Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer Project

His rock border
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
S. has taken a great deal of trouble this summer--uprooting the grass rhizomes which were all around the house and making beds with rock borders for the daylilies and some other perennals that we have picked out. The delphinium is blooming now, but most of the rest will not until next year; we are hoping most of them will survive the frozen winter. This is just a little sample of the rocks--the border curves around the house; the rocks are deliciously varied in color.

with river stones
he makes a flower border
--early autumn rain

It finally did rain, and the weeds, trees and grasses are very happy.
Good night.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's up?

What's up?
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
This is yesterday's squirrel. We bought a 50 lb. bag of black sunflower seeds, so I guess it's OK. S. likes him as well as the birds, anyway. He can leap across tall buildings with a single bound. I notice that the grosbeaks who visit us look like they are chewing the seeds. They take one up and then go chew-chew-chew and then spit out the husk. They all husk seeds, but this is the bird that you can see making beak motions about it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pink Cloud and Mist

Pink Cloud and Mist
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I haven't tired of this view all summer! Again, this morning's dawn was not quite like any other. I got a book of essays on Frank Bidart's poetry today. It is one of those books you can only read a little at a time, and you have to pay attention. I love his poetry and I am very grateful to have the chance to read all these differing analyses, but all my books of his poems are clear across the country. I should probably take it with me back to California.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And in violet.

Violet haijin
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
See below; this was prepared with the buZZ filter and colorized with Nik Violet. In this blog, click on any photo and it will take you to the larger version in Flickr.


Tulips simplified
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Well, now I have another way to spend endless amounts of time pleasing myself with the results! This has been "simplified" by the buZZ filter. The varying results are almost infinite!! Yes!
These are my daughter-in-law's tulips from her backyard.
The Mozart Requiem is on Vox XM satellite radio tonight. And I am carried back to the early 1980s when I sang this with the Gavilan Colleg Concert Choir. There is no better way to learn a piece of choral music; once you have prepared something like this, it is always with you. It brings back your life at that time, and many friends around you. I can still see Hugh and Mrs. L. singing the solos.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Like this

A Nik filter color change (BiColor Brown) and the Photoshop CS Dry Brush filter. All I have time for tonight, but captures some of what I would like in a painting. I don't even mind the placement of the lamp here, because the lamplight is clear, and the light clump of wrapping looks much nicer in this version. There need be no more excuses for lack of beauty. Good night.

Ann, writing haiku

Ann, writing haiku
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I think this would make a nice painting. I like the way the image is divided into thirds, with a lot of architectural lines on both sides. I like the red sweater, the glass with ice, and the way the bouquet on the right is almost obliterated by the light. If I made it into a painting I would move the lamp right and into the picture, or at least partly into the picture. The lamplight from one side and the daylight from the other are part of what is interesting. I like the pose of the figure, so self-contained and unaware of the spectator, the arc of the body surrounded by the arc of the chair.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sunset Park in Petoskey

Why they call it Sunset Park
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
It is getting drier and drier here and the leaves on the maples are wilting and turning. Very Strange. It really feels like summer is over. Now we are getting close to autumn, the melancholy haiku season. Not to mention those frosty winter haiku! So this palmy late summer sunset on a chilly evening (with such strong winds they had to stop setting off the promised fireworks after only fifteen minutes) is the last of the summer days. The grandsons are off to college, but it has been a swell summer and we have been able to see them a lot.

violet clouds
far out over the bay
summer is ending

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One little orange flower

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
From last year. Just a memory, with its waterdrops. I'd like to grow some of these. They always remind me of something I read about Katherine Hepburn--that she used to go walking around some reservoir where they reseeded themselves and grew wild. They were never very successful for me, but perhaps I will try some here in Michigan. Today we worked on the "building envelope" for the conservation easement. Since it is so permanent and so irrevocable, it scares me that I will make a mistake.. But when I think about the turkeys and the barred owls and the deer and that big coyote with the fat tail, I know it will be worth it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jack and Mary Lillian on trip east

I've been thinking about my father today. This is a picture from the time when there weren't very many pictures, but some of them were quite spectacular! This one sat in its frame on our livingroom bookcase all the time I was growing up. I can almost feel the bookcase underneath it with the set of Nathaniel Hawthorne in blue bindings, striped with red, stamped with gold, and not of very good quality, kind of flimsy. One summer I read them all and decided that Hawthorne was not a great prose stylist, although some of the stories were OK. This was the summer I feel in love with Tennessee Williams's Summer and Smoke, which my mother got from a book club that selected plays. I decided that my cool hands would sooth the fevered brow of my beloved like the cool hands of Miss Alma. . .

Saturday, August 18, 2007

NIght Journey

Originally uploaded by jhhymas

This is the way the photos were coming out.

See below for my Night Journey poem,

which goes with this picture.

Vision and memory

Here's lookin' atcha
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Tonight we went to the lighted boat parade at the First Annual Alanson Riverfest. Got little videos for YouTube, but with the darkness and the motion of the boats, no good stills.

This is a poem I wrote after one by Tu Fu:


after Tu Fu
shore grasses

strong, brittle mast
a single boat going downstream

stars close enough to pluck
open, unpeopled plains

the mirrored moon leaps from one ripple to another
it won't be caught in the great river's flow

my name
will it remain written on the scroll

when the work I have done
must be given over?

floating, floating reflections
what is real, what is illusion?

one sand gull
floats between heaven and sky

June Hopper Hymas

Friday, August 17, 2007

Squiggle in a Square

Squiggle in a Square
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Got in some foreworks tonight ay the Festival of the bay. First we watched the sun go down over the water from Sunset Park in Petoskey. I tried to catch a gull in my photso of the sunset. The weather had just changed to chilly, and there was a stiff breeze. We are still in desperate need of rain, The ears of corn aren't plumping in the fields. It will be a poor crop.

Here is a night poem by Tu Fu:

Night Thoughts While Traveling

A light breeze rustles the reeds
Along the river banks. The
Mast of my lonely boat soars
Into the night. Stars blossom
Over the vast desert of
Waters. Moonlight flows on the
surging river. My poems have
Made me famous, but I grow
Old, ill and tired, blown hither
And yon; I am like a gull
Lost between heaven and earth.

Tu Fu, trans. by Kenneth Rexroth

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Boathouses

The Boathouses
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I took this with my very first digital camera -- 1.3 megapixels. It was a retirement gift from all my friends. It still works! (But it chews up batteries! I couldn't believe it, when I first got it.)
This weekend this Crooked River will be the site of the first Alanson Riverfest! There will be a lighted boat parade and of course I will he there with my camera.
But I might not get anything I like better than this.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quaking Aspens

trees in pale color
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Isn't this pretty? It was made from a photograph, but before it was completed the Buzz software crashed my laptop. It looks like it was working out from the center of the photo. I want to try reinstalling it without the other program that came with it, but I am fearful. Still I want to play with more photos like this. It is supposed to be a "simplifier" -- I guess I will try to find out more about it before doing anything. So much to learn! So many choices!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A tube of cobalt blue . . .

A tube of cobalt blue . . .
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
The view from our porch. Summer is fading fast. Since I took this, the bracken in the west meadow is yellowing, probably because it is so dry. We have plenty of clouds but no rain, Tonight we took a walk up the drive. It was very pleasant; the air was moving sometimes it was warm and sometimes cool.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wolfi's eyes

Wolfi's eyes
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Hard to resist, no? Just offer him a bite of people-food and he wil be very pleased and stop nagging while he chews. His full name is Wolfram von Eschenbach, but despite that he doesn't have any papers. He likes to sleep right next to me, and always settles down with a contented sigh.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

No explanations

An eye, trees
Originally uploaded by jhhymas

either my receiver is on the blink
or you are not coming across well

you are not coming across well
I decide, after fiddling with the volume.

it is like listening
to a radio broadcast
of a staring contest with a duck

after a long silence
the duck says
are we on the air?

--Billy Collins Field Magazine, early 70's

Friday, August 10, 2007


Originally uploaded by jhhymas
The beautiful shapes and colors from the haymow at Thoreson's Barn where we had the photography class at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. The lovely sweep of pale lavendar is spotted knapweed, the pasture's curse, When it blooms, you can almost forgive it. They say also that bees use it to make excellent honey. Where are the bees, anyway? Someone I know thinks it is the cell phone towers. If so, I guess people would give up the bees. The cherries were ripe when I was here, and they were the best I have ever had. So there must have been a few bees left. I wonder what the answer to this mystery is . . .

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Grass at dawn

Grass at dawn
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Sleeping Bear Dunes. The air was still and very fresh. I never would have gotten up this early it I hadn't been going with a group. At this time of year, many grass seeds had fallen and they were accumulating in little cup-shaped depressions in the sand.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The path into sunlight. Follow me!

The path into sunlight
Originally uploaded by jhhymas

How is one an individual
and how is one's fate
shaped in interplay
with other persons?
How does one
in turn contribute
to forming those persons?
How close can
one really BE to
other people?
How is an individual
vis-à-vis another individual?
How do I become myself?
How have I really been with you?
How have I come to displace my own self
in order to fit in with other selves?
Where does one self merge with another?

—Alva Myrdal near the end of her life in a letter to her daughter, Sissela Bok

As a parent, and as a daughter and grandaughter, I was struck by this passage. I've been saving this quote for a long time. Look up Sissela Bok on Google to read about her philosophy and the work of her illustrious parents. You will have food for thought for many a long day.

Then go take a walk in a nature preserve like the one in the photo. Or in a garden. Take someone special with you, if you can.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stone wrinkled like flesh

Stone wrinkled like flesh
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I love this rock which was too big to carry home, and it belongs on the beach anyway! At some time, it must have been molten in the bowels of the earth. It's got somewhat of the adorable bulky quality of the manatee, or the elephant. Also a sort of ineffable patience.

The weather has been very hot today. Tonight I went to the Township meeting, to watch America in action. Many things about finishing the new fire hall reminded me of when I was involved in building and refurbishing libraries. Things have to be done correctly and following rules and procedures, and yet as cheaply as possible. Your tax dollars at work . . .

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mystery yellow flower

Originally uploaded by jhhymas

If anyone can identify this plant which was found growing on a sand dune near Lake Michigan outside of Harbor Springs, please leave me a comment. None of the people on the nature walk knew what it was.

Look carefully. Do not be confused by the leaves of the wild grape which twine around the plant. It has reddish stems and narrow alternate leaves.

Caught Sky

Caught Sky
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I keep feeliing that I hvae nothing to say. Although if I get started there is always plenty. The Kyrie from Beethoven's MIssa Solemnis just began on my beloved Vox channel on XM Satellite radio. (Now I start to feel like an ad, one of those where two people discuss laundry detergent.) I wish I had done more singing when my voice was good. Those choir things where you lift your voice and are surrounded by the music are such transcendent experiences.
This pond always has such beautiful reflections on morning bird walks. I am very grateful to the Petoskey Regional Audubon Society for their outings.