Lately I've been occupied with some special projects and I haven't had much time/energy to post, but I feel strangely guilty neglecting my poor little blog. So, inspired by the lead of others, I've resolved to put up a photo on days when I haven't got much to say.
In my brain, I'm calling these photos "details" and they're likely to be whatever strikes me as inspiring at the moment.
Earlier today, brilliant sunlight came streaming in from the high window over the front door, angling sharply across the chest below my favorite painting. Glorious, fleeting, perfect. So today, two photos of morning brilliance come and gone.
Our normally peaceful view of desert, mountain and sky is full of ominous dark smoke from a wildfire out west of us on the Gila River Indian Reservation. A lightning strike during a brief thunderstorm the other day set off this blaze, in a remote area on the dry Gila River bed, which is fertile soil rich with salt cedar shrubs. It is not believed to be a fire threat beyond the heavily vegetated (compared to surrounding desert) area where it now burns, but steady efforts to extinguish it have not succeeded yet either. Thus our cars, streets, houses and backyards are layered with a dusting of wood ash, some surprisingly large particles. Last night after dark, it was even reminiscent of driving through light snow flurries at times.
This is the closest I've ever been to a wildfire, and the closest I ever hope to be. Compared to California's terrible blazes, this is a small one, but still a stern reminder of the fearsome power of Mother Nature.
This morning I was watering the asparagus ferns on our back patio when I noticed the something moving rapidly through the fronds to escape the stream of water. It took a bit of looking to finally discover this tiny, well-camouflaged inch long baby praying mantis. The strange, alien-like quality of these creatures always fascinates me. Part of their charm is in the tilt of the head as they stare you down with those huge eyes. Even such tiny mantises are so perfectly formed, leggy and wondrous, and they move with such grace. But here at the very edge of the desert, where our June daytime temps are hitting 110 and higher, I marvel at how such creatures manage to survive. I'm so glad this little one found my asparagus fern rainforest, and hope it'll stay awhile.
Such a very sad day; dear Tim Russert has passed on to the Great Newsroom Beyond. When news of Tim's death broke today on CNN with Wolf (my faithful daily companion), I could hardly believe it; and then, the replay of Tom Brokaw's loving, eloquent announcement on NBC moved me to tears.
How is it that we can feel that these TV people like Tim, and Tom, and Wolf, actually total strangers, are our dear friends? I've admired Tim Russert ever since he first did his whiteboard magic during the 2000 election... not that it changed the unfortunate outcome, but Tim sure knew what he was talking about. It seemed like not much ever got past Tim. As Anderson Cooper often says, he was keepin' them honest.
Ever since 2000, I've watched Meet The Press on Sundays whenever I could, and enjoyed Tim on the Today show and during the primaries. I thought he was a wee bit tough on Hillary in the spring debate, but still... I so looked forward to Tim's insights during the upcoming conventions and the election this fall.
He leaves behind huge shoes to fill, publicly as a newsman, and evidently also privately, as a husband, father, son, and friend.
Props to you, big Tim, for a life so well-lived that even we strangers grieve this void created by your untimely departure. We extend our sympathies to your family and friends. Rest in peace.