Archive | October 2020


Today is Halloween; tomorrow is Samhain.  There is a full moon.  Today is the day that the dead have access to the living before the Celtic winter in the Northern climates settles in.  I hope that this is true for fictional characters as well.  We could use a little bit of Professor Abraham Van Helsing over the next few days.

Now that most of the electorate knows who the vampire is, and where he sleeps, they can light the torches, sharpen their pens and pencils, and can drive a ballot into his heart.  The 78 days that he will be bound in that coffin with a stake will be needed to perform the rituals to make sure he never rises again.

Unfortunately, with his destruction, not all he fed off of will be cured of his vile disease.  We are going to need to call up the Abraham Van Helsing in us all for a long time.

The Zoo

“Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo, I do believe it, I do believe it’s true.” Simon and Garfunkel.

I seem to have been to a lot of zoos in my life.

When I first heard of the novel “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini published in 2003, I understood that it was about growing up in Kabul from the first coup to exile during the Soviet era into 21st century.  They made a movie about it that came out in 2007.  I did not want to revisit those memories.  I was there a long time ago.  It was my high school years.  But someone turned up from those days last year, so I finally loaded it on to my Kindle and read it.

Khaled Hosseini mentions Marjan the lion at the Kabul Zoo, and he mentioned a date of 1975.  It was the lion that made me go back through old photos.  I was there in 1971 and also again in about 1974.  My parents were posted there that time.  I was going through my own coming of age issues, my own ineptitude with the world around me, and my own relations with my family.  At 66, I still suppress, and am looking for who I truly am.  It is a lifetime pursuit.

Marjan ?

The Salt Hills

When continents collide and the abyssal plain reaches for the sky with stone, the ants wiggle their antenna unknowing the tread of eternity all around them.  Like the sediments that transformed beneath the ocean’s deep, the dust on shelves hides many memories which can be disturbed by a leaking roof, a child’s eyes, old acquaintances renewed.  They can be disturbed by the never-ending struggle between technology and magick.  When you rowed out into the lake with those memories long ago, wrapped them in a tarp, and tied the weight with a bowline with best intent to never see them surface again, sometimes the rope rots and they surface again.  Or perhaps it is the brain that rots with old age, each synapse fires one last time before it burns out forever.

Fossils from The Salt Hills
The Salt Hills
The People
Field Trip

Palouse History


The interesting thing about young eyes is that they see what you miss. Early farm history in the Palouse Country was much more colorful than I thought. They had flair!

Autumn Flowers

When I think of the colors of autumn, it is the crocus’ of purple, yellow, or white. It is the red and gold of disiduous trees against the dark green of spruce or pine.

This year we are noticing flowers we haven’t seen before.

C.a.t. 2020

Autumn Rains

The rains have begun to fall; the leaks in the ceiling are becoming evident. The landlord says the vendor will come this week.

C.a.t. 2020

Mr. Toad in a boat seems appropriate.


These cabochons were cut from a hard zeolite found a long time ago. They have a nice cream color that is not quite captured with the camera.

If you follow the link, you can see what kind of place the original stone was found.

The Clay Menagerie

The Menagerie Grows C.a.t.



Between the creek and the wetlands, there is a washed-out section of the disused rail gradually falling apart as the winters take their toll.  I get it, in the autumn afternoon I did not even make it to the willows by the last bridge before the grade takes a walker behind the hills to harvested hills.  I ran out of steam.

I did blunder into a garter snake, yellow and black line slithering under the iron and into some rocky burrow under the rails.  It was probably as thick as my thumb.  I am not much good at moving targets these days. 

I was looking for a bit of zeolite or fire opal that is sometimes mixed in with the basalt gravel filler.  I have a nice hard zeolite cabochon that is about 45 x 26 mm and weighs about 10 carats, it has nice milky cream swirls in it.  It came out of the same stretch of right of way.  I do not think the fire opal is totally out of the realm of possibility.  They are both hydrous silicates, and I have found common opal in the same stuff. It is just a matter of if it has dried out too much.