Monday, July 4, 2016

The Lost Shoes of the World

Do you ever see a shoe lying abandoned in some random location, and wonder how the shoe got there, and what befell the other shoe in the pair?

I have seen two such shoes recently.  

The first was a woman's shoe, stuck in the mud at the bottom of a puddle on the edge of a parking lot.  American Toads had laid eggs in the puddle a few weeks earlier; if you look closely, you can see a tadpole swimming around inside the shoe.  

The second was an old red sneaker.  It floated upside down in a backwater pool of a rocky stream, absolutely motionless, forming an odd vista of cosmic peace and harmony.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Last week the world witnessed Brexit, in which citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

It is not the purpose of this blog to comment on controversial political issues in any meaningful way.  

The blog may, though, comment in a non-meaningful way.  Thus, I will offer two opinions.  

1. Supporters of Brexit should have been known as the Brexit Club, in reference to the John Hughes movie

2. The motto of the Brexit movement should have been "Brekekekexit Koax Koax", from the frogs of Aristophanes.  One might object that a motto based on ancient Greek drama is too arcane for modern politics; however, the motto does fit well with the image that we like to have of the English sitting in drawing rooms saying witty and learned things.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lizards in Love

We are in the midst of the mating season for the Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus).  Over the past few weeks I been seeing them engaged in their courtship behavior.  Now I'm using the resulting photos to make a blog post on lizards in love. (When I think the phrase "lizards in love", I think it to the tune of "Lawyers in Love", a once-popular but now forgotten song from my Eighties childhood.)

The first two are from Memorial Day, and the third is from Saturday.

(Click to enlarge.)


(It's also interesting to note that in the second picture the male retains vestiges of the juvenile stripe pattern, which is usually lost in mature males.)

There are places here in Alexandria where skinks are abundant, but I'm the only one who ever seems to notice them.  Probably hundreds of people walk by the skinks every day without ever knowing that they're there.  But I guess that many things in life are never seen or appreciated by most people.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Old Picture That Once Was New

It looks as if we are only a few minutes away from June.  How did that happen?  It seemed as if May had just started.  

But then, I am still trying to figure out what happened to 2005.  

Please, if anyone can tell me, please contact me and let me know.  

Anyway, here is some candy lined up from last Halloween, an event that seems like if was only a short time ago, even though it's been seven months.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

I Dream of Lizards . . . Do They Dream of Me?

At the end of March in 2015 I started keeping a journal of my dreams.  In the ensuing twelve months, there were 114 days on which I remembered at least a small portion my dreaming.  

Lizards are a frequent topic of my dreams, because lizard watching is one of my favorite things to do.  And now new scientific research has shown that sleeping lizards have the sort of brain activity that could indicate that they dream.  This makes me wonder if any of the lizards which I've seen go on to dream of me.   

Friday, April 29, 2016


I try to put up at least one post per month.  But in recent months I just haven't felt like writing.  And now I find that I am again running out of month.  

Here's another picture, this one of a Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos).

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Crooked Utility Pole

I'm putting up this picture to give me something for March.  It will have to do until I can get the energy to write something . . . which may never happen . . .