Sunday, November 19, 2006


I almost missed the Ceranus Blue butterflies, they are so small. Wingspan of less than an inch, more like 3/4 inch. I was minding my own business when my eye caught a tiny flicker of lavender in among the dried grasses....

Hemiargus ceraunus, Family Lycaenidae (Gossamer-Winged Butterflies). Caterpillars feed on plants in the pea family. This species ranges throughout the southeast and southwest, year-round in Florida and Texas, and ranges northward during the warmer months. According to Bugguide.Net, the southeastern variety has one large eyespot along its outer edge (see ventral shot, below), while the southwestern variety has two. Both sexes are brown on the ventral side. The blue color on the dorsal side of the wings (above) identifies both butterflies shown here as males, since the one below is also blue on its dorsal side (not shown). Females are more brown.

I thought the spillway at the "post office pond" looked interesting enough for a shot. After downloading I watercolorized it and "transplanted" the Blue Ceranus.

Recent rain has raised the pond's water level, making it a mirror on a calm, crisp fall day. Just a few dragonflies and damselflies flitted about. Beneath the water, fallen leaves sent up a spectrum of autumn color.

In the space of about a week, two articles (including poems of mine), another poem, and three illustrations have been accepted for publication. Both articles and the one poem had been solicited.

  • An article on speculative poetry (including three reprinted poems) will appear in Poets' Forum Magazine.

  • An article on dark poetry (including one reprinted poem and first publication of two award-winning poems) will appear in the online newsletter of the Horror Writers Association (accessible by HWA members only).

  • "First Things First" (also accessible on my poetry page, referenced below) will be reprinted in the journal Harp Strings.

  • The three cover illustrations will appear in Star*Line (some time next year).

  • In addition, several of my photos and an article will appear in Of Poets and Poetry, the Florida State Poets Association newsletter. The photos, which I took at our October conference, should be in the next issue. The article should appear next year.

    Within the past three weeks or so, three of my photos appeared in The Layout (magazine of the Southern Division, Train Collectors Association [SD-TCA]), and four others have been posted on the FSPA website.

    I first posted the Layout pictures back in May on Flickr, after I did a photo shoot at the home of "Grandpa" Nelson G. Williams. (I'd posted the photos with his permission.) In addition to being a founding member of my critique group, Nelson has been a member of the TCA since 1974. Dozens of his articles have appeared in four national train collector club magazines. In 2003 the SD-TCA named him its Tinplate Tycoon, bestowing upon him the organization's highest honor. After his stint as an award-winning college editor, Nelson became a newspaperman and textbook author and is now a retired lawyer.

    He was profiled in December 2005, in the St. Petersburg Times' "Meet the People" segment, Hometown Citrus section.

    The photos now appear in the Fall 2006 issue of The Layout (Vol. 40 No. 4), accompanying Nelson's article, "40th Anniversary Trains: The Real McCoys 1966-98". The captions are his:

    Nelson: "Above: The McCoys built this green gondola car for the 1969 TCA national convention in Clearwater, Florida, hosted by Chester and Margo Holley and other charter members of the Southern Division. The yellow and green SD TCA patch was adopted from the Southern Division Herald in time for our 1975 national convention in Orlando."

    Nelson: "This memorial boxcar to honor the late Bob McCoy was designed and built by his family in 1997. Two years later, Margaret McCoy and their son, Bob Jr., closed their original factory in a former chicken house at Kent, Washington. Bob McCoy, Jr., now builds, sells, and repairs McCoy trains at Otis orchards near Spokane."

    Nelson: "For the 1976 TCA national convention in Philadelphia, the McCoys put two red and white circus wagons on this blue 'Spirit of '76' flat car, marking the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence."

    (Nelson gave me attribution on the photos -- but, alas, the photos were published without attribution in The Layout. Fortunately, I'd already posted them on Flickr months earlier. The entire photoset is here.)

    When Larry Gross, webmaster for the Florida State Poets Association, posted my corner of the FSPA's "Meet Our Poets" page, he included a stock photo of the ocean to go with my bio. I thought I could provide a better one. I referred him to my shot of the Atlantic, taken coincidentally during an FSPA conference in Daytona Beach. Not only did he like and use that photo, but he asked my permission to use several others on the site. (He gave me attribution for those, along with links back to my Flickr pages.)

    Two of my photos appear on the main Meet Our Poets page:

    At the top:

    At the end of September 2005 I photographed green oranges on my neighbor's tree. They ripened four months later, as shown here.

    At the bottom:

    This was my mother's grade school composition book. I remember seeing it while I was growing up, and I found it again when I moved to this house. She had gone to P.S. 80 in the Bronx, New York. I find no dates inside but she had indicated the 7th and 8th grade, which places this notebook in the late 1930s. She would have been 12 or 13 years old. (My mother was also a member of FSPA more than 25 years ago, and best friends with Lyn, in whose yard I'd photographed the mushrooms shown in this entry.)

    Chinese Wisteria, on Joyce Shiver's poetry page:

    The Atlantic at sunrise, on my poetry page:

    More submission preparation and manuscript tweaking have been on tap for the weekend.


    Blogger Shelby said...

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    1:29 AM  
    Blogger Brenda Clews said...

    Such a great time of expansion and recognition... it's wonderful.

    5:22 PM  

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