Mary named these "dragon's blood daisies," and for the longest time we didn't know what they were. Thanks to Nuytsia@Tas over in Hobart, Australia, for providing the ID of Emilia fosbergii, a daisy indeed as a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy) Family. Click here for the large view
My internet connection has been hobbling these past few days, so I limited my activities mainly to checking e-mail. Today it seems to be back to its usual chipper self -- as chipper as dial-up gets.
I had no problems offline, even during long online hold-ups, so I suspected the problem was traffic management in the ether rather than a snippet of nasty code. Updating my virus checkers and spyware blockers plus defragging for good measure did nothing to alleviate the tie-ups. When I finally got online today, my problem had vanished as mysteriously as it had appeared.
Or so it seems. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Other than that, our week went quite well....
Otherwise known as the Florida Tasselflower and Cupid's Shaving Brush, Emilia fosbergii is not a native, according to the University of South Florida's Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, though it's "attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds," says Dave's Garden. In our own yard I've seen butterflies in particular taking to it. I took this shot several feet away from our front door.
Not far off, the azaleas in our hedge have begun to open.
Done with MS Paint and MS Photo Editor, which came with my computer. I applied watercolor, embossing, and other effects. After isolating the flower and the bud, I inserted it over its green counterpart in a reversed image.
For those of you who can view crosseye stereograms (not everyone can), I couldn't resist adding some depth to the process. I learned a while back that this type of photography takes no special equipment. I just shoot the first shot, shift position slightly, and shoot the second. Then I fiddle with the pictures in Photo Editor, trying to line them up and make sure they're close enough in size so that they provide a decent 3D image.
Look between the photos and cross your eyes slightly, then relax your gaze until you focus on the "center" image.
And my doodle has finally gotten large enough for me to provide a large view, along with the one that fits on the screen.
I did the most recent addition while waiting for an upload and while listening to ambient music on the radio program "Hearts of Space." Drawing dimensions are now roughly 14 x 14 inches.
Thanks to this post on Barb Elgin's blog, Mary and I learned of a Valentine's Day dinner honoring people in committed relationships of two years or more. We celebrated our 11th anniversary in December; last Wednesday night we met same-sex couples who have been together more than twice as long.
The dinner was held at MCC Ocala. More on the Metropolitan Community Church, which is LGBTQ-focused, is here. Ocala is about 30 miles from us.
We had a terrific evening, met some wonderful folks, and hope to get back up there from time to time. It's an inclusive and eclectic place. Stephanie Morris, a reporter for the Ocala Star-Banner, posted her story about the event here.
The online gridlock freed up my usual surfing time, which I was able to put to good use. First, I finished my revision of Book #2. I've just completed the first tweak of Book #3, whose advanced case of flashback-itis presented me with particular challenges. The second tweak should tell me if I've been successful in my narrative-shuffling. And I've scribbled more notes for Book #5, preparatory to adding to that draft.
In other news, a workshop buddy of mine has just made her first novel sale! It's an historical western with romantic elements. Once she gives me the go-ahead I'll provide more detail. I haven't read this one yet, but I've critiqued other novels of hers, and she's critiqued the Deviations trilogy.
She'd just begun working on this one when we went out to lunch a while back. At that time I'd just begun planning Book #5. We commiserated on how our characters wake us up in the middle of the night and whack us upside the head until we stagger off to our respective computers.