Monday, March 18, 2019

Movie biz

I knew it was a long shot, but I thought I'd give it a try. The mayor called me over the weekend to say that a movie company was shooting a few scenes of a movie in Old Dora.

I dug my press pass out of the bottom of my camera bag. Most everyone here where I work knows me and I never have to show the pass so I've never actually used it.

Heading my truck into the gates, I eased up to the edge of the parking lot where the crew was assembling.

I casually got out of the truck as if I owned the place. Strolling around, I shot several pictures. When I started toward the carts with the cameras a young man approached me. I showed him my press pass, but he wasn't impressed. He asked me to leave.  I did.

A few minutes later my phone buzzed. The mayor sent a text with the phone number for the publicists. She gave me the scoop and apologized for the closed set. But I understood. They didn't want a thousand locals coming to the set wanting to be extras.

I got a story and the few pictures I'd taken would be OK.

On the way home, I drove on through the old town. I've written about this tunnel in the past. I've never driven through it without blowing my horn.

Today, as I snailed through it, I stopped in the middle. School kids have spray painted their names on this tunnel ever since spray paint was invented. Apparently Ben loves Alexia. And Bro did something disgusting with XXXXXX. The "with" name had been sprayed over.

There are small towns all across this country. All of them are full of history. If they could talk (or write screenplays), there would be thousands of compelling movies.

I smiled at that thought as I headed home to write my story.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Bee watching

I have an old metal folding chair that my neighbor gave me a few weeks before he died. It's been leaning against the pear tree out back.

Today, I dragged the chair down and placed it under the peach tree just a few feet from the beehives. This afternoon, the sun was high in a cloudless sky. I think it got warmer than the weatherman predicted.

I sat in the folding chair and watched the bees. A few of them flew up and landed on my pants leg to get a better look at me. I sat still and talked in low soothing tones.  They considered me for a long while before zipping up to suck on a peach blossom.

It's peaceful sitting there and listening to the drone. They rarely rest when there's work to do.

Ol' Hook sat beside me and helped me keep watch. He learned to respect flying insects last year when he tried to dig up a yellow jacket's nest.

As the sun drifted behind the oak an poplar trees, I stood to walk to the house. A Canadian Swallowtail butterfly almost landed on my shoulder. It changed its mind and fluttered around just ahead of me. Hook chased its shadow.

It flew all the way to the collard plants by the back deck before swooping down to check out the yellow flowers on the bolding plants.

It paused just long enough for a portrait.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

New friends

I set the clock for 5:30 a.m. this morning which is something I rarely do.   Setting an alarm pretty much gaurantees that I will not sleep well. But, I needed to be on the road early.

The beekeeper called earlier this week and said that Saturday would be a good day to come get my new hives. Bees do better when you move them when the day is young.

My nephew Haven agreed to help with the heavy lifting. I was at his house at 6:30 a.m.

The weatherman said it would be sunny, but the morning skies were ash gray. A wind out of the northwest was biting. I'd started to the truck in a simple long sleeve pullover but it only took a few steps outside to realize that the thin shirt was not going to cut it.

We arrived at the beekeeper's house before 7 a.m. His dogs greeted us when we pulled into the driveway.

The beekeeper had closed up the entryway into the two hives last night trapping the bees inside. When we lifted the hives off the stands this morning, they were not happy. I could hear their wings beating in a syncopated drone. I think the note was a B-flat (sorry for the pun) The hives vibrated as we carried them to the truck.

It's over 20 miles from the beekeeper's house to ours. I drove slowly. We set the stand up facing east. They are situated among our peach, apple, and pear trees.

I let them settle in for about an hour before I put on my beekeeper suit. When I took the narrow blocks off their entryway, the bees flooded out of the hives. Several of them lit on the vail and said some unkind things to my face.

Soon, they settled down and got down to the business of scouting the territory to look for food, and water.

This evening, Jilda and I walked down to the hives slowly without protective suits. A couple lit on my pants leg but after looking me over, they headed to the pear tree which is in full bloom.

Jilda and I are both excited about friends.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Color me sad

The storms came through yesterday afternoon. The wind chimes sounded angry as the first line of storms swept through. Then the power blinked out. 

I did my blog in the dark last night...on my phone. Jilda didn't bother doing her blog.

We planned to do several things today, but our great nephew Jordan wasn't feeling well so our plans changed. He spent the day with us.

After breakfast, he wanted to go for a walk. We shoe'd up headed out. Down in front of our old house, I was taking a picture of lichen on a limb that had fallen to the ground. Jordan looked up into the ancient oak in front of the old house. 

He said, "Something scratched that limb on the oak." When I looked up, my heart sank. What he'd seen was unmistakable. During the storm last night, lightning struck the oak. It looks as if one of the higher limbs was shaved with a pocketknife. 

I want to believe that it will be OK. Time has taught me that it is hard for trees to survive lightning strikes.

Color me sad.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

In the dark

We’re in the dark this evening. Storms blew through a few hours ago and took our lights with it. Jilda was at work and I sent her a text that it was heading in her direction.
I told her that if she saw our lights to please tell them to get back home.

She called just before 6 to say she was on the way home. I drove down to the main road to make sure she could get through.

Down at the main road there were huge oak and hickory trees blown down. When they fell they took power lines with them.

I’m posting this on my phone so it will be short.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


We had baked garlic chicken with chickpeas for lunch today. Jilda cooks almost every meal we eat.  She found this recipe in a magazine that featured Mediterranean dishes. I could say it was scrumptious but that would be a disservice. 

Wednesday is an off day for me, but Jilda teaches one yoga class at the rehab center.

We decided a nap after lunch, would be just the ticket. We were right. I think I may have drooled on my sleeve.

Later, I walked out on the back deck. The sun was warm. Wind out of the west played a concerto on the chimes hanging on the eve.

I sat in the sun drinking ice tea and eating pistachios. There must have been twenty redbirds on the fence waiting for their turn at the feeders. There are probably better ways to spend a Wednesday, but none come to mind.

The picture below is one I took of our camellia by the back fence. It was a little blurry so I decided to have some Photoshop fun. This is my "impression" of the camellia.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mystery plant

The rain moved out yesterday. Through the great room windows, I could see the morning sunlight turning the trees a light shade of fuschia.  

After coffee, we put on our walking shoes and hit the trail. Down by the barn there were tiny violets blooming. Jilda beat me to the draw on that one. You have to be photographically quick to beat her.
I did see some blooming purple plant. I don't know what it is but I have an app that might identify it but I have to shoot it against a white background. Needless to say, I didn't have a white background. I'll do that another day. Until then it's a mystery plant.

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