Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Kitten Oct. 2010

 picture from Oct 2010.   published 12/26/2011

This was taken when the kittens were 5 weeks old. The big sisters were starting to eat kitten chow, and Little Kitten had lost a lot of ground - you can see he was much smaller than they were. He started getting supplemental feedings of kitten formula.

They haven't been named yet, but the little kitten became Rex. The vet said he was male.

And, inevitably, when I had named Rex, 2 kittens became Spot (in front, eating) and Lassie (beside her). And the 3rd sister, I named Grey Mouse - because of what the vet calls an underbite, but I call a rodent-like profile, that they have like their father.

This was only the first time in his first 4 months of life that little Rex had a life-threatening problem.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Iris blue each spring....

This photo taken June 3, 2009. (really?)

I took photos of this same iris yesterday, May 8, 2011. It's been a warm week; the apple trees and daffodils are done blooming, hawthornes (that dreadful weed) have started. This weekend it's been cool. This iris and one more on the South side (palest lavender-white, both shorter earlier varieties, are in bloom. Along with, around town, the deep red-violet shorter, antique, early-blooming one.

Taller types, and the ones on the other side of the house have not started yet.

The title is from a haiku.

Reminded of things Japanese by a visit yesterday to Kodo Arts, an ephemeral seller of Japanese antiques. Gorgeous furniture. I found a couple of little fabric stamps - probably destined to inspire virtual batiks.

Once, that haiku was the cause of my being locked into the college library just before Christmas vacation!

I had it only in translation - I wanted the original in Japanese. I was reading Tale of Gengi (translated).

So, searching for the Japanese original of the haiku, I was in a back aisle on the top floor of the college library in my home town, in the Japanese written in Japanese section. Since I don't read the language, this was not simple.

I had been there for a couple of hours, sitting on the floor. (Ah, youth.) I guess I had been pretty quiet....

But they didn't make an announcement, or even dim the lights, when they closed early and left. It was still daylight.

I came out of the stacks to find myself alone and locked in. The day before vacation.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The denouement was anticlimactic - there was a phone; I called Security.

Oh, the haiku? Slightly altered translation:

Dead my old fine hopes
And dust my dreaming . . . but still
Iris blue each spring. 


(Shushiki? His name appears both ways.  
I can't find the haiku book my Dad gave me, when I was in high school, before we went to Japan.)

see haiku -  public domain file, trans. Peter Beilenson 1955,  from

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Right in front of her eyes

And right in front of our eyes, this very large bird, rising from the pond with a medium size koi.

That peaceful-seeming pond, with the koi that come over to see if people will feed them - the great blue heron fishes there too.
 Heading home with the prey.

Couldn't resist: 

Placid koi approach
Looking for food. . . . from the sky
Osprey or heron. 

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Looking for fish?

Pictures taken on April 26, 2011.

Where was this? Out in the woods somewhere, near a lake? No, right on campus, over the koi pond. After class last Tuesday, this large bird (osprey, I think) was circling over the campus hill for some time. Coming lower, rising again, sometimes backwinging to stay in the same place for a moment.

And then the dive, and a splash.

Well, it seemed like a long time, but by the times on the photos, the whole thing lasted barely 5 minutes.

12/28/2011 I made a fabric of these photos, with a clouds background. I still need to make a small change, but it should become available for sale soon. I will do another version soon; I've been taking sky pictures for years - should have a good one with scattered lovely clouds that I can use for an alternate background.

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