Poem number one

Posted on

I composed this riding home one evening.

The freshening air
must be stirring the young ones from their stupor
There’s a lot of bad driving
in small cars
[oh crap]
in cars

In the clear dark sky there is
a bit more than
1/2 lune/moon

Bobbing higher and lower
further and closer
but sinking

Oh look
On the shared-use path along
the stretch of road
where the bike lane vanishes

There’s the darkly-clothed man with
the dark dog and
the dark extensible lead.
He is there most times I pass.

Does his dog have
a delicate urinary or

Or does he simply spend his time
in wait
hoping a cyclist does not see
him or
the dog or
the dark filament
strung across the way
in time

I am home
Goodnight moon

Oh hello

Steam cools on my glasses
The wisteria
now only leaves and stem
look a bit dessicated

I could probably use an editor.  If only to prevent there being a Poem number two.


Posted on

It started with mild curiosity and a couple of pretty snapshots.  How nice.  Maybe I’ll post them on my new practically-empty webpage.  But I kept finding out things I didn’t know and so this trivial little post has expanded.  So that I can move on, here is the result of my noticing butterflies this year.

One morning, not long ago, I stepped out the door into an unexpected curtain of warm humid air.  It was reminiscent of summer at home.

In the garden we have three buddleia: two purple and one white.  They bloomed fantastically this year and attracted lots of insects.  That sounds less pleasant than it was.  The garden was aflutter with butterflies.

What made me start looking was that in July we were overrun by aliens!

Peacock butterfly

There were so many and they looked so funky I thought for sure they were an invading species, pushing out the natives.  Eventually I got it together and looked to see what they are.

This was one of those times where you do a search for something that it’s never crossed your mind to look for and there’s a whole website full of the answers to more questions than you even knew had been asked.  In this case, the site’s called UK Butterflies (www.ukbutterflies.co.uk), and it’s beautifully, visually organized and easy to navigate.

There, I discovered we didn’t have aliens.  They’re not even rare.  They’re called Peacocks, for an obvious reason.   Or Inachis io. To me, they still look a bit too cool to hang out in the Northern Hemisphere.

This looks more normal to me.


It’s a Painted Lady.  We have these in North America too, according to this page from the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, which seems to be an online version of The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine.  There were probably lots of these all along but I was distracted by the aliens.

One of each!


Who else was there?  Apparently this is a female “Small White.”  The male has only one black spot (The Butterflies of Canada again).


Really getting going at this point, I was starting to feel compelled to run for my camera whenever something I didn’t have in my collection flitted by.

Here we appear to have an example of the Large White, which if I’d cropped the shot differently would actually appear larger than the Small White…for me the giveaway is that the sooty colour at the tips of the forewings goes around the corner on the Large White.  Both of these guys like cabbage and so they’re also called “cabbage whites.”


I also saw, but couldn’t capture, a brighter yellow one that wouldn’t stand still, which by the colour I’d guess was a Brimstone.

The next time I was at work I discovered one of these meandering around the edge of the pond.  This, I see, is called a Gatekeeper.


Back at home, a Red Admiral.


It took me a while to get a shot of one of these.  They didn’t seem to sit still for long.


(Slurrrp…)  It’s a Comma.  There’s a mark on the underside that somebody/somebodies decided looked like a comma. (Good picture at www.butterfly-conservation.org.)  I never spotted that but I was struck by the scalloped trailing edges of the wings.

Whew.  So there they are!  I can move on now.  But after all that reading about butterflies, I will never be able to forget that “nectar” is a verb.

G likes apples.

Posted on

Young G has discovered apples as objects encountered on trees, which may be detached therefrom.  She’ll grab one and pull, but in general isn’t strong enough to get one herself and needs a hand.  We’ll usually pull one off for her and shudder as we rotate it to discover the black specks and the wormhole, and she’ll clutch it, enraptured, to her breast.  As she’s carried back to the house, she’ll try to explore its properties with her mouth, impeded by parental fingers.

She has to endure a moment of separation from the prize while it’s scrubbed and the nasty bits chopped off.

Today I held the apple against my breastbone with my chin as I tried to lower her onto the playmat.  She held to the apple with both hands, dangling from it to the last as until gravity got the best of her and she had to relinquish it.

Returned to her, cleaned, with juicy facets and hand-hold niches cut into it, the unripe cooking apple is ravished.