Saturday, 23 April 2016

Saturday Photo: Resistance, Plus a Slide Show

Always is nice to see how the force that through the green fuse drives the flower (as Dylan Thomas put it) continues to work. Here's a photo I took, plus a slide show that is truly lovely.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Saturday Photo: Scylla Here and in Chicago

Took this a few years ago when I was in Chicago when the scylla was in bloom.  This year the firsts ones are shaking their little blue heads and spring begins.

Other signs of spring: people whizzing around on Bixis which went into service at midnight Friday, kids asking their parents for ice cream on a lovely Saturday afternoon, and me trying to remember what I thought I sould do in the garden this spring.  So much for keeping records: I may do a good job when I'm reporting/researching something, but I always forget that I mean to plan out the next year's garden when the memories of the last year's one are still vivid.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Saturday Photo: Orange is the New Black

Or something like that.  Didn't post on the weekend because of visits from grandkids and dinner guests (yes, dinner guests: the young'uns were surprised to learn that Grandma and Grampa actually have friends!) 

But there also was a good reason to wait--the NDP convention.  I didn't go, and I was not shy about saying that I thought the party--my party for so long--had gone terribly astray during the last election.  To let Justin Trudeau run to its left!  What a terrible abandoning of what the NDP has always been in Canada--the voice on the Left with the good ideas.

That the stunning repudiation of Thomas Mulcair appeared to be a surprise to those close to him shows just how little they'd been listening to the rank and file, or for that matter the electorate.  It's not having lost an election that's a problem. It's having lost an election by running on Centrist ideas.  And it's not that Mulcair and company weren't warned.

Full disclosure is necessary on that point: I was president of Mulcair's riding association from 2011 to 2013, so I knew to whom to send emails when Lee (an economist) wanted to point out the fallacy of running on a no-debt platform at a time when the economy needs stimulus and interest rates are very low.  Similarly, for years I've tried to get Mulcair to take a more pro-active stand on protecting the Canada Health Act and our single-payer system.  There were others in the party who also blew whistles but weren't listened to.

So we shall see what we shall see.  In the meantime here's bit of orange I clicked back when the world seemed to be going Orange in 2010-2011....

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Saturday Photo: Bougainvillea, or a Plant from Away

It's not often that my bougainvillea blooms, but this year it has.  Not sure why.  Certainly it's not because it's received a great deal of sun.  The gray, rainy weather has apparently not dissuaded it, though.

The plant is a native of South America, and it's blooming is appropriate because I'm up to my neck in books about Brazil and Spanish South America for my next non-fiction project, a book to be called Unidentical Twins.   

But it also reminds me of my mother.  Bougainvillea was one of the few plants she could grow.  She always had a massive bush on the east side of the house in San Diego, which I remember with great pleasure. 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Saturday Photo: The Rites of Spring and Our Place in the Universe

This was taken last year--obviously an Easter egg tree this year would be standing in a pile of snow since we had a nice late winter storm Thursday and Friday.  But it's time to celebrate the coming--or the promise--of the verdant season.  (For other signs, check this out.)

This last week has been aces for such celebrations:  the Equinox on Sunday/Monday;  Norooz, the Persian new year festival on Tuesday; Purim, the raucous Jewish holiday on Wednesday/Thursday; Holi, the Indian one marking the victory of "good" over "bad" on Thursday; and now Easter for Western Christians tomorrow.

The equinox is a good time to pause and reflect on how much our world--full of IT and noise--is actually based on our fundamentally subordinate place in the universe.  No matter what we do, there is no way we can change the fact that we are on a planet that orbits its sun over a period that is somewhat related to, not not quite in sync with its moon's orbit around it or with its own rotation around its axis. 

We saw a demonstration of that at the end of February when we all had to make an adjustment as that month was given another day as it does every four years.  If that adjustment weren't made the seasons would soon be out of phase with the months. Another demonstration shows up in the way that  Greek Orthodox Easter comes a month from now.   It always comes after Passover, and Passover won't be for a month because the Jewish calendar this year has an extra month in order keep it more or less in phase, too.  That's what happens when a planet's orbit around the sun isn't quite in sync with its moon's orbit around it, or some such thing.

Makes you feel small, perhaps.  Or maybe just like going in the kitchen and starting to cook for the festivities that will make us feel better about it all....


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Saturday Photo: First up, Snow Drops...

This is not the first time I've posted this photo, but it's right in sync, as the snow drops came up this week.  Had a few days with sun and temperatures above freezing, so they burst out.  This morning the cold made them curl back up, but the promise is there....

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Saturday Photo: The Incredible Shrinking Snow People

The snow is melting fast.  This means that the snow fort made by the Hassidic boys up the street is just about gone, and all the snowmen fashioned by eager hands lately are on their way out.

Went out without a hat yesterday, the kids didn't wear boots in this afternoon, and the parks were full of people sitting in the sun on benches that have emerged from snow banks.

The equinox is a week away, and the time changes tonight so I guess we're just about ready for a change in season.