Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blackbirds at dusk


Blackbirds at dusk, a set on Flickr.

Every evening I hear these birds squawking as they all come to perch in the oak trees up the hill. It's a little like Hichcock's The Birds

Gold Finches

Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

The gold finches really enjoyed the thistle from the feeder this morning. Several nonbreeding adults also came by. Below is my favorite image. It's hard to get both birds to look at the camera!


See the rest of the pictures here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

iPad test

I am testing an iPAD 1. It took some getting used to since I am not familiar with the operating system. It does work pretty well with a keyboard. I think I am so used to using a keyboard that typing on the screen seems weird! I will be taking this to a meeting tomorrow to take notes. It should certainly last longer than a laptop, as far as batteries go.

I do really like the graphics and the sound. More to follow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flowers in a Tire

I don't remember planting any flowers in this tire. Maybe we did?

We planted these shrubs last summer. this particular one was a replacement that went in late in the season. I hope they make it this spring!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Flowers

As the days are getting warmer the flowers around the house have started to bloom. The previous owners had beds of bulbs everywhere. We have been trying to rein them in, but they seem to be spreading even more. So here are some pictures as they evolve. These pictures are from today, 3/22.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Russian Journal

A few weeks ago I heard about a writer who tried to trace the route that Steinbeck traveled for his Travels with Charley. I never read Travels with Charley, aside from an excerpt that was in a high school literature book. But the new book made me think of another Steinbeck book I had read, A Russian Journal. I decided to reread the book that I fortunately found in our library. 

It's a short book, detailing Steinbeck's trip to Russia with photographer Robert Capa in 1948. Their goal was to get to meet ordinary Russian people, just as the cold war was getting underway. This was a time when Russia was very much closed off from the world at the height of Stalin's rule. In addition to Moscow, Steinbeck and Capa visited Kiev, farms in the Ukraine, and several cities and farms in Georgia. They also participated in the 800 year anniversary of the founding of Moscow.

The book has no political commentary on the differences between the USA and Russia, apart from humorous descriptions on dealing with Russia bureaucracy. Instead, we are shown how the Russian people were trying to recovery form the devastation of WWII. The description of the Ukrainian women dancing together after a hard day working on the farm because there were no young men, was particularly poignant. The book really the lives of the people. Steinbeck acknowledges that he didn't see the prison camps or the sensitive areas. Instead he excels in his sympathetic descriptions of the people he met.

This was the era where heavy drinking seemed to be expected, especially among the expatriate journalist community. Those were the days! Reading this book makes me want to go back to reread the Steinbeck classics.

Posted via email from Black Gap Road