Monday, September 29, 2008

Advantages of Small Breasts

With women gettin' bigger all around, I see a lot more cleavage at the Wal-Mart than I used to, probably because you can always get somebody to look there instead of looking, for example, at a dewlap or a double chin. Ladies, you do as you like, but I have 10 points to make in favor of small breasts:

1. You don't need to wear a bra.
2. I'm 51 and ain't sagging yet.
3. They've made me a much better athlete, gardener, wood-chopper, and so on than I would have been with floppy things a-flappin' in my face.
4. I know that my date likes me for my mind and sense of humor.
5. I don't get backaches, or have straps cutting my shoulders, or have perverts staring and mumbling at me in the bus station.
6. If anything was wrong, the breast exam and mammograms would find it right away.
7. I and my kind are natural and organic, no artificial ingredients -- and even admirers of the big ones know that if a woman will fake one thing, she'll fake anything.
8. I and my kind are immediately recognizable as resisters of conformity and capitalist patriarchy.
9. The $7000 some ladies spend on that operation, I spent on 6 months' vacation.
10. I ain't so pathetic as to think that to get the best of this life I have to thrust some of my personal anatomy into everyone's face.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Show and You Tell

Is this a cricket? He or she was clinging to the front of the house, looking as much as possible like the landscape: green with an overlay of dried-out, early-fall leaves. Now that's style. I think he/she is minus a left-leg joint, too. Didn't seem to bother it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Rare Look at Indian Pipes

"Fleshy" like mushrooms, Indian Pipes feed themselves from leaf mulch, but they aren't fungi; they're flowers. They're colorless because they haven't got any chlorophyll. The thick stems are a little narrower than a drinking straw, and a "bell" about the size of a bluebell hangs down on the end. Occasional in the Ozarks, they say, but I found this clump right down the road. Scientific name Monotropa uniflora. Thought they were fungi to add to my fungi photo collection. Instead I got my first-ever look at Indian Pipes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Panic at the Pumps

Ike blew through Texas and then wet us here in Missouri with 5.5 inches of rain in just a couple of hours. Right before Ike arrived, neighbor Shelley stops by on her way in and tells me, There isn't any gas left in town. I said, say what? She said, all the gas stations have sold out their gasoline; I just come from there.

Thinking of the 24 pumps at the QuikTrip and 12 at the Shell, I expressed disbelief.

You know what it is, Shelley said, people out here have all these trucks with double tanks and SUVs and whatnot, and everybody heard gas was going to $5 a gallon cuz of Ike hittin' the refineries. I said, People acting crazy. No need to panic like that. Everybody is listening to too much TV.

So then it rained buckets. My phone and electricity went out. Finally I get to turn on the TV and the whole world had gone irrational. The worst local flash-flooding wasn't here but in the big city, where it never floods. Two people drowned trying to save their cars and others are scraping mud out of their restaurants & that. Then national news says a huge Wall-Street financial concern employing all sorts of financiers & accountants has gone bankrupt. And then a certain President comes on TV and says to stay calm and sit tight because everything will be fine. Then I saw commercials for and against Obama and McCain, with both of them acting crazy, and showing their faces in profile and talkin' down to us like we were irrational or at least morons, and I wondered if this U.S.A. is turning into a Third World country or what.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wald Hick'ry Nuts

Today I hauled myself up to the pump house roof and picked shagbark hickory nuts, and here's the basketful, in their green husks. Some hickories' nuts are bitter, but shagbark is the one for eatin'. When the husk dries and splits, the kernel shows, a light beige. It dries out and turns brown. Inside the kernel is the edible sweet nut. (See the second picture.) Lots of folks say it's such a trial to get the kernel off it ain't worth it. But this ain't the year to waste food!

If you won't take that trouble for the nuts, at least gather the split husks and dry them out and throw a load of 'em on your fire next time you smoke or grill.

Usually I leave the hickory nuts for the turkeys and the squirrels (they throw the husks down from the tree at me), but how often in life are you gonna pick and dry out and crack and eat wild hickory nuts? And the real trick to cracking 'em is patiently wait till November when the kernels will be really dry and crackable. All in its own good time.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Black Blue Butterfly

Trying to ID this butterfly for you, I googled "black butterfly," "black with blue," "black with iridescent blue," and more. For crying out loud, it's not considered black or blue -- it's a "Red-Spotted Purple" butterfly, Liminitis arthemis astyanax. About 3.5 inches across. Photographed today in Gray Summit, Missouri. Quite common in the Mississippi Valley -- and to the east. But the feeling it gave me was not at all common!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Celebrating Steve the Handyman

On this Labor Day: on Friday I photographed Steve the handyman and his tools when he came by to install a new window in the Divine cabin. I put it here to remind myself that "labor" isn't a synonym for "people overseas," and also to honor all labor, even mine, and its contribution to prosperity, health, and contentment. Labor these days seems to be taken for granted -- why, we hardly use the very word anymore unless we're talkin about babies. Let's change that right now.