Sunday, June 16, 2019

Nature's Jewelry


Olga and I walked to the Heath yesterday, where we found this colorful pair of thick-legged flower beetles (Oedemera nobilis). I don't recall ever seeing a gold variety of this insect before -- only green ones. And so cool to find them together! I always call these "David Bowie beetles," with their glittery shiny shells and those expanded legs. They're like jewelry.

Anyway, we had a good walk. (When do we not?) Olga never used to be a barker, but now she barks all the time. It's the strangest thing. If we ever stop momentarily she drops her ball and barks repeatedly, but she won't let me pick it up or throw it. She's saying, "Ha! I have it and you don't!"


Here's yesterday's bit of found pottery. I have quite a bowl of these chips accumulating on the dining room windowsill!

Last night I subjected Dave to another old movie -- "Farewell, My Lovely" from 1975. We watched it in honor of Sylvia Miles, who died this week. I know her mainly from "Midnight Cowboy," one of my favorite movies, where she plays Cass, the high-rise glamazon who seduces Joe Buck and then wheedles cash out of him. She has some of the best lines in the film. I'd never seen "Farewell, My Lovely," which features her other most prominent movie role. It's a noir murder mystery based on Raymond Chandler and truthfully, it's over the top -- it's so noir that it's almost a parody, with the hard-bitten detective uttering crisp one-liners in between hails of bullets. (About ten people die during the course of the film.) But she's great, as is Robert Mitchum, who plays Philip Marlowe.

So, yeah, we toasted Sylvia. Or I did, anyway. Dave tolerated her.

Also on the pop culture front, I finished Jeannette Walls' book "The Glass Castle" yesterday -- an excellent read. It reminds me of Tara Westover's "Educated" in that it's about a girl with a very unconventional, isolated, even abusive family who somehow manages to extract herself and go on to great things. Definitely recommended.

This is what summer is going to be -- me, wandering around with the dog and discovering nature and reading and watching movies and gardening. After this week, that is. I haven't mentioned it yet, but this week I'm going to Germany for a five-day teacher-training course at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism, part of the Plum Village community led by Thich Nhat Hanh. One of my colleagues is leading the course, and as I used to practice Buddhism when I lived in New York, I thought it would be interesting to attend. (My professional development allowance through school even pays for it!) I leave on Tuesday, and I'll take you all with me! Should be interesting!

16 comments:

gz said...

A very suitable description of those iridescent beetles..good photo

Alphie Soup said...

Sounds like a good summer holiday in the offing.
Alphie

Ms. Moon said...

No! You did not tell us about going to Germany. How exciting!
Pretty little jeweled bugs.

robin andrea said...

Love the beetles photo. Sounds like a wonderful journey to Germany. I'm looking forward to reading about your experience there, Applied Buddhism sounds so interesting.

Red said...

Never miss a chance for PD.

Sharon said...

What unique opportunity. I look forward to hearing about it. I love that photo with the beetles. They are a colorful pair.
I went to see the new movie "Late Night" starring one of your neighbors. I enjoyed it very much even though the story is a bit predictable. The acting was great.

Arlene said...

Looking forward to your blog posts from Germany! I don’t think my school would have considered this PD like yours does. I love it! The pretty green beetle looks like an emerald leaf borer that is devastating ash trees in eastern Canada and northeast US :( Safe travels.

Marty said...

What an interesting trip to be taking. Some of my PD events were deadly, but every now and then we'd get a good one.
I wonder how Olga's hearing is? Our old (and wonderful) cat Satchel grew deaf in his later years and after being almost silent most of his life, would MEOW! quite loudly.

Catalyst said...

You are living a fascinating life, Steve. If I live long enough I'll look for your life story in book form some day.

Comox Valley and beyond said...

Sounds like your summer is of to a good start Steve.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You have got the haircut. All you need now is the saffron robes. Make sure you get a picture of yourself sitting cross-legged in a fog of incense.

e said...

Sounds like you have wonderful plans. I look forward to hearing more.

jenny_o said...

Those beetles ARE like jewellery - I've seen lots of beetle brooches/necklaces and wondered "why??" and now I know :) Although their legs look as bit like they're been hitting the steroids . . .

I thought The Glass Castle was a good book too. It's amazing how children can be so resilient. I'm sure there must be emotional scars underneath it all, though.

Have a great trip! Professional Development is so much better when it's something of personal interest too.

Linda Sue said...

Pretty bugs!
German in a quiet place for five days sounds great!
No running around , just peace in your soul. Fabulous.

Sabine said...

I hope you will have a good time in Germany. You'll be about 2 hrs east from us. In the woodlands, so should be ok in the heat. And pleasant if it rains, which is what we are all hoping for (but only at night).

37paddington said...

Wonderful that you're doing that Buddhism retreat. And your summer plan sounds perfect.