orchid 042214 00005lopez orchid 042214 00006lopez orchid 042214 00007lopez orchid 042214 00009lopez orchid 042214 00010

Sunday, April 20, 2014

OK–Now I Need to Talk


“GENEVA—Ukraine and Russia, backed by the U.S. and Europe, agreed Thursday to steps to de-escalate tensions, including demobilizing militias, vacating seized government buildings and establishing a political dialogue that could lead to more autonomy for Ukraine's regions.”

And then again:

“SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — A shootout at a checkpoint run by pro-Russian militants near this town in eastern Ukraine, which left at least three people dead on Sunday highlighted the fragility of a truce reached days earlier by diplomats in Geneva.”

So today it appears that, unless the Western press are just liars – a real possibility, I guess – the same old Russian horseshit continues.

I assume that that horseshit has the ultimate objective of taking more territory;  I won’t pretend to know exactly what territory or how much territory – but some territory, as in more than none.

While discussing Russian horseshit, I have heard that they – the Russians – have said that if indeed there are any provocateurs in Ukraine, they are American contractors.

The “American contractors” figment, coupled with all the other amazing information emanations from Sovietville – Nazis in Kiev, anti Semitism (this from the heartland of anti-Semitic pogroms) and anti-Russian violence against ethnic Russians – seems to point to either of two things from the Kremlin:  utter delusionary substitution for reality, or a page taken from the Hitler Playbook – Big Lies.

In either case there is nothing going on on the eastern border of Ukraine that points to anything but an Anschluss underway.

So now I will get to the point.

Why did Europe and the United States do so much and spend so much and lose so many lives from 1938 to now just to see the whole Hitler thing happen again?

As dramatically world-shaking as that question is intended to be, it is really only a red herring intended to pique your interest.

The real question is why do the taxpayers of the United States of America pay half a trillion dollars, more or less, a year, to stand around playing with themselves while a puffed up buffoon takes key pieces of the important part of the world into his tin-pot “empire”?

Do we have a military second to none, or do we just have a huge lobbyist controlled source of graft?

Since we are apparently afraid of Putin I have to assume the latter.

Do we need to wait until he decides to annex Alaska before we pierce the balloon of graft?

I guess Silly Sarah had a point when she said she could see Russia from her house.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

News From First Stop Island – First Post

Je ai install√© la cirque. 

I just made the batter for tomorrow’s galettes and and am getting ready to eat tonight’s weird soup: leek, beet and carrot with barley.  And I will add to that menu a salad and the rest of the Cole slaw. 

I think I will watch Sweet Bird of Youth after that. 

I went to the library and picked up Philomena this afternoon.  I got and Hustle yesterday.

The hummingbirds will need a refill at dawn. 

It is raining now and the weather report says it is going to rain all day tomorrow.  Maybe I can start a great novel while it rains. 

Or I can just do a Rocking Horse Winner on the Roubais on the spinner. 

I had a flat tire yesterday  and had a lot of fun fixing it; I got in a twenty mile ride today before I did the thistles.

Before I did the thistles I brought up several more garden logs from the beach. 

Then I had a shrimp and salsa omelet.

Then I went to town an bought the stuff I didn’t have that I needed for the crepes.

There is never a dull moment here on First Stop Island.