Monday, August 29, 2022

The Birdsong Project

We believe that birds – no matter feather or flock – are precious and inspiring and fundamental to our world.
~The Birdsong Project

Hat-tip to birdlover Ariana for telling me about The Birdsong Project. These are so beautiful:


Hania Rani:

Yo-Yo Ma and Anna Clyne:

Thursday, August 25, 2022

A.F. Harrold

Bananas are great, as I believe them to be the only known cure for existential dread.
~Anne Lamott

Happy Poetry Friday! How are y'all doing? We've got poems today by bushy-bearded British children's poet A.F. Harrold:

{fiction, instead of lies} has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Tanita!


The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.
~Vanna Bonta

For Art Thursday, reflections! This week's theme was inspired by a photo by my daughter Elena. I was holding flowers in the seat in front of her and she noticed the car mirror reflection:

The encounter (La rencontre)
by Cooke-Sasseville
photo by Cephas

Metro, 2002
Barbora Bálková

Vanitas still life with self-portrait
Pieter Claesz (1597/1598–1660)

Regensburg Cathedral
Max Pfaller

Mühle in Österreich
by Otto Geigenberger

Monday, August 22, 2022

The Yussef Dayes Experience

...The drummer [Yussef Dayes] avoids convention, pursuing only what feels—and sounds—good. Time moves differently when he is in control of the rhythm.

For Music Monday, The Yussef Dayes Experience at Joshua Tree:

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Come home

Leaves make sugar. Plants are the only things in the universe that can make sugar out of nonliving inorganic matter. All the sugar that you have ever eaten was first made within a leaf. Without a constant supply of glucose to your brain, you will die...It’s inescapable: at this very moment, within the synapses of your brain, leaves are fueling thoughts of leaves.
~Hope Jahren

I just ran across an article about how there aren't enough people with nature literacy. People are often divorced from their environment...we need more botanists and a more nature literate society in general. Today's poem is "Illumination" by R.T. Smith, which I think complements the article.
Botanists are disappearing – just when the world needs them most by Annika Geijer-Simpson:
Students are not introduced to the diversity of plant forms and functions at UK universities and are certainly not engaged with how fascinating and dynamic the floral world is. The result is a growing skills gap, with a looming shortage of professionals capable of effectively managing environmental projects. Well-meaning but careless management is not just ineffective, it can add to environmental degradation.

For example, planting thirsty species of tree in the name of capturing carbon from the air can deprive precious bog plants of much needed water. Recklessly cutting and strimming grasslands can wipe out populations of rare orchids.

Harnessed properly, there is no doubt that plants and the services they provide can help solve looming climate and ecological crises.
Read the rest here ILLUMINATION
by R. T. Smith

As if some monk bored
in the cold scriptorium
had let his quill

wander from the morning
Gospel, two tendrils
of wisteria...

read the rest here


Leap of Dave has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Dave!

Linda's comment made me realize that there are two things I should have included:
1) A definition of illuminated manuscript ("illumination"): An illuminated manuscript is a formally prepared document where the text is often supplemented with flourishes such as borders and miniature illustrations.
2) The botanist shortage is true in the U.S. too: (from 2018) The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled, “Rhododendron? Hydrangea? America Doesn’t Know Anymore,” in which journalist Douglas Belkin documents how the U.S. is struggling to educate its biologists in plant identification. The National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management can’t find enough scientists to deal with invasive plants, wildfire reforestation, and basic land-management issues.

The future is accessible

I can't tell you how many articles I read that have otherwise good points about disability but then refer to wheelchair users as confined to their mobility equipment. I'm not confined or bound to my wheelchair. It's literally designed to enable me to move.
~Emily Ladau

Happy Art Thursday! I wear glasses pretty much all the time. I would say that I am a glasses-wearer; I wouldn't say that I am confined to glasses or glasses-bound. I get why "wheelchair-user" is preferred. Today, wheelchairs and their users:

Robert Indermaur, "Einwurf zum Spiel", 2007, (two wheelchair drivers), Switzerland
photo by Kamahele

Murale, wiadukt na skrzyżowaniu Wolskiej i al. Prymasa Tysiąclecia, Warszawa
photo by Qkiel

Self-propelled wheelchair of paralyzed watchmaker Stephan Farffler from 1655 built by him at the age of 22
Unknown author

Sculpture, Kemperbergerweg (Siza Dorpgroep), Arnhem, the Netherlands
by Ronald Tolman
photo by FakirNL

W-Skers (W-Skers) dwarf - ambassador of the initiative “Wrocław without barriers” from Wrocław Town Hall on Rynek-Ratusz 1
photo by Pnapora

William Groulx, U.S. wheelchair rugby captain, holds the ball as members of the British team try to take it during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Sept. 5, 2012
photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Sean M. Worrell

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The ship of his own desire

What do we plant when we plant the tree? We plant the ship that will cross the sea, we plant the mast to carry the sails, we plant the planks to withstand the gales--the keel, the keelson, and beam and knee--we plant the ship when we plant the tree.
~Henry Abbey

Happy Poetry Friday! I am scheduling this post ahead of time! By the time you read this, I will be in the Granite State* visiting family and friends. Today's poem is by Robert Bly:

Boards on the Ground
by Robert Bly

I love to see boards lying on the ground in early spring;
The ground beneath them is wet, and muddy-
Perhaps covered with chicken tracks-
And they are dry and eternal.

This is the wood one sees on the decks of ocean ships,
Wood that carries us far from land...

read the rest here


*New Hampshire

Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!

Francis Cadell

Cadell was a left-handed painter. While a student, the President of the Royal Scottish Academy tried to stop him painting with his left hand because 'No artist ever became great who did so.' Cadell swiftly replied 'Sir and did not the great Michelangelo paint with his left hand?' The President did not respond and left the room quickly. A fellow student asked Cadell how he had known that Michelangelo was left-handed. Cadell confessed 'I didn't know but nor did the president.'
~Anne Mitchell

For Art Thursday, Scottish painter Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell. (The Orange Blind looks like the cover of a mystery novel to me.)

The Orange Blind
by Francis Cadell

Still Life, The Grey Fan
by Francis Cadell

by Francis Cadell

Croft and Cattle
by Francis Cadell

On the Canal, Venice
by Francis Cadell

Monday, August 8, 2022

If you got the notion

Maybe you think that love was made for fools
And so it makes you wise to break the rules
~Smokey Robinson and Al Cleveland

For Music Monday, a song I heard in a store a couple of days ago. It keeps popping into my head and I find myself singing! Smokey Robinson and the Miracles:

Thursday, August 4, 2022

like the spiral of lark into the light

A poet is not a jukebox for someone to shove a quarter in his ear
and get the tune they want to hear
-Dudley Randall

Happy Poetry Friday! A beautiful poem by Dudley Randall (1914-2000) today:

The Ascent
by Dudley Randall

Into the air like dandelion seed
Or like the spiral of lark into the light
Or fountain into sun. All former sight
From hill or mountain was a mere hint of this.
We gain a new dimension. What had been
Our prison, where we crawled and clung like ants,
We spurn, and vision lying far beneath us...

read the rest here


I kind of wished I could present "The Ascent" as couplets...I felt like I would enjoy extra white space in this airy poem. But I didn't have the nerve to play with his format.

Nix the Comfort Zone has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Molly!

Handcrafting shoes

A shoe is not only a design, but it's a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you're going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.
~Christian Louboutin

I was mesmerized. Crafted by Ken Kataoka & Toshihide Takai: