Monday and Hummingbirds

Standard

I got out for a bit at the Chicago Botanic Garden yesterday, and happened across a slew of flowers. And some of those flowers bobbed and ducked completely independently of any breeze.

There were hummingbirds. Not even sure how many hummingbirds, because they moved so quickly, darting into flowers, resting in the trees for what were seconds for us, probably an eternity for a hummingbird.

And of course I didn’t bring my real camera.  But at least I had my cell phone.

There’s something magical about them, those tiny, tiny birds, hovering. And they made this little noise, someone else watching them compared it to a chipmunk, as they excitedly drank from the flowers.

And I’ll think about those hummingbirds as I take on one of my least favorite tasks, twice a year.

The dentist.

Wish me and my teeth luck.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Advertisements

Meet Maximo, the largest (type) of dinosaur ever discovered

Standard

Meet Maximo, who is so huge, his head is at the second level. Is it just me or is he smiling?

Went to the Field Museum of Natural History yesterday to see the new (well, millions of years old but new to us) titanosaur Maximo who supplanted Sue the T-Rex  in the main hall. Sue, who informed me on Twitter prefers the pronouns “they/them,” will now live in the evolution exhibit among their dinosaurian brethren, though, being a T-Rex, a bit on their own for obvious T-Rex-related reasons.

Maximo is breathtakingly huge. I mean so huge that it looked like the teeny tiny little bone on the end of his tail was about the size of my wrist. He was so huge, I didn’t even make it to the height of his top leg bone, likely a femur but I’m no dinosaur anatomist.

I’ve included a picture with the iconic elephants that have adorned the hall of the Field for as long as I can remember.

Those enormous African elephants are mounted on a platform about four feet high.

And here’s my eye level.

And looking up.

So he’s big, is what I’m trying to say. It makes you gape at the thought of all of that covered in flesh and muscle. And Sue seemed perfectly content in their new surroundings, though the room is still pretty bare.

And here’s a giant sloth because holy mammal, that thing was HUGE. Not as big as Maximo, obviously, but wow.

No real cohesion today, just thought you’d be as fascinated as I was. And I was fascinated. Imagining this planet as it existed before we got our mitts on it is fertile ground for inspiration.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

 

Outside can be nice

Standard

Me, four minutes ago: “I haven’t even started my blog post!”

Me thirty seconds after that: “Maybe I like THIS part for 1 line Wednesday.”

Turns out I did not. Have plenty of lines with “lost” in them; can’t really separate any from context. Alas. And I don’t want to let out any future Aunty Ida spoilers.

No game for me today.

Yesterday I got outside for a little while, in the early evening, and the birds were everywhere. High above the trees, small ones circled and darted like bats do. They chattered and they flitted. At one point I stood eye to eye with a woodpecker, a beautiful black-and-white bird with a red cap on his head. He didn’t stay long.

I didn’t bring my real camera. I went outside to get a walk, that was my intention, so all I had was my cell. It takes remarkably good pictures, but works best as a wide-angle lens. Maybe I got some birdies, but I doubt it.

Hang on, I’ll look. Just one came out, which, given it’s a cell and not my super awesome camera, is surprising.

There were some fat round black-and-white ones (like that guy above) I would have thought were finches but may have been warblers;* there was an all-gray smallish medium bird that looked like a robin but had no color at all. From my digging, it might have been a black swift, but I’m not entirely sure.

They were everywhere and so very, very loud. It was fabulous.

*UPDATE:  on Twitter very astutely identified it as a chickadee! It’s a black-capped chickadee, to be precise! Thanks, Dear Reader!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

 

Two-hour vacation

Standard

Yesterday I played hooky. I got away from the computer for the entire day, without an accusing blinking cursor with ten feet of me.

OK, well, part of the day was getting done things you have to get done, like laundry and taking my car for emissions testing, but the other part was spent among the fully-blooming crab apple trees at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Glorious.

It’s one of my favorite times of year there, if not my very favorite, with an entire arching pathway covered in bursts of blossoms. Yesterday there were cloudless blue skies and hot, bright sunshine. Yesterday the winter faded entirely, superseded by the explosion of life that is spring.

Fat fuzzy bees danced excitedly from tree to tree, and I just watched them, not even bothering to try to capture them with my lens. Little birds drank the flowers’ nectar, and in among the branches, stood sturdy nests.

I got groceries and put them away and hung up the wet stuff that doesn’t go in the dryer to dry, but right there, in the middle of the day, it was like I went away to somewhere else entirely.

And it was just what I needed.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

Mondayriffic

Standard

Full disclosure. Found the native operating system tools for enhancing photos and I think I got a little carried away.

Well, it certainly is Monday. It’s all kinds of Monday. The kind of Monday where I mistyped Monday about five times (and erased mistyped accidentally).

Monday.

Now Monday looks weird. Mission accomplished.

Woke this morning to thunder, and I presume lightning, though I saw no evidence thereof through my determinedly, yet futilely, closed eyelids. It’s a soggy gray world out there today. The spring color is muted, and we’ve gone from summer temps to early season ones. It’s kind of backward but it figures.

Got outside a little yesterday for Mother’s Day (a happy belated one to all who celebrate it) and caught all kinds of little birds. Well, I didn’t catch them catch them, I glimpsed them, and even photographed a few. Apparently, according to the Chicago Botanic Garden, many of them were migratory warblers. Including this one, which could be a Cape May warbler, judging by the photos. Boy are they fast.

So I will Monday on, while wishing you all a productive, less Monday-like week. I’ve got some MAYkingItWork to MAYke work.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Hello Sunshine

Standard

So on Monday, along with the eclipse viewing, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s titan arum–commonly known as a corpse flower–came into bloom. Sunshine, the gigantic, odious flower, stood more than five feet tall, looking like she would have felt far more at home with dinosaurs for company.

I couldn’t help but wonder what people might have said, many eons ago, before we understood a solar eclipse was just the pushy moon trying to steal a bit of the sun’s spotlight. Not only daytime darkness, or in our region of partiality, daytime dimness, but the rare bloom of this flower that smells like summer-warmed garbage and is covered in flies.

I joked, while in line to snatch some of the last eclipse glasses known to humanity, that perhaps it’s a sign that hell is recalling its demons.

We can only hope.

But there was great beauty in Sunshine, if a little evolutionary awkwardness. The biologist above who was cutting her open to reveal the male and female parts of the plant pointed out that that they mature at different times, and thus these flowers are difficult to pollinate. It’s a kind of Darwinian hit-or-miss, a good enough that has them still existing, but blooms extremely unusual in the wild. 

Alas, reproduction wasn’t in store for Sunshine, since all the other corpse flowers at the Botanic are siblings. While there’s a sharing program with Washington, unfortunately the flowers are star-crossed and the timing was wrong.

I told you, evolutionarily awkward.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Issues in Bloggery

Standard
img_1455

Freed up enough space for one picture!

With the gorgeous weather this weekend in Chicago, I got out with my camera, and I was going to post pictures, but just remembered that I am out of storage space. Old problem, forgotten with all the bigger problems of the world, still unsolved. So I’ll work on that, and maybe get some photos up this week.

Getting my mind back to this blog has been tough. When the entire world starts dissolving around you, fun irreverence isn’t the mood that immediately surfaces. Life is currently fraught with a kind of fear most of us here in the United States have never had to face; it’s the kind of fear people travel thousands of miles and leave loved ones behind to escape.

Usually by escaping to the U.S. So…

I’m still working on that balance I wrote about, and maybe, while things are as they are, breezy blog posts about TV shows and writer’s block will be far less frequent than they used to be. But even so, I’m still working on finding pockets of normalcy, on days where I can head out, trusty camera in hand, and see the world in a new way and an old way, all at once.

 

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!