Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Post Office Pond Rainbow
Large view

Over the past week, Mary and I have been treated to artistry of the natural and the human kind. Yesterday we spotted this rainbow over the "post office pond" and its reflection in the water. This is a composite of two shots.

Last week I received this extraordinary birthday present made by my childhood friend, Elana:

Elana's Fabric Art
Large view

I told Elana that her telepathy was in good working order, because down at Necronomicon I was admiring Tracy Akers's sales table. (I've started reading her excellent Young Adult fantasy, The Fire And The Light -- more on Tracy and her series is here.) Tracy displayed her books on a beautiful, Celtic-style spread. Now that dealer tables are in my future, especially with Covenant being the first in a series, I decided I wanted something for my own display.

The "telepathy" shouldn't be surprising. Elana and I have known each other for more than 35 years. We were joined at the hip as kids, so much so that our teachers and even our parents sometimes called us by each other's name. The way we played together as adolescents was by sitting side by side and writing, then sharing our stories with each other -- which makes this gift particularly special.

Nature had more in store for Mary and me during yesterday's walk....

Snail Shell Mosaic
Large view

Mary found this snail shell on the road as we walked home, not long before we'd passed a lantana bush being enjoyed by a Long-tailed Skipper and a Polkadot Wasp Moth:

Long-Tailed Skipper on Lantana
Large view

The Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus, Family Hesperiidae) ranges from Connecticut to Florida, west to California, south to Mexico. It is rare in the Northwest and extreme West. Caterpillars feed on wild beans, mesquite, wisteria, cultivated beans, and a variety of other leguminous plants.

Skippers have the characteristics of both butterflies and moths. According to our Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders, they are called skippers due to their "rapid, direct, and bouncing flight."

Polkadot Wasp Moth on Lantana
Large view

Syntomeida epilais, Family Arctiidae. The immature form of the Polkadot Wasp Moth is the oleander caterpillar.

The Moon was rising as we made our way home. Here, it's about 93 percent of full.


An impressive cloudscape was also building. By the time I found a fairly unobstructed view, a dragonfly had joined us, and can be seen as the black speck against the small, shadowy cloud below and to the right of the Moon.

Moon, Clouds, Trees, and Dragonfly
Large view

I also caught a bit of drama outside the supermarket, though I didn't realize just what I had photographed until after I had downloaded the shot. Originally I had seen only a cute little (and I presume young) lizard high up on the wall. Mary and I couldn't figure out why its head was turned so severely.

Witness to Predation

It was watching a spider make short work of a moth.

Yesterday my e-mail included this flyer:

NaNoWriMo Kickoff Event Flyer

More legible in the large view. My bio and photo join those of fellow panelists Belea Keeney and Loretta Rogers.

Deviations: Covenant can be pre-ordered from Aisling Press and from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The Deviations page has additional details.


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