Saturday, December 05, 2009

Into Portland by Air and quickly out again

Perhaps the touches of gold are bright autumn aspens. Three bridges, lagoons, wetlands, freeways, industry. A stunning variety of interesting shapes which makes me (again) want to be an artist. The HAND OF MAN where the water meets the land is interesting from a distance. It seemed odd to change planes in Portland to fly from San Jose to Boise. but hey . . . The airport was nice, but the change was so fast (unload and the next plane is loading across the aisle) that I didn't really get to experience Oregon. I have been thinking a lot about writing and photography, but sorrowfully not writing it down here. And we are now close to the dreaded holidays. . .
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Snow covered glory

Somewhere between San Jose and Portland, I looked out and saw this glorious volcanic beauty. I had decided that the light wouldn't be good and I wasn't going to bother to take pictures on this flight. Now I changed my mind and grabbed the tiny scarlet Lumix that S got me for Christmas two years ago. It lives in my purse in a neoprene sleeve. (This year, I want an iPhone, but alas, not an iPhone bill.)
What do you want for Christmas?? My family keeps asking . . .
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Friday, November 27, 2009

Light through the tender leaves

A glowing Japanese maple in the garden of my niece; I spent Thanksgiving Day there with my visiting brother, her father, and my sister and lots of other lovely people. I had to write on a construction paper maple leaf what I was thankful for. I wrote I was thankful for BROTHERS and SISTERS. And that is true. It was a lovely meal on a gorgeous table. Thank you, Heidi!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The beauty of water vapor

Tonight we had a wonderful time at my writer's group.
Heavenly, you might almost say. I've missed them and will be missing the December meeting as well.
Sleep tight.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autumn Flight

Coming into Reno in gorgeous light. No place is more beautiful than the great intermountain west of the good old USA! I had a lovely flight on Southwest. The aircraft had the cleanest unscratched window I have ever had on a flight. I refreshed myself with hundreds of pictures of clouds, canyons, cities and mountains. And now it is time to go to bed. Good night, golden trees.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tales of Effie

I find this picture pretty darned irresistible! The woman at the right is Effie Redd [Jamieson] the sister of my mother's mother. I do not know the rest of the story. I do know that she was raised in Mexico in the Mormon colonies there. This limp and slighly bedragged finery is swell, dontcha think? I'll be through scanning these pictures eventually. Then I plan to distribute the originals to people who will treasure them the way my mother did. Wish me luck!
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Story in lavendars and blues

Here I am at the Monterey Bay in 1983. This has always been one of my favorite photographs of myself. I am wearing a big loose lavendar shirt and a dark blue wraparound skirt which was made out of that heavy, coarsely woven cotton fabric from India that is so comfortable and used to be ubiquitous in those lightweight bedspreads useful to hippies. No polyester, nothing except the comfort of cotton. I was surprised when this photo, taken by C.J., my foster daughter, repeats the lavendars and blues of my outfit. It was taken on Kodachrome; this scan is from a print I sent my mother, which she taped to her wall. My friend Paul had one framed in his apartment when he died of AIDS in 1990. My brother, who died of cancer in 1997, told me he taped his to a window, so he could feel like he stood behind me looking out at the beach, even in hot Texas weather. All of these loved people are now dead, and I no longer know where C.J. is. The me of this photo also no longer exists, except in this memory thread. I still think I would like to decorate a room in these colors.
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Saturday, November 07, 2009

I went to the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit in the Boise Art Museum in Julia Davis Park yesterday. The park was filled with city geese, you could tractically walk up to and pet. When I finished at the museum, I took more pictures of them, The wheels of my car just show in this picture. I had just missed the parking ticket person who ticketed me for parking 2 hours and 4 minutes in a 2 hour zone. Not even a 5 minute grace period, Boise City??? Could it be because I had California plates? No other cars were in sight.
A row of geese was using the gutter as a drinking fountain. Notice the rings in the water below the goose with a blurred head who has just taken a drink and raises his head to swallow. Some of the geese stood on the curb and some facing the curb. Here's a video, showing the odd, balletic grace of their drinking postures.
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Friday, November 06, 2009

The beaver's handiwork

I think I wanted to buy this house
because of the beaver--it seemed so wild and free!
A couple of weeks ago he moseyed up in the night
and took out my next-door neighbor's
Golden Delicious Apple. A shame, really, but look at the classic beaver technique demonstrated in this photo. The chiseling to a sharp point!
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Monday, October 26, 2009

My aunt Marjory

I never got to know her very well; she died in 1950 when she was only 40 years old. I was fifteen then and she lived in Arizona, while I was in Schenectady growing up. She was always my ideal for female beauty and elegance. I think this was her dog, but I don't know the name. She was also a horsewoman and looked great in jodhpurs.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

A picnic I cannot remember

That's me at the far right. I'm paying close attention to the food item in my hands. Since I would not have been there without her, I assume my mother is taking the photo. This picnic must have taken place during my mother's visit to Arizona to show her oldest child to her family in April, 1937. This is very much how I looked (center part, two little bows) in the newspaper photo accompanying the report of our visit. I suppose we came on the train. The boy in the front near me is clearly my cousin, Rae Brimhall, and the boy at the left end is almost certainly his older brother, Dwayne Brimhall. That means the baby is probably their sister, Marilyn Brimhall. Much, much later, she married John Hales and became the mother of many children whose names all start with the letter K. I do not recognize their parents in the adults in the picture. The woman in the dark dress and hat at the far left is my maternal grandmother, Susie Butler, who grew up in Colonia Juarez, in the Mormon Mexican colonies. She and her husband and the two oldest children left Mexico during the civil unrest at the time of the revolution. She was pregnant with my mother at the time. My Aunt Louise Butler [Rickel] is in the center looking at the camera and wearing a dark sweater. I am going to ask her to identify the other adults; she is probably the only person living who could do so. I found this picture in the boxes that had been in storage since my mother died; I don't remember seeing it before. Where were YOU in 1937; I was here.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Far snowcaps

Just one more--it is quiet in the Bozeman Holiday Inn and the snowy bed linens are very inviting. Good night.
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Montana in black and white

And here is another one.
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Spent the day driving from Miles City to Bozeman. This is one of the fromthecars of the drive. I'm having trouble with the other (and newest) camera today. It looks like I might be glad I got the warranty. I love the natural gardens formed in the great west by erosion. This is one of them. And I think beautiful.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Driving to Fargo

P1020334bw up
Originally uploaded by jhhymas

We made Fargo on the second day out! The drive was through miles and miles of autumn woods. The tops of the poplars and the tamaracks were outstanding, as were the revealed twiggy structures. I was playing with the black and white function on my newest camera and reading the manual--I am still having trouble finding the functions. This doesn't show the color, but does show the complicated and yet repeated-verticals structures that I was admiring.
We are in the Kelly Inn, which is one of my favorite motels, since I could walk over to a Barnes and Noble! I got a book by Jamaica Kincaid about her trip to Nepal. And I'm going to get in bed right now and start reading. I'm sorry, Jamaica, that your book was remaindered as part of the wierd world of publishing today. But happy that I found it there. . . I also got a blank book made with handmade lokta paper, as part of the weird world of the global marketplace. Had tp pay the regular price with only my B & N discount.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Welcome, little girl goat!

Here she is in the back of Tanner's truck, getting ready to be introduced to her new companions in my daughter's barn. She's 1/4 Nubian, which gives her that pretty coloring, and the other 3/4 Alpine, which is also a good milk goat. Isn't it the kind that Heidi had? It looks like the ones in the book.
This is Picasa's last chance to upload a picture. Miserable failures in two previous posts. I like the bigger size, even though the Flickr clickthrough is very nice. If Flickr uploads a picture, it is too small. (See previous post.)
Yesterday, I read through the whole blog of Tei Matsushita Scott, each of whose paintings are inspired by a feeling in a poem. Her blog is very much the blog I wanted to have written; I keep tending toward the mundane.
We leave in exactly one week. . . Sigh.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Departing Autumn

In morning light, this picture was taken from the porch two days ago, the day after I got back from the haiku retreat at Asilomar. Three hours ago, we left for Bill's Farm Market to pick up five half bushels of #2 tomatoes and one half-bushel of peppers, plus four bags of onions, and bunches of oregano and basil for my daughter's canning. It was getting cold and I went back to the house for a coat I had not worn all year. Before we even reached the farm market, the weather had changed. A glacial wind raked the market hill. I put up the hood and tied its drawstring. I got the gloves out of the pocket and put them on.
I looked for my wool scarf, but I had taken it out of these pockets to go on the boat ride when Tanner was here.
A family was loading into Bill's wagon for a hay ride. They all had the hoods on their sweatshirts up and tied tight. They were laughing and we were all laughing at them, because it was a lovely day, I am sure, when they started out to go on a hayride. And now?? They did look young enough to survive. . .
As we drove home, red and yellow leaves were blown across the road in the fierce, gusting wind. When we got home, we lit the first hearthfire of the season. For several minutes, there were actual flakes of SNOW! falling, and blown by the fierce wind, making diagonals against the trees. Now it is quiet, but still very cold. The golden flames are beautiful in the firebox.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Nope, nothing on the roof

Our friends in the other rooms said it sounded louder than Santa Claus. Tromp, tromp, tromp.

I'm at the Haiku Retreat at Asilomar and sound asleep. The smoke alarm goes off and then stops and then goes off again, We can smell something acrid, like burning wiring, and when we go outside and look back into the room, we can see a little smokiness gathering under the peaked roof. There are no phones in the room, but we call the front desk and the Fire Department is summoned. Three engines lit the paarking lot almost as bright as day and finally discovered that the wall heater, which comes on at 50 degrees (we hadn't bothered to turn it on) had finally tired of trying to force heated air out into the bed and bedspread which had been pushed against it for a long time. There were no flames or actual ignition, but it is trying to move rooms in the middle of the night, with only token help from the one staff member on duty. I didn't think the pictures would come out and I didn't start soon enough, but the pictures turned out better than I thought they would. This one best demonstrates the feeling of the brightly lit parking lot.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I just fell in love

With this picture. This is to remind me to work with it when I get back!
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Boathouses on Crooked River

Last September 13 (a lucky day, really, it was the day before my 74th birthday) I mentioned the boathouses on the Crooked River. I had been meaning to make a photo stop there, and thus reminded myself. So here's the result--no clouds though--and pretty harsh light. Picturesque, no? And somewhat falling into ruin. But the reflections are always good, in almost any light.
I have been trying all day to pack very carefully, almost ethereally, and only what I need, for a quick trip to our Yuki Teikei Haiku Retreat at Asilomar. The problem is, I'm taking only two cameras and three lenses for one of them. Then I need the battery chargers, the cellphone charger, my Kindle and its charger, a couple of sketchbooks, some pens and a watercolor set, maybe some markers or crayons, which I often don't use, but cannot stand to be without. I'm also taking some little prizes and gifts, and some duplicated handouts for the session I am leading. Then I have a New Yorker, and a Threepenny Review that just came, to read on the plane. And a little pillow to put between my knees when I sleep because of my back. I think I will also take Brenda Hillman's new book of poems, which just came. I am in love with Amazon and it is a costly love, let me tell you, but since I left the library, I really need to surround myself with books.
Yesterday, I went to Challenge Mountain and got another of the dolls that someone makes to support this charity. This one has blonde curls, a green dress with a ruffle, and natch, a pinafore. Too cute. Maybe I'll take her portrait when I come back. Trips always make me nervous; I keep waking up trying to remember if I packed whatever, or whatever . . . Do YOU take travel in your stride???
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Evening approaches

What is more beautiful than a broad expanse of water? And fading light toward the end of the day? So many things to cram in one more time before winter sets in. And all the moored boats we saw on this ride are taken out of the water and sheltered for next year. And the life jackets hung in the boathouse. Good night. . .
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Along Indian River

Along Indian River on a late summer boat ride. Wonderful evening light and my grandson here for a short visit. There was that autumn chill in the air.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sun coming up this morning

Coming up through the mist. I saw it before the fireball was visible, but by the time I grabbed the camera and got outside, it was like this, and I could only take the picture by moving so some of the sun was obscured by trees. I feel like I haven't been here long enough and it is only a few short weeks until we leave.
We did get the crabapple tree--a named variety Spring Snow--delivered today! John, from the Wilson Farms, put it into the hole that Trey dug. We are trying to think of some nice way to show out appreciation. All around town now, different kinds of crab apples hang on trees cultivated and semi-wild. There are two trees on Banwell Road with crimson globes that last on the tree for a long time. I wonder if you can plant crabapples from seeds. These trees have been there a long time and seem very suited to this area. I think I will try.
In about eight hours the sun will come up--it's rising much later now--we are far enough north that the difference is striking.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tangerines in a line

I've been away from this other garden too long. This was in February, a bit before garden clean-up time. The tangerines were still quite good and the grandgirls had a fine time harvesting them. As I get further and further away from mommy-time, I forget to think about how much fun kids find in everyday life, and how creative their pursuits can be.
It is fun for me now to visit old groups of photos and see what I can find. In film-time, I wouldn't have been able so handily to shift through large amounts of stuff. I should delete a lot more than I do. I should use more of the capabilites of my camera. I have a new Lumix and I cannot find the way to set the aperture through the menu. I know you can, the instructions didn't help me, and I need to work on it more.
I have a tendency to accumulate little tasks that I set myself. They pile up and then I do a whole bunch of them at a time after the shame has become almost unbearable. If I have agreed to write something, I should write it! I made an agreement with myself about this blog and am keeping it but poorly. A couple of other big things are pending: my mother's book and my poetry manuscript for just two. I think I'll go to bed.
Or, not. I have a fondness for what the organization books call "C" tasks--s opposed to "A" tasks, or the important goal-focused ones--like putting tangerines in a beautiful line that shows off their color and subtle variation of shape. If I have ever been interested in something, I keep on being interested in it, even if it is clear that I probably won't do much needlepoint, birdwatching, dolls and dollhouse-making, quilting, aperture or shutter-speed setting. So if there is another book on wolves, or trees, or by Frank Bidart, or Louise Gluck, or Adam Zagajewsji, or Bernd Heinrich, well. I need that, too. And let's not even talk about laying in a supply of blank books, for sketching, or haiku. . . or maybe just tugging at the memory thread with a pen or pencil in hand.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunflowers of summer

In my daughter's garden, these will stand all winter and many birds will come for snacks. But they will never be more beautiful than they were at the end of August. The roof of the her goat barn is just visible. Her excellent goat is still giving lots of milk. My husband loves this milk. Before we came, our daughter was making soft cheese and yoghurt from the milk. Now, nearly every day, she brings him some in a quart jar. He uses it on his cereal with blueberries every day.
The leaves are turning, soon it will be time to take those leaf-peeping photos. I'm hoping for good weather.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

End of Summer at Wilderness State Park

End of Summer
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
At this time of year, the woodland light increases as the leaves thin out. Before the month is gone these maple leaves will redden and fall. But now this branch arches with such a lucent greenness.
Tonight my daughter fixed just-picked corn, green beans, new potatoes and chicken for dinner. S had made a truly incredible rhubarb pie with rhubarb stalks we had frozen last year. These are my favorite suppers of the year--they remind me so much of the home garden suppers we had in the late 1940s. In what now seems like Old-Time America.

My father puts on old clothes to dig in our garden after work. He wears an old white shirt with the collar cut off, the collarband on. He rolls up the sleeves. He has a strong body and beautiful strong arms.

He never whined about working, or acted lazy in any way. He could fix anything, and did. Very lucky in fathers, I was, we--all of us brothers and sisters--were.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Morning at Sturgeon Bay

I have to thank the Petoskey Regional Audubon Society for the discovery of this beautiful northern Michigan place. I hope you just clicked on that so you can see the floating gull. One of the things that pleases me most about the parks and woodlands here at the Tip of the Mitt is the way the plants arrange themselves, reaching for light and water, in such attractive ways without benefit of human gardening. This picture is a very good demonstration of that. There is a small lagoon formed by a small sandbar; there are rows of grasses and flowering plants arranged in groups and broad sweeps. It all seems just about perfect.
There are trails through the woods here and paths along the shore. On our birdwalk last weekend we didn't see that many birds--it's hard to time the autumn migrations in advance--but there were many late wildflowers I hadn't seen before. They had wonderful names like Nodding Ladies Tresses and Fringed Gentian. And I suppose I must mention my favorite name on this outing (and it was hard to choose!) the Grass of Parnassus, of which I had never heard. Was there ever any more beautiful blue than this??