Sunday, June 23, 2013

Strange Flora

Olga and I found this very autumnal leaf while walking yesterday. I guess nature sheds and renews all the time, doesn't it? You wouldn't believe the trouble I went through to photograph it -- bringing it home, putting it in bright indirect light, turning it so the shiny leaf surface produced no glare, setting the exposure and aperture so I could get everything in focus with my macro lens. I'm still not sure I succeeded, but c'est la vie.

Yesterday was Dave's 45th birthday -- I keep forgetting he's younger than me! We had a modest celebration. Dave cooked up Escoffier Quenelles -- his greatest pleasure is to cook something unusual and French, and he'd never made these before -- and I gave him some swanky, colorful socks from Paul Smith and a gift certificate to the Le Creuset store around the corner. We're also going to dinner tomorrow night at a place the identity of which I cannot yet reveal.

While walking this morning, Olga and I came across this strange vegetative creature atop a parking meter. God only knows what it originally held. (Well, I suppose it originally held watermelon, but what later preparation, I mean.) Maybe it's left over from a little neighborhood street fair that Olga and I encountered yesterday. We checked it out, but the weather was gray and it didn't look like anyone was doing a booming business. I felt sorry for the lonely woman at the frozen yogurt stand.

Temperatures are in the 50s at the moment, and yesterday BBC weather showed a huge, swirling, ragged vortex of storms sitting on top of the British isles. It looked like a hurricane, but the weather is nowhere near that severe. Just intermittently rainy and gray. So there's not a lot of getting out and about.

I'm beginning to doubt my ability to read a book. I'm on Nadine Gordimer's "A Sport of Nature," about a young woman growing up in South Africa, and I am not finding it riveting. I love reading, but I have had the hardest time with the last several books I've chosen. Maybe I need to be more selective, or just read stuff that's more fun and less challenging. I honestly can't remember the last time I read a real page-turner, and I love that feeling -- when you're so into a book you literally cannot put it down.


  1. I feel the same way about the books I've read of late -- I think it's only memoir right now that captivates me. I do look forward to reading Colum McCann's new novel, and I bought some obscure book called "Independent People" by Haldor Laxness who evidently won a Nobel Prize in Literature. I'll keep you posted --

  2. I think you did a great job in capturing your leaf! Beautiful photo.

    Happy Belated B-Day to Dave!

    I think your watermelon held a very tasty cocktail for a number of people given all the straws! ;)

    I haven't had a really good page turner in a long while either.

  3. I was going to say what Lynne did- that the watermelon may have been infused with vodka.
    And yes, happy birthday to Dave. I bet that fish he cooked was delicious!
    I don't know if you'd like it but I just listened to the audio version of J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. Maybe it was a combination of the book itself and the narrator who was tremendous but I found myself making work so that I could listen as I swept, folded, weeded, etc. I did enjoy it.

  4. Leaf macro worth your trouble. Would look good as a big canvas wall art piece.

  5. Your leaf looks like the art my friend, Tyree does. Very cool- I agree with Peter. Have a wonderful bd celebration- I always forget that everyone is not the same age- as old as I am.

  6. Happy Belated Birthday to Dave...Perhaps we'll meet one day...

    That watermelon may have held a large cocktail, as another commenter observed, given where you found it...
    Rowling's The Casual Vacancy has also been recommended to me, but even my librarian friends are having trouble coming up with wonderful recommendations.

    The last truly memorable book you could not bear to put down was what?

    People read differently online than they do in print...perhaps that has a bearing on your situation...other bloggers have mentioned it over the time that I've been blogging as well.

  7. Happy late birthday to Dave!

    Love the leaf!

    Since I read (usually) light fluffy stuff I can't really make a recommendation. If you like murder mysteries I think you might enjoy the Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow. Maybe. Who knows? Ha! I got in a rut last year & listened to all the Harry Potter books again :)

  8. More fun, less challenging, unless the challenge is fun. Life is short!

  9. Love the leaf. I agree with the calls to enlarge/canvas it for the wall.

  10. Oh and I recently got sucked into Robert Massie's _Catherine the Great_, which was a surprise because I don't usually go for door-stop-style historical tomes. Too hard to lug around and I'm always reading like 5 books at once. But it's engrossing! Check it out!