Sun Setting On Our Field, by Rainer

Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Eye Witness News From Our Wild Backyard

A red hot poker to say 'hello', the Fibonacci way!

We all have a hunch the field in our back yard is the one Rumi is talking about.
Friends and family, this blog is a moment in the field.
So, all of us in our summer rhythms, here are many backyard fascinations we keep returning to. Like the wood ant nest:

See them?  They bite.  They send out warriors far away from the main perimeter.  If you go way over in the corner of the yard where they've had this nest for years, wear shoes and keep watching for their defenders to march up your leg and start biting.  They have their territory and we have ours, so there is mostly no trouble.

Also happening in our backyard:

Frida deserves credit for persistence at holding the untamed bunnies.  They are so calm and accepting of human touch now, thanks to Frida's continued efforts. 

Gorgeous portraits, no? A COLOR copy of the photo below hangs, FRAMED, in our house.  That's how much these bunnies are loved.

Check out the tiny pumpkin spider babies! Here they cling to the bunny's gate in June.  By September they'll be menacing us with their two-inch bodies and gigantic, orb-style webs! Rainer's only 13th birthday wish was a new bugzooka, so he could safely relocate spiders away from our backyard play spaces. When you plant a garden for the wildlife there is a constant negotiation between wild and civilized.

Whatever these caterpillars will become, they are always a teeming mass at this stage, and always on the river willow trees.  Sort of a pest when they are near raspberry bushes, but creepy fun, too.

Redwood burls can't help it, they just grow new trees if they stay moist. Our fascination with redwoods is so strong, we named our homeschool the Sequoiadendron Homeschool Academy, inspired by the biggest life on the planet.

 More tadpoles, that's the way now each spring.  Nice aquarium set up again, Rainer!
This sequence shows the tadpoles first in egg sacs, then stuck to the wall of the aquarium, then as huge swimming tadpoles, and finally one of last year's survivors--a LOUD little guy who lives in one of the aquariums right outside Rainer's window.
Photos by Rainer


As pond manager, Rainer made sure we had some goldfish to eat the mosquito larvae.

We must acknowledge the berry! This summer has been all berry, all the time. Planted in new beds for next year's picking: tayberry. Can't wait!
Also added to our list of plants: cleome, dianthus, lobelia, nasturtium and echinacea. We're going for color this year.

Hey, there are Frida, Nina, and Sarah napping in the fresh-cut grass!  Those three little gals are always together, in the garden and everywhere Frida goes.

That's Nina and Sarah enjoying a hike to the Vernal Falls at Yosemite National Park in May, from the safety of their pouch. We do occasionally leave our nest to see other wild places, and Frida knew her dolls would enjoy things best tucked in.  She designed and sewed the pouch herself.

 Nina , Sarah and Frida celebrating the 4th of July on the Arcata Plaza, with pretend balloon dog who has a real collar.  At this point, does it matter what is real and imaginary anymore?
Below, they enjoy a warm summer afternoon row boat ride in a friend's wild backyard frog pond.  

Frida set down her dolls to get serious about fishing with dads on a father's day boat trip in Trinidad Harbor. She caught her first fish--no picture.  But Rainer's we got.


Rainer also wants to share a new addition to his frozen specimen collection.  This is a small lizard's tail, found one morning in the garden.  Now he'll have it forever!  It lives next to his frozen goldfish, which are totally different from his mummified goldfish.

Below, pictures of his wild and crazy robot friend, Robie.  After Robie plugs himself in, he lights up!  He also waves his mechanical arm around, dumps a load of marbles from his backside, and plays a loud country music station to annoy everybody.  And the noise from the blender motor is so loud!  He also eavesdrops on the household, or lectures you, endlessly droning on about politics, through use of an old baby monitor.  He's one of those robots!

One of Robie's favorite quotes, by Groucho Marx: "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."

As you can imagine, we all enjoy Robie's company, most of the time.

Happy Summer Family and Friends!  Hug your robots!