Friday, March 30, 2007

Raising (and Lowering) the Roof

Renovation 1, 29 March 2007

Yesterday I found the roof of our art center's Art and Education Building on the ground, and its south wall removed: all part of the renovation in progress. It's not every day I get to see an ongoing demolition....

Renovation 5, 29 March 2007

Rising above the gap left by the removed roof is the roof of our much newer Art Center Theatre, whose construction had been completed in 2003, and where Art Center operations are being centralized during the renovation.

Renovation 10, 29 March 2007

Above: A view toward the north wall.

Renovation 11, 29 March 2007
This shot above faces toward the still-largely-intact structure that housed our main art gallery. A worker prepares to demolish the stonework:

Renovation: The Video

And the "after" shot:

Renovation 16, 29 March 2007

More renovation shots are up at my Flickr photoset, and a rotating selection also appears on the Art Center's Renovation page.

Bee Hive Update: The hive pictured in the previous entry apparently made a getaway last Friday, ahead of the exterminator's arrival, after two days of camping out at the mall. (If someone gets a bee in their bonnet to represent forewarning, what do bees get in their bonnets?) The exterminator treated the area to avoid any future squatters, but I was very happy to hear the hive had ventured off toward a new home.

"Complex social behavior centers on maintaining queen for full lifespan, usually 2 or 3 years, sometimes up to 5," says the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. "New queens are produced in late spring and early summer; old queen then departs with a swarm of workers to found new colony. About a day later the first new queen emerges, kills other new queens, and sets out for a few days of orientation flights."

Maybe that's what happened here. I haven't the foggiest idea.

Mary wondered if the bees had landed above that business in the first place because their natural hive had been disrupted. Folks from the power company have been trimming trees all over the neighborhood. That's a good thing on balance, meant to try to avoid downed power lines during a storm, especially since we've got 17 hurricanes forecast for this year. Could be the bees were fleeing a tree-trimming operation, landed above the business to get their bearings, and decided they could do better elsewhere. Scouts seemed to be zipping into and out of the hive, perhaps on the lookout for a new home.

Earlier in the week I came home to find this female Checkered White butterfly in my front yard:

Checkered White
Large view

I've done further tweaks on Book #3 and sent that off to Koboca. Now I'm back to making headway on Book #5. I broke from that this past Sunday for 3 hours to watch Discovery Channel's extraordinary mini-series Planet Earth (first 3 segments of 11; another two will air this coming Sunday). Everything in that show works for me: poignant writing; a perfect tone by narrator Sigourney Weaver; and stunning music by George Fenton, whose work for the series got him a Best Original Score for Television at the 3rd Annual IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) Awards. Combined with five years of back-breaking and unparalleled cinematography, the series held me completely in thrall.

Thanks to a posting on Tribe.Net, I've learned of the 2007 Writer's Travel Scholarship, for anyone out there who's interested. This is apparently the scholarship's third year (not for travel writing, but to let writers travel; includes poetry submissions). The deadline is May 31, 2007.

The Fiction Writing tribe included this challenge: "Please tell a story using exactly 5 sentences." Here's mine, titled, "In the Bathroom, Last Night":
He was a Southern House Spider, folded in on himself atop a three-gallon, clear plastic jug. Then his legs unfolded like brown petals and he went from dead to living, long enough for my camera to capture him on macro and close enough for me to look into his eyes.

He crawled a bit when I returned him to his perch, then crossed his eight legs again and became a tiny ball.

I busied myself with my field guides while Mary brought him to the compost pile. What killed him remains a mystery: old age, starvation, or the thirst of being separated from three gallons of water by a membrane stronger than silk.


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