Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who Who Who-o-o

Enjoyed seeing this Great Horned Owl at the Chattanooga Zoo. There are some in our neighborhood. Very impressive when they fly past. Sometimes we hear them hooting at night. If you hoot, they will hoot back. Fun.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tiger Swallowtail

At Burritt Museum on Thursday afternoon I saw this Tiger Swallowtail enjoying the butterfly bush. This fellow was really hard to photograph. It just would not be still. Using the cell phone because it was a surprise sighting and, naturally, the phone was the only photographic device I had at the moment. I never got a good shot, so this is the best of the worst.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Feathered Beauty at the Chattanooga Zoo, June 2010

Got several shots of this fellow feeling proud of himself. None very good, but this is my favorite. Click to enlarge.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Well, folks, we walked into the showroom and there it was. Our search for a replacement for the van was over as soon as we laid eyes on it. In the background, you can see John heading over to do some serious talking with the sales manager.

Just look at that 8.4 litre, V 10 engine.

Be still my heart.

The interior.

I was delighted to find that it is a perfect fit for me--everything within easy reach, including the stick for the 6-speed manual transmission and all the pedals. I don't even have to stretch out full length to push the clutch to the floor.

John is looking pretty good in it, too. Sorry I blurred the photo, but I was so excited that I just couldn't hold the phone steady.

One last showroom photo before going out for a drive.

With a base sticker price of $89,000 and outfitted to the tune of $120,000, it was a little more than we were looking for, but it was love at first sight. How could we pass that up?

Well, one last look at my little disabled Orca. We used to joke about the van being the great white whale and I had called it Moby for a while, but began calling it Orca and the name just sort of stuck. This Dodge Grand Caravan has been a really good vehicle and I'm sorry to lose the use of it.

July 22, 2010

A better look at the crunch at home before being towed away.

Well, back to reality and the business of getting that awesome replacement. . . .

Just about to head out for the test drive. Take a look at how good she looked once we got her around in front of the showroom.

Sorry, no Viper, but a pretty nice Chrysler Town and Country. Could it be that John is wiping his fevered brow in relief back there behind the van?

I really like this van. It is used, but in great condition, about as close as you can get to literally being owned by a little old lady who only drove to church on Sundays. I don't know if I'll get 8 years and 223,000 miles out of it like I did my Orca, but I'll certainly make an earnest effort to do so.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars: the Rest of the Story

After having gotten sidetracked by the car wreck that totaled my van (in the background awaiting pickup by the insurance company), I am finally able to get around to posting some photos of the sequence of metamorphosis of the Black Swallowtails from larvae to adults. Click on the photos to enlarge.

The netting I used to keep predators away from the caterpillars for a few days until some of them could grow large enough to pupate; not pretty, but functional

One of the big ones before I covered the fennel (my hand is behind the caterpillar to show scale; I'm not holding it because I try to handle them as little as possible)

Looking through the netting at two of the larger ones busy munching fennel

Three more through the netting; can you find them?

A big one who will be getting "sleepy" soon, but still has plenty of eating to do

One of the caterpillars "getting sleepy" (beginning to pupate)

A chrysalis formed by one of the four caterpillars I temporarily moved to a butterfly cage

On the fennel--empty chrysalis (brown) at top and one still waiting (green) at bottom

An empty chrysalis from the butterfly cage

Occupant of the empty chrysalis in the previous photo; one of "my babies" after having emerged from the chrysalis, its wings all pumped up and dry

Pester taking far too much interest in the butterfly

Moving the butterfly from Pester's reach

Brand new Black Swallowtail fluttering over the flowers; the fennel has seen better days

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let Me Out!!

Matilda seems to be thinking that "going outside to play" doesn't mean being stuck in the bunny pens. When we made the first one, we used "rabbit wire" that is designed to keep rabbits out of your veggies. We figured we could use it to keep rabbits in. To keep rabbits from getting into Mr. McGregor's garden, the rectangles in the wire mesh are small at the bottom, but get larger at the top to allow you to reach through and harvest all the veggie goodies. Miss Matilda decided early on that she could stretch herself up to the highest, largest rectangles and just boost herself out of the enclosure. Yep, it wasn't long before I was looking at Matilda on the outside of the fencing, just hopping around having a grand time. Thank goodness she didn't decide to play bunny tag. I snatched her up and put her back in, watched her try several more times, then had to put her in bunny jail while I went back to Tractor Supply and bought chicken wire to cover the upper portion of the rabbit wire. Fixed her wagon. I think.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jellyfish at the Tennessee Aquarium

made with my cell phone during our visit to the aquarium in Chattanooga in June

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Morning Sky

This morning I had an opportunity to see some iridescent clouds on the way to Gunter's Landing near Guntersville at about 6:30. I had watched the sky as the sun was rising, but I was driving and really had to be careful. I was treated to some really good color just before turning into the Gunter's Landing drive, but could not make photos. I stopped as soon as I could, but the color was less intense and, as usual, I only had my phone to make the pictures. The iridescent area is in the lower center of the photo, below and just above the darker, thinner gray cloud that was at a lower altitude. The colors ran the visible light spectrum, with each cloud exhibiting a rainbow effect, but by the time I could make the photo, I knew my little camera probably would not be able to pick them up. Clicking on the photo might give a better look at the colors.

Iridescent clouds are similar to nacreous clouds, but not as intense. Check out the Atmospheric Optics website for more information on all sorts of neat things and great photos.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Miss Bunny

Gabby enjoying the cool breezes high atop her cinder block perch