My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, September 27, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: September's Skies

I suppose it's obvious from my lack of posts and my outdated springtime blog header and background that my fickle Blogging Muse continues her lengthy sabbatical (no doubt on a lovely tropical beach where she spends her days drinking piña coladas while cruelly snickering about how lazy and useless I am without her). But at least several of September's skies inspired me to haul out the camera and so they, at least, have provided a collection of sky photos to share. (So take that, fickle Blogging Muse - and I hope you get sunburn and sand fleas!) ;-)

August's heat continued into the first part of September, bringing us some more dramatic thunderstorms, like this one on the 6th...

And even when the skies remained summertime-blue, they've contained some interesting clouds, like this tidy row of little puffer-clouds I spied one afternoon that made me think of the "..." at the end of an unfinished thought, like the sky was saying, "to be continued..."!)

And a while later, the row of dots had turned into these italicized exclamation points!...

Though I did take some photos of the beautiful Harvest Moon on the 19th, they didn't turn out as SkyWatch-worthy as I'd hoped. But I did like the look of these moonlit clouds in my Friday the 13th photo!...

And of course, I can almost always count on a splendid sunrise...

That same sunrise last Sunday also illuminated this peculiar cloud that was hovering over the elementary school to our west, looking like a fluffy pink spaceship preparing to land on the roof...

Even when your creative muse is on vacation, 
inspiration always awaits in the beautiful sky photos on display at...

Here's hoping you enjoy a wonderful weekend!

And now for a little personal update, beginning once again with my apologies to my friends and blog followers for my lack of blogging and visiting/commenting (and especially for not continuing my vacation posts as promised!) While I continue to lay most of the blame on my delinquent Muse, there are other factors. An old injury to my hip and back has been causing pain and discomfort since July. Unfortunately, sitting for more than 15-20 minutes is one of the things that really aggravates it, and working on those vacation posts requires many hours of sitting (I tried blogging while standing up, but that just moves the pain to my neck and shoulders! I need a much taller desk!) :-) I'd been unable to get a massage since June so I finally got one on Tuesday. But my regular massage therapist isn't trained in the trigger point therapy that I need, so I'm going to try one who is on Monday.  I also have an appointment with an orthopedic doc on the 21st, in hopes he'll confirm the pain is due to my old injury and not something worse, and that he'll order some beneficial physical therapy like he did so successfully for BW's shoulder. 

A happier factor in my lack of internet time lately has been the absolutely beautiful weather we've been enjoying once August's heat finally left us! Bike rides and long walks with the dogs (I go easy on the bike but walks are wonderfully therapeutic) have replaced blogging and other internet activities. I reckon the vacation posts will make a great project for winter ~ a season I'd like to think is still at least a month or two off, but there is snow in our forecast today! Our gorgeous weather gave way on Wednesday to rain and temps that were 20º cooler, but now today's high will only be in the 40's and the rain is mixing with snow. A half inch of accumulation is possible and we're under a Winter Weather Advisory with temps forecast to drop below freezing tonight. Which means we'll have to cover our herb garden if we're to have any hope of enjoying the fresh organic herbs we've been so spoiled with all summer! I took this photo of it on Tuesday before the rains came...

L-R: Italian and African basil, lavendar, mint, thyme, and rosemary, 
all guarded by a cheerful brigade of marigolds. :-) 

The basil, about half of which is outside the frame of this photo, is especially abundant, and there are also three pepper plants in there that yielded a total of 4 bitty peppers. It's been wonderful to just step out the kitchen door to pluck fresh herbs, or to enjoy the fragrance of the basil and lavender flowers wafting through the kitchen windows (along with the summery sound of the buzzing bees that love feeding on them), and we aren't ready to give that up yet. So wish us luck in our endeavors to help our herb garden stay alive through the snow and the freeze!

Speaking of stayin' alive, I hope you'll enjoy this very cleverly edited video as much as I did! I think it makes a fun way to launch the weekend! :-)

Friday, September 6, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: Sky Drama

I have to admit, I've continued to suffer from "blogger's block" (like writer's block, only worse because it includes feeling uninspired to take photos!) So I wasn't going to have a post to share for today's SkyWatch Friday, till I stepped onto the front porch last evening to turn on our garden lights and saw this massive storm system to the north, dramatically illuminated by the setting sun. Old habits kicked in and I ran for my camera, then ran barefoot up to the end of our block for an unobstructed view and took these with my telephoto lens...

Here are a couple of detail closeups - that "mist" boiling up from the center of the bigger cloud intrigued me, especially the way it seemed to be spotlighted by the sun...

And I wish I could tell you that I was talented instead of lucky, but I honestly didn't compose this shot this way on purpose (I'm too rusty for that these days!) I just lucked out that the clouds and the tree lined up the way they did...

My timing was perfect, as almost immediately after I took these, the sun set and the clouds darkened to an ominous deep gray color. On my way back to the house, a couple out for their evening walk called to me, "Did you get it when it was lit up?" I told them I had and they said they'd debated running back home to grab their camera. I know how that feels, and it's too bad they missed out on capturing it, but at least they got to experience it in the moment.

Don't you miss out too ~ check out incredible skies around the world at...

Or better yet, look up, snap a photo, and participate! :-)
And have a great weekend!

And to my friend Spud, fellow cloud-gazer who's celebrating his birthday tomorrow
 and to whom I dedicate this post, I'd like to wish a...
May your birthday - and the year ahead - bring you only beautiful skies, dear Spudly!

A note to my following friends: I really DO intend to post the second half of our Seattle trip (and beyond), as well as catch up on my visits to everyone's blogs, honest! I'm still feeling haggard after our trip, my visit to Mom's, and my in-laws' visit last week, not to mention the oppressive heat we've been experiencing for nearly a month. I'm having to walk the dogs before sunrise to beat the heat, and mowing the lawn is a real treat if sweating buckets is your thang (whose brilliant idea was it to get a reel mower? Oh, yeah. Mine - what an idiot!) BW wishes people would stop ordering stuff when it's this hot too - delivering 150lb packages in a dark brown uniform in nearly 100º heat isn't all fun & games either. Oh well, we'll be whining about the cold and snow soon enough! :-)

Anyway, I'll be back soon with Seattle Part II. Meanwhile, speaking of BW ~ here's a photo of him with his folks on our front porch...


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  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"