it’s that time of year for blue jays

it’s that time of year for blue jays

i know that technically all of my cells replace themselves over varying periods, and that for the most part i am a new person at a cellular level every 10 years or so. but sometimes part of me would simply like to molt. just like, ok everybody, i’m going to be in my bathtub for a week or so with an espresso maker and a few bottles of cava. i’m going to be shedding all of this, and when you see me again i’m going to be bright and crisp in high color and ready for the mating season. see you then.

blue jay tail feather

  • Lenka says:

    Love the blue and the stripes.

    reply

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it’s hard to keep up

it’s hard to keep up

i spent the better part of the day doing a live Q & A over on stanford alumni’s @stanfordalumni instagram feed. i had a hard time keeping up. i don’t mean i had trouble keeping up with the questions. the questions were awesome and i had a ball answering them. no, i had a hard time keeping up with the technology. i’m a pretty savvy user of instagram, but it was hard for me to process the fact that instagram stories didn’t exist two years ago, and instagram stickers (which is the interface i used today) is maybe only months old, and yet there is an entire language and an entire software infrasructure in place to compose and post and illustrate and decorate  ephemeral photos that no one can see after 24 hours. of course i resisted instagram itself when it first came out (and this all makes me feel like a crusty old grandma who wants to know what in the hell it means to “text” someone), but today made me feel for the first time as if the complications of technology and social media may begin to leave me behind, and i will have to make my peace with being a little bit “out of it,” and maybe seeming a little bit old as a result.

agave leaves

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what you see is what you get

what you see is what you get

first reaction: i see sea urchins on the white sand bottom of a south pacific lagoon. second reaction: i’m looking down at the bowl cuts of five sandy haired brothers. third reaction: five wet mops propped on the ground with their mop heads in the air. fourth reaction: the children of cousin it from the addams family. fifth reaction: five fox terriers are poking their snouts through a white curtain. sixth reaction. tiki huts. seventh reaction. all the palm trees died. eighth reaction: all the koosh balls also died. your turn. whatever you see, that’s what it is.

dried chrysanthemum flowers

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stumped

stumped

it doesn’t happen often, but i have failed to identify this plant. it was growing in stinson beach near the california coast in marin county. it had yucca like leaves but soft almost like day lilies or irises. i tried yuccas and agaves and succulents and irises and lilies and california plants with stalks and orange pods and about a hundred other things. any of my plant nerds out there care to help out?

unidentified california flower (later found out it was Phormium)

stinson beach, california

  • Anna says:

    Try the plant identification group at facebook. They are awesome!

    reply
  • Austin says:

    I believe it is a Phormium (New Zealand flax). The NZ native birds love to drink the nectar from the flowers in spring so I’ve spent many hours looking at them.

    reply

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a leetle beezee

a leetle beeezee

i hope my images have not been too uninspired lately but i will confess that although STILL blog was designed precisely to squeeze into the brief spaces of stillness that occur in the midst of a busy family life (a life I have chosen voluntarily and without any real regret, let’s be clear), those spaces have been a little smaller lately, and i have been squeezing a little harder than usual. i am currently the general contractor for a major renovation of a house up the driveway from us, that we felt cornered into buying in order to rid ourselves of a particularly invasive and noxious neighbor, who, in the end, left behind a house that was just this side of a complete tear down. that is on top of my work as a chauffeur for my 14 year old son and co-editor of my husband’s book, and friend to a friend who has had a hard two weeks, and daughter to a mother who never seems to feel she sees me often enough. so, as my husband and i sometimes say to each other, when the obligations have piled too high and we just don’t have time for each other for a day or two, “sorry, but i’m a leetle beezee.”

american hog peanut vine (Amphicarpa bracteata)

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