Thursday, March 31, 2016

Today It’s Orchids

I have spent most of my life being interested in something I read somewhere once.

What I had read was that every state in the United States has a population of native orchids.

I love orchids, as, I guess does everyone, so I found that fact to be interesting.

I found it to be hopeful also.

Because it fed my hope that, since except for a year in Saigon and four months in Fukuoka, I had always lived in a state in the United States and therefore might expect – or at least hope – to see one.

A native orchid..

But I never saw one.

Native orchid.

The closest I got was in Missouri when I lived in Jefferson City..

I subscribed to the Missouri Conservationist and that magazine frequently had pictures of native orchids.

Native to Missouri.

So it was a life changing event for me when, several years ago, my wife and I were hiking in the woods on Lopez Island and I saw a little purple flower that attracted my attention enough to make me want to take its picture.

As I hunkered down on the ground – it was really a small flower, close to the ground – and looked at it to decide how to photograph it, I noticed that it was an orchid.

Since then, every year about this time I go to my secret orchid places and take their pictures.

Today I was wandering aimlessly in a woods far from my secret places and there on the ground was a little purple flower.

After looking around a bit I discovered that there were lots of them

And they were orchids.

So here are some of their pictures.

These are all purple.

Some of the ones at my secret place are brown.

lopez orchid on iceberg point 033116 00001

lopez orchid on iceberg point 033116 00002

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lopez orchid on iceberg point 033116 00008

lopez orchid on iceberg point 033116 00012

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lopez orchid on iceberg point 033116 00014

lopez orchid on iceberg point 033116 00015

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More Hummingbirds

Today the population became integrated.

There were both Rufous and Anna’s zooming around the – now – two feeders.

I have always heard that the males show up early and leave early.

The fact that there are so many in these pictures says that putting out the feeders in March is a good idea.

I wouldn’t have thought they would be around so early in the year.

But they are.


lopez female rufous hummingbird 033016 00000

lopez female rufous hummingbird 033016 00001

lopez female rufous hummingbird 033016 00002

lopez female rufous hummingbird 033016 00003

lopez female rufous hummingbird 033016 00004

lopez female rufous hummingbird 033016 00008


lopez male rufous hummingbird 033016 00003

lopez male anna's hummingbird 033016 00000

lopez male anna's hummingbird 033016 00001

lopez male anna's hummingbird 033016 00002

lopez male rufous hummingbird 033016 00000

lopez male rufous hummingbird 033016 00001

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rufous Hummingbirds

I put a chair out not far from the feeder.

The air was full of zooming, buzzing, high pitched chirping entities.

But they didn’t want to eat from the feeder.

They all sat on branches and flexed their throats to catch the rays of the sun.

Or not to catch those rays: the sun was intermittent.

I hear they do that to attract the girls.

I say that because the ones that I am posting here were all boys.

And girls don’t have much on their throats to flex and catch the rays of the sun.

Besides, they are too smart to waste their time and energy doing that.

Here are some images of male rufous hummingbirds doing their thing.

lopez male rufous hummingbird 032216 00000

lopez male rufous hummingbird 032216 00011

lopez male rufous hummingbird 032216 00014

lopez male rufous hummingbird 032216 00012

It is interesting that the color varies with the angle to the sun.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Better Than Politics

After completing and posting my recent irrational outburst about the “Biden Rule” and its adherents I drank a bottle of calvados.

When I awoke I found myself wandering on a deserted and god forsaken little causeway with big water on one side and little water on the other side.

Since I had my camera I did the obvious.

Here are a few of what the camera caught.

lopez mustard in bloom 031916 00000

lopez feather 031916 00000

lopez song sparrow 031916 00000

lopez harlequin for email 031916 00002

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Bag Headed Senate; Blind Is Required; Stupid Is Even Better

All US Senators who are republicans are under orders to wear paper bags over their heads until inauguration day 2017.

That is to make sure that they can’t see Judge Garland.

It is not clear how they will navigate – being unable to see where they are going – or whatever else they may not be able to see.

But there is an accumulation of thought that the bags aren’t going to change anything – except symbolically – republicans are blind at birth and revel in the condition.

But serially, I thought ol’ Mitch did himself proud the other day creating “The Biden Rule”.

It was so much like most of the crap I learned in Catholic grade school and Catholic high school that I was quite comfortable with its synthetic nature: “this is true (asserted, not proved – often called begging the question) ergo that is true (angelic chorus rising)”.

Mitch has taken some thoughts  by our current Vice President, uttered in 1992, when there wasn’t a nomination in the hopper, but when we were sliding down the ramp to a Presidential election and a Presidential Supreme Court Justice nomination could have been in the hopper; so what Joe said was nothing but his thoughts about something that hadn’t yet happened; and they were thoughts that never had any application – anywhere, or any time.

And ol’ Mitch has turned those thoughts into a “rule”.

Here is what actually happened.

This is a cut and paste from

Joe said:

"President Bush should consider following the practice of the majority of his predecessors and not, and not, name a nominee until after the November election is completed."

That was then-Sen. Joe Biden in 1992 speaking against George H.W. Bush nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year. 

But then we learn, if we read the rest of the story:

“Joe Biden was chairman of the senate judiciary committee and ensured that Justice Kennedy got both a fair hearing and a timely yes or no vote.”

Armed with the synthetically and farcically untrue historical “fact” that Joe Biden blocked the confirmation  – notice that there actually is a Justice Kennedy on the Court – of a Supreme Court nominee in the latter days of a Presidential administration, the Republican-controlled Senate has so far said it will refuse to hold confirmation hearings for the new nominee.

Mitch McConnell is such an irritant.

But he has backers.

He has many of them.

They are all irritants as well.

There is a large cadre of angry white people who want to take their country back.

From whom do they want to take it back, I have wondered since I first heard that refrain in 2010.

But we all know from whom.

The stupidest part of the whole thing is that all the angry white people apparently are outraged at being unhorsed from riding the jackass of history: centuries of being at the top of the bottom of the totem pole.

They don’t want to have to face the fact that it might  might be necessary to be smart and to know how to do something and to need to be flexible and to need to be able to roll with various unexpected punches – as opposed to being the fourth or fifth generation who has stood in the same place on the same floor on the same assembly line turning the same bolt.

They don’t want to need to embrace the fact that America is charging forward on the greased skids of the skills of people of various beliefs, sexual proclivities and ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

They consider that  charging forward to be a loss of their righteous place as “decent god fearing white people”.

(I have actually heard that as justification for almost everything at various points in my life.)

But then, as Drumpf’s  German hero once said “the big lie is what works”.

Or something to that effect.

And the “decent god fearing white people” are lapping it all up.

Or something sort of to that effect.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Some Roses

I am trying to avoid posting anything about the exciting, interesting and historically significant implosion of the republican party.

I think the last time that sort of thing happened was when the republican party was born.

Lincoln won and the Whigs disappeared.

Looks as if this time Trump gets nominated, the republicans disappear, the Democrats win again and the country loses – big, big, big big.

That’s huge.

So I have moved on to things of more importance to me in that interim between now and our now mutually imminent oblivion.

Those important things are roses.

These images were taken over time during visits to Paris..

paris 2012 roses 121612 00002

paris 2012 roses 121612 00003

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paris 2014 montsouris rose 052514 00001

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paris 2014 wild rose 051514 00000

Oh, By The Way, I Am Trying To Sell My Books

I just re-did the home page of my web site.

I decided to be more blatant in my desire to sell books that I have written.

So, to that end, here is the link to the update.

I recommend the recipes.