I took this photo on April 1, 2020, but the image feels appropriate for today. This afternoon I had a productive phone conversation with an elected official about pending legislation that would greatly reduce jail populations in Colorado. I’m feeling hopeful.
Bulbs planted by neighbor who now lives in Hawaii and undoubtedly remembers exactly what this is.
And what’s more hopeful than brave flowers pushing through the soil, year after year?
Sky honors Barry B’s passing on Feb 4, 2021
You loved life, sunsets
flying your plane way up high
made the sky your own
December 13, 2020
big lens caught him from afar
Rainbow Dash, December 18, 2020.
Spied on the neighbor
chasing tail in falling snow
no one happier
Marcel rehearsing his scary face. January 25, 2020.
People in the neighborhood are being creative with their candy offerings. One house has a long tube running from an upstairs window to the driveway. I think the trick or treaters are supposed to shout in the tube to make candy come down. Another house has a catapult. We’re setting out candy on a table in the driveway which isn’t nearly as creative, but it’s still a fine chocolate-delivery system.
August 22, 2020
Over the past several years, my partner has bemoaned the scarcity of magpies in our yard. We’d see them throughout the neighborhood, but they weren’t spending much time in our yard anymore. We missed their raucous energy.
Then one day last month (which just happened to be our wedding anniversary), we noticed a whole bunch of magpies in our neighbors’ backyard, their trees, and on the fence between us. We’d hit the magpie jackpot! But why?
Rainbow peering through the fence at magpies frolicking in our bird bath. August 15, 2020
Well, according to our neighbor, when he came home that day to find his yard filled with magpies, he was equally puzzled. Then he went to feed his dog and couldn’t find the nearly-full bag of chow, which was also a puzzle. So he stepped out in the yard and pieced together the sequence of events. His doggo had dragged the bag of food into the yard, scattering the kibble everywhere. The smart corvids had quickly found the treasure.
They also immediately found our bath and took turns tidying up.
August 15, 2020
And as a sign of their appreciation for the use of our facilities, they began leaving gifts for us on the deck rail and tucked away on the steps.
The best news is they’re still hanging around and we’re treated to magpie sightings every day.
Four Black-billed Magpies. August 15, 2020
We salute you, Rainbow Dash. Pure genius.
Two days ago, a neighbor a couple houses up the street started flying one of those TR*MP Keep America Great flags. It made me ill. Yesterday, the house across the street from that flag-flying home displayed their own Keep America Great flag. Today? The house next to that second house is sporting a Tr*mp yard sign.
I can’t even.
Shall we begin with the fact that this country, built on genocide and slavery, was never great for a whole lot of people? Or the blatant transfer of money and power to the already rich and powerful? Maybe the rollback of environmental regulations and climate denialism? The deployment of Homeland Security to crack protestors’ heads and shoot them in the faces? Or maybe the 1,000 COVID-19 deaths per day? Etc., etc., etc.? Great, indeed.
My reaction to the neighbors? I wanted to fly an Antifa flag, but Zippy worried the ignorance surrounding that message would result in violence directed at us. So what was his preferred message? F*ck Tr*mp. While I approve that sentiment, this moment is much larger than that loathsome individual. Negotiation ensued.
I’m pleased to announce I found a message we’re both happy to display.
I also ordered an Earth flag to replace the one we displayed during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Many people in our neighborhood fly U.S. flags and I doubt they’ll even see past all their red, white, and blue, but that’s okay. An earth flag will help me remember we’re all in this together.
ETA: Here’s something from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Does any of this sound familiar?
Neighbor’s yard. April 1, 2020.
After 20 days of not feeling well, I’m regaining my health. Still have my morning cough episodes, but yesterday I walked the neighborhood (2.25 miles, yo!) and today did yard clean-up for three hours and then took another walk. I’m tired now, but not to-the-bone-fatigued. Whatever illness was dogging me, it’s on the way out. Woot! Woot! Woot!
To celebrate, here’s a beautiful little bouquet I photographed in my neighbor’s yard.
Yes, it’s snowing again in Colorado. At this point in the year, I’d prefer the sunshine and warmer temperatures we’ve had the past week or so, but this storm has it perks. Exhibit A: looking out my window at Rainbow.
Rainbow Dash (so-named in honor of My Little Pony)
As I write this, she’s still out there, content to let the snow accumulate on her beautiful, thick fur.
It’s currently 22 degrees outside.
November 11, 2019
If I were a nicer person, I’d offer this fox a couple pairs of warm, woolen socks.
As it is, I’m staying inside where I can absorb the heat from my laptop as I work on my new writing project that makes me happy, happy, happy.
It’s a whole new week, people. Let’s do this!
For the first time in the 22+ years we’ve lived here, there’ve been multiple bear sightings in our neighborhood. Maybe not so surprising since we’re adjacent to a whole bunch of open space.
I’m not sure who shat this scat, but I could make a guess. But whoever it was did the deed on our neighbor’s driveway. The brand new driveway she’s so particular about that she was recently out there scrubbing and scrubbing at a few oil drips. So when I saw this pile of berry remains I knew she wouldn’t be happy.
But when the pile was still there the next day I realized my neighbor was out of town. Here was my chance! So I went over to photograph the remains before picking it up. (Note: I did not scrub the concrete). I wanted to get rid of the evidence so she wouldn’t know a bear had possibly come calling. My neighbor isn’t exactly wildlife-friendly. She throws rocks at bunnies that “eat my lawn” and last spring purposely drove over a snake she saw in the street in front of her house. (That’s right, she got in her car and started it up for the express purpose of killing a snake. Thankfully, it didn’t die and I helped it escape her wrath, which she then directed at me). I figured if she found out that a bear might’ve taken a dump on her driveway, she’d either be out front with a cannon or would call in the National Guard or Ted Nugent.**
So let’s keep this little story between us, okay?
** Zippy did spot her outside scrubbing at the berry stain.
The other day I saw a neighbor walking up the street ahead of me. In 2016, that white woman displayed a political sign in support of Agent Orange (something I don’t think I’ll ever forgive or forget), and when I saw her walking along in her red T-shirt I experienced a surge of anger. That red shirt triggered a stream of expletives about how she supported a white supremacist. (Poor Zippy had to endure that volcanic eruption.) Stupid mean people. Stupid red shirt.
But you know what? All the horrible racist people in this country don’t own the color red. Red is a beautiful color. Red belongs to all of us.
Cave Creek Canyon Ranch. May 16, 2019.
And no one wears it better than this dapper Northern Cardinal.
Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My iris haven’t begun blooming yet, so I’m posting this photo from last April in anticipation of the splendor that’s in store for us.
I’m forever grateful to my former neighbor, Tina, for sharing her iris-love with me. She had many different iris in her vast gardens and when I first began digging in the soil, creating my own little patch of beauty, she’d toss iris tubers over the fence. I’m pretty sure this photographed iris is one of those long-ago gifts.
It’s October 1st which means it’s time for our neighbors across the street to display their creepy inflatables. So far, there’s no sign of the coked-out cat from last year.
But, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what’s out there right now. It’s very windy and the inflatables aren’t standing at attention. When I passed them earlier, I thought that long, cylindrical inflatable was somehow attached to the jack o’ lantern.
However, from this angle, it looks more like a pumpkin-head dracula doing a face-plant.
Or maybe he dropped a contact. Whatever his deal, I’m just glad he’s not staring in my window.
Zippy and I just took Emma for a walk around our neighborhood. As we walked, we noted the bright, outdoor lights shining on the marjority of houses we passed. It was a relief whenever we passed dark houses. A break for our eyes.
As annoying as those bright lights are for me, they can be life and death for birds during migration time. (And yes, I understand that lights on tall buildings are more problematic for birds than suburban lighting.)
Photo: NASA Earth Observatory
I still wish that all people, both urban and suburban, worried less about what might be lurking in the dark, and more about the well-being of our feathered friends. Excessive lighting is just that.
My neighbors have stopped celebrating the 4th of July!
To everyone who had fun without the benefit of explosives,
my dogs and I salute you!
To whomever is lighting fires in the open space surrounding my neighborhood:
Today’s post is brought to you by people who no longer live here. The first tulip was planted by former neighbors, but not when we were gardening side-by-side. Rather, they did one of their infamous “drive-by plantings” when we weren’t looking, and gifted us some miniature tulips.
The next tulip is a senior citizen and was planted by the former owners of our house. Next month, we’ll have lived here 20 years.
That red flower is a lesson in being beautifully tenacious.
A while back I blogged about discovering the perfect sign for the times. I went ahead and ordered two (in case one got stolen OR someone was keen to add a sign to their own yard).
The bright and welcoming little sign has been out front for a while.
Yesterday, as Zippy and I walked across the yard while heading out for Emma’s daily jaunt, he spotted something:
A scribble of thanks from another human being sharing the planet.
Every time I read those words, my heart swells with gratitude and a renewed sense of connection. Thank you, Helga M., for taking the time to reach out.
This morning I was in my living room when I felt eyes upon me. I looked up and out the window.
I’d noticed these inflatable horrors in the new neighbors’ yard yesterday, but at that time the leering jack o’ lanterns and coked-out cat were oriented toward the street. Somehow, they’ve all pivoted a bit to the right so that they’re now staring across the street and directly into my living room window.