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


Friday, October 24, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: An Apollo Picnic Under Mercurial Skies :-)

I find it nearly impossible to believe that we're on the brink of October's final weekend! Not only because of the month's speedy passage, but also because of its unseasonably balmy weather, more summery than autumnal.

Last Saturday's softly serene sunrise was both lovely and illustrative of our mild and gentle weather lately...


Knowing all too well that despite its delayed arrival wintery weather is inevitable, BW and I have been taking advantage of the beautiful days with bike rides and lots of outings with the dogs, while my friend Pam and I have been logging many miles on long walks, laughingly referring to ourselves as "Lewis and Clark" because of our explorations and adventures (and occasional need for a guide, given our shared lack of any sense of direction!) :-) The three of us even threw together a fun picnic on Tuesday. That morning, Pam and I walked the three miles to Sheridan's quilt shop, then hoofed it another 3/4 mile or so to the library to take another gander at this year's annual Fiber Arts Show entries (yep, post coming) and meet up with BW, who arrived in our car with the picnic supplies. 

It won't surprise those of you who know me well when I tell you that our picnic venue was the cemetery. :-) Not the main municipal cemetery, but the adjacent Bellevue Cemetery, home to a rather mysterious collection of columns from the 1930s. They used to support a wooden pergola which has long since succumbed to the elements that are also taking their toll on the columns. A local historic pamphlet that Pam bought at the library identified the structure-that's-no-longer-a-structure as the romantically pagan "Sun Temple." Despite the fact that our sunny day was morphing into an overcast one, it still made a great spot for a picnic lunch.

But before eating, Pam and BW decided to burn a few extra calories by helping to prop up this lone little puffer cloud… 

Pam gave it a gentle push with her finger so BW could hold it like a serving tray! 

We set up our picnic in the center of the "temple," so were encircled by the columns as we dined on our yummy feast of tempeh salad sandwiches, hummus, carrots, apples, bananas and hibiscus tea. All we were missing were a lyre, our togas, and Apollo...


Oh, wait! Look who showed up! And ate most of the hummus! 
(okay, maybe that was me. LOL)...


After lunch we headed next door to the large municipal cemetery and visited several of the more scenic and interesting sections and historic graves there. At one point, Pam looked up and saw this dragon in the tree above us!...


Though it remained a balmy 77ºF, the weather grew increasingly cloudy and blustery, until the skies to our north looked like this at 6pm...


Though teasing us with the promise of some much-needed rain, it turned out the clouds were just for show (and cemetery ambience). The night remained dry, and the next day was another sunny one. In fact, the lack of clouds has made for fairly boring sunrises this week, at least until yesterday when more nocturnal clouds made for an appropriately pumpkin-colored and picturesque dawn before clearing out later that morning...




For more picturesque skies by day & by night, beneath sunshine & clouds, 
and both autumnal & vernal from both sides of the equator, please visit...

22 comments:

  1. Stunning sunset! Enjoy the nice weather while it lasts! Hope you left some hummus for me:):)

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    1. Thanks, Jeannette! (They're sunrises - we don't get very many colorful sunsets, but for some reason we get a lot of gorgeous sunrises!) Our warm, dry weather isn't predicted to last much beyond today, but that's okay - it shouldn't be like like this, it needs to be cooler and wetter this time of year - and I have been longing for some cozy days!

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  2. So fun! I am so glad your paths have crossed!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Ellen, and what's fun is seeing your name here, after hearing so many wonderful things about you! :-) And yes, isn't Pam delightful? I too am so glad our paths have crossed - and merged!

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    2. :)). Pam is genuinely interested in others and our world. I just love her! I have also heard about you, and I'm so happy you are working with Lib. Your blog is interesting and smart. Your writing is addictive; I am glad I get to read about your experiences.

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    3. I have noticed that about her, and it's one of my favorites of her many endearing qualities! Her genuine interest, curiosity, compassion and open-mindedness demonstrate a level of intelligence that is as rare as it is wonderful to be around. She's easy to love, and I imagine you miss her terribly! You must come out to visit and join us on an adventure or two! :-)

      I'm so happy that you enjoy my blog! Knowing that you're reading it will keep me on my best grammarian behavior. ;-) I enjoyed helping Lib with a couple of her assignments, but now she's gone rogue. LOL I was glad to see her demonstrate the confidence to do those weekly assignments on her own, but am standing by should a future desire for my attempts to help arise. :-)

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  3. A great post! So many good photos here, I can't pick a favorite. I do like the "serving tray" cloud! A fun and creative shot.

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    1. Thank you so much, SP&P! That little cloud really stood out in the sky, it almost looked superimposed on that sky. It was Pam and BW's spontaneous idea to "hold it up" that way as I was about to take the photo! :-)

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  4. I always love how you capture our sunrises since we miss them on our side of the hood. The picnic was delicious. There's something to be said about the "do no harm" diet. I'm glad our paths crossed as well so we can travel the road less traveled together. Thank you for a spectacular day.

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    1. "Meriwether," my dear, you are too, too clever! ;-) And your inaugural comment is a delight!

      I'm happy to be the photographer/archivist of local sunrises. Next time we get a great sunset, I'll leave it to you and your handy smartphone or will race to your house with my camera. :-)

      Our picnic was delicious, thanks in no small part to your terrific hummus! I think I heard Apollo refer to it as "ambrosial" and "divine." And he'd know! ;-) And as long as I'm quoting others, yes indeed, there is much to be said for eating (and living) this way, including: "How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time." (Henry J. Heimlich). :-)

      I'm thrilled our paths crossed (thanks to you!) - and thank you in return for your starring role in our spectacular day! Looking forward to many more!

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  5. Too warm too long. Great pics though, thank you.

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    1. I agree, and have been equal parts disturbed by it and making the most of it. We had that hard, killing freeze far too early, and now these weeks of unseasonably warm (and hot), dry weather. Our weather is predicted to be more normal starting tomorrow, will see how long that lasts and how global warming makes itself evident here this winter. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

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  6. A wonderful series of photos! All these skies are gorgeous and the sunset is breathtaking!

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    1. Thank you, Mary! We can get some lovely and lively skies, but our sunrises are usually the best part of our sky's day! :-)

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  7. Beautiful pictures Laurie and the shot of Pam with BW holding a cloud is classic!! Your outdoor escape looked like so much fun. Although I am afraid of cemeteries, this one looks pretty inviting:-)!! Xo, Gina

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    1. Thank you, Gina! I think our beautiful cemetery would get you over your fear. It's a beautiful and peaceful place, full of history and full of life - deer, turkeys, bunnies and owls often abound there. :-) You can see more of it in several of my posts, but here are a few I think you might especially enjoy: Cemetery Sunset, Memorial Day, another Memorial Day (and some pretty irises!), and this one starring the owls who live there! :-)

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  8. That is quite a serene shot in the first photo. I'm glad the weather this month has been so nice for you!

    I love the photo of BW & Pam pushing up the cloud. ha! It looks like a great place to picnic, and I must admit I'm a bit jealous of your picnicking adventure. I often daydream of the few we've taken in the rockies. :)

    It's no wonder you're an early riser. I would want to get up to check out the sunrises if they were like that here so often! Here's hoping your November is mild, as well, although I know you won't hold your breath for that.... ;)

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    1. Thanks, Molly! That's changing today (and hurting my head in the process!), and especially tonight, but it doesn't appear it will last long. More nice weather appears to be ahead, though a good 10º or more cooler, as it should be.

      Man, photos like that one of Pam and BW interacting with the cloud are harder to get than they look! In my viewfinder as I snapped the photo, Pam's finger was touching the edge of the cloud and BW's was centered beneath it, but as you can see my camera only had to move just the teeniest bit from that distance to make the outcome look quite different. Still fun, though, especially their spontaneity in coming up with that pose! :-)

      I wish you could have joined us on our picnic! I hope you'll get to enjoy many when the weather warms back up, especially with that lovely state park just up the road from you! And may more picnics in the Rockies also await!

      I'd be an early riser anyway, always have been - the sunrises are more my reward than my motivation! :-)

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  9. Like your pumpkin colored clouds -- just a prologue to Halloween I would say. Did you notice the scarecrow next to the tree dragon? To me it looks like he is wearing dungarees and an old farmers straw hat. Fun post -- barbara

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    1. I thought so too, about the pumpkin-colored clouds being so appropriate for the week leading up to Halloween! And no, I hadn't noticed the scarecrow next to the dragon, but now I'm seeing one just below it! :-) You'd think between them, there wouldn't be a crow brave enough to come within miles of the cemetery! :-)

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  10. Wow! It looked like you guys were having a picnic among some Roman ruins. Cool skies and a nice glimpse into life in Sheridan. I'm so glad you now have the time to enjoy each other's company more ;-).

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    1. I know, isn't that cool? Kind of like time-travel and regular travel combined, with vegan food! :-) The first time I found that spot (completely by accident, I'd had no idea that Bellevue Cemetery even existed, never mind its cool "Roman Ruins" feature), I immediately thought, "What a great spot for a picnic!" Can't believe it took us this long to put that epiphany in play! :-)

      Retirement rocks, no doubt about it. It still doesn't feel real, I think we both have this notion that it's an extended vacation that's going to come to an end eventually!) :-)

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • 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"