In the late 1960s, I was aware that some very expensive, at legitimate U.S. market prices, flight training books were available for almost nothing from China. The books had been copied and reproduced in violation of copyright laws. A few guys had bought the books, and it was obvious they were cheap copies, not the professionally printed versions that were legitimately produced and sold by Jeppesen, a world leader in flight instruction manuals and books.
There is something about the color of the trees after a heavy
rain, like a master painter had poured an extra ration of pigment onto the
canvas. There is a marked richness and intensity to the forest that wants to enfold
I eat red grapes the way some
people eat Hershey Kisses, or jelly beans. One at a time, sometimes two, by the
handful. Green grapes, not so much.
Earlier this spring, the
grocery store was selling large plastic bags full of red grapes for, well, an
affordable price. The price was proclaimed in large black letters; one had to
squint a bit to see whether it was a bag or a pound.
Andrew Wheeler, the new head of EPA, recently said he doesn’t
think we earthlings will have a problem with our home for another 50-75 years.
Gizmo was a tiny Pekingese
with a striking resemblance to the mogwai – we call them gremlins – in the movie of the same name. That movie was how I learned the three important rules of gremlins:
I have pictures of them chasing each other around the wood, playing tag, showing off, and sometimes producing copies of themselves.
When many of us think of the woolly mammoth, I’m guessing we think of Queen Latifah, or at least the voice she gave to Ellie the woolly mammoth in the “Ice Age” movie franchise. For the record, the ice age ended about 11,000 years ago, and so did Ellie and her mate, Manny.
One thing I’ve learned about dogs is, “don’t buy one.” The only dog to ever live with me that I paid for didn’t stay long.
Actually, I think someone stole him to hunt deer – you could
use dogs in Virginia when I lived there. I bet he didn’t object when the
dognapper promised a life in the woods. In a way, I don’t blame him.
LBelow and in front of the porch rail, the surface of Marsh
Creek is smooth like a 200-year-old farmhouse window pane, smoothly rippled as
the flow wanders and eddies its way to lower elevations. Reflections of creekside
oaks and sycamores decorate the translucent surface of the flow, itself browned
from nearby mountains’ muddied runoff – poor man’s fertilizer, some farmers call
it –in rounded jaggies across the stream. A short way up the creek, mated Red-tailed
hawks and a few Bald eagles prepare for their new families.
Across the glassine stage at the foot of the hill there pass
pairs of Canada Geese, a few mallards and their current loves – Canada geese
mate for life, mallards for convenience – and a clan of mergansers.
Like the rest of us, when the cost of some new endeavor outweigh
the potential benefits, we balk at increasing our expenses. My mom had an aging
pickup and wondered whether it was time to trade.
If a company can be granted personhood, why not a lake,
especially a lake that is a primary freshwater supply. Voters in Toledo, Ohio answered
that question last month, saying Lake Erie has the right “to exist, flourish,
and naturally evolve” – rights normally enjoyed by a person.
when the temperature was hovering way too close to the bottom of the
thermometer, I decided to look for a hat.
When we in Adams County take a shower, when we slather margarine on a piece of toast, or spray non-fat grease on a frying pan, we may be adding another family to the next caravan of Central American refugees heading north.
Red-tailed hawks are
warming to togetherness, indicating, more accurately than that four-legged
critter from Punxsutawney, that the weather also is soon to warm. Of course,
most Red-tailed hawks do not have television cameras staring at them to record
whether they see their shadow while swooping down on an unsuspecting breakfast.
A friend sent me a story this week. The story was under a
headline, “Oklahoma man praised for heartwarming exchange with little girl at
It snowed last night. We had some snow – in November, I
think – that caused me to drag out the snowthrower. Since then, the machine has
been gathering dust in the garage, with still almost a half tank of last winter’s
gasoline in the tank.
Maybe by the time these thoughts are in print, Congress will
pass and President Trump will sign an agreement that will reopen our government
and put an end to the adolescent schoolyard shenanigans in our nation’s capital.
Starlings are back. Murmurating clouds on snack break turn
large sections of local lawns black where they hide what is left of last week’s
One of the many wonderful
things about living where I live is I am not required to travel far from my
home to see wonderful stuff. Like on the recent afternoon when I went driving with
a fellow photographer along a nearby road and found four Red-tail hawks in the space of about a half mile.
Readers of J.R.R. Tolkein are familiar with Ents, those
long-talking, slow-walking ancient creatures of Middle Earth. They are among
the few beings to have survived to the current age. It seems they eventually took
root, owing to their extreme slowness, and became what we know as trees, those
flexible, sometimes giant, beings that wave in the wind.