spider time: post 23 (epilogues)

Epilogue 1 (Moose):

From Moose’s Private notebook:

So that’s it for my own “What I Did This Summer” story. As always, it’s true, but I’m not going to be mad if you don’t believe it.  Either way, you can see why I’m keeping it in my private files and didn’t hand it in as a school essay.  It’s not something that would be easy for most people to believe, even here in Kekionga where weird things happen every day.  But if you happen to be one of the people those things happen to, like me and the rest of Kids, or Jack being Foursquare, or Iowa and the Professor at the Library or Bud at the Junkyard, you learn to get along with the stories happening around you.

Gale is probably the best at it of all us at getting along with Kekionga. Bud and the Professor got her into Sauk Trail State as a “visiting student” (which explains her pretty well if you don’t look at the details too closely) and she’s sharing a big apartment off campus with Iowa and Nina’s cousin Shelley.  She’s the star of the anthropology department (how many undergrads know how to make stone tools?) and the women’s sports teams too.  She sometimes says mysterious things about living here in the distant past that have everybody from Bud to the local historians really excited, but mostly she’s just having fun.

That was the biggest loose end, but with help from the grownups the rest of them got tied up too.  When the Fair closed and the Midway moved on to the next county, the Strangeness of the World  went with it.  Iowa and Jack drove over the following week (without telling Gale) to see the show, and they reported there was no sign of the Frozen Cave Girl or her tent and banner.  They did see the oriental carpet under the Intelligent Ape’s chess table. (Iowa played him to a draw, but she’d never tell us whether he was a person in a suit or not. ) Bud found a wonderful Victrola at the junkyard to replace the one we broke, and they left it behind one of the tents with a stack of records, so that was off our consciences, too.

Of course, we’ll be helping at the Junkyard for a few Saturdays to pay off the debt, but that’s all right.  We’d be going there anyway to hang out in our cool old bus before it gets too cold.  It’s fall now, and the spiders are spinning big webs as the leaves begin to turn colors and we start to think about our Halloween costumes.  Summer adventures are great adventures, but anything can happen the rest of the year.  And it probably will.

Epilogue 2 (Author’s Note):

This story took a long time to tell, but it would never let itself not be told. Now it is November, still warm but soft with the softness of frostbitten stalks and the worn edges of the last few yellow leaves on the path that everyone has walked on.  The spiders are gone, mostly, except for that one tattered web connecting the last late rose to the trellis where the morning glories used to be.  Summer is well and truly over, except that it never will be over.  Not really.

Maybe this summer was the invincible summer that we will always find inside us.

Or maybe that was last year.  Or next year.



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word of the day

a7961ba897af961374e740210d84d413The word of the day is “Hračky”, which I found on this matchbox label that I collected for its cool cartoon of a tram.  Rather than having anything to do with trams, hračky is the Czech word for “toys”, which also works with the illustration.

Click here to find a considerable number of Czech model sentences (with English translations) that illustrate various uses of this word, including one that suggests that hračky is also the Czech word for “gadget”.

And that works with my recent discovery that a software upgrade has given the virtual keyboard on my tablet a “press to choose” option for typing all kinds of interesting diacriticals– like č, so handy for writing about words in Czech.

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late cherry blossom

This blog is by design as close to nonpolitical as possible. It’s supposed to be a refuge from all the bad and difficult things that run the world, a place to find something cool or funny or interesting to look at.

But there are certainly days when funny doesn’t cut it, and nothing seems that cool.


We’ll be back with the usual shenanigans tomorrow.

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friday sunset, in november, with the cube

Why do I always seem to photograph neighborhood sunsets on Fridays? Regardless of scheduling, here is tonight’s, as seen by the Polaroid Cube toy camera.


Two different crops from the same shot, one my usual square,

cubesunset1-crop1-3by4-blog the other in an aspect ratio I am learning works very well with the output from this camera, 3 x 4.

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at the movies: spectre

We returned to the local Cinemark yesterday after a long hiatus.  (Trying to repair your old garage, then giving up and moving all your stuff out of the old garage so you can get some guys to come and knock it down so some other guys can come and build a new garage is a months long process that doesn’t give you lots of spare time to go to the movies.  Read more about the garaging process by typing “garage” in the search box.  There are lots of pictures.)

There we saw Spectre, the new James Bond movie.  We are big James Bond fans around here, my husband especially, and have seen each new flick in the long running series together for the last 30 years.  Whatever I have to say about this movie (and I have quite a bit to say), rest assured that it is a James Bond movie, with the patented combination of beautiful actors and images, clever banter and gadgets, exotic settings, fast paced action, and general mayhem in a good cause that defines not just this series but the “exploding helicopter” class of  movies in general.  The James Bonds are the original exploding helicopter movies and are still among the best. This movie has a lot of helicopters and at least one of them explodes.  Also James Bond, played here by the magnificent Daniel Craig in a Tom Ford suit.  Both are highly satisfactory.  If you enjoyed the previous three films in the Daniel Craig cycle, go see this one without reading anything else here.  It’s best if it isn’t spoiled or even hinted at.

For those of you who want those spoilers, click to read more.

Continue reading

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a very dire tail

diretail-blogMuch is said of the direness of the Dire Corgi’s ears, but you have to admit that his tail is rather dire too.

(Dire corgi photographed from across the yard on the other side of the fence with the new 55-300 mm zoom, which is pretty dire in its own right.)

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squarrow7-blogA squarrow is, of course, a photograph of a sparrow that has been cropped to a square.

squarrow4-blogPracticing bird photography with my new zoom lens again.

squarrow5-blogThese guys are actually quite majestic, like tiny eagles.

squarrow1-blogI think they are English sparrows.

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matchbox haiku

  • 068ed707d19e79ea423afee22514fe80
  • Elephant is heavy.
  • Will he erase our proud flags,
  • Or wash us with soap?
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the new mazdas

The new Mazdas have got all the cute, from their little shark noses to their black plastic fenders.


It’s no secret that we like Mazdas around here, with two in our household fleet. Mazda makes a good, high quality car that’s always a little bit more fun to drive than the equivalent model from Toyo-honda or GM.

These little guys are the first examples I’ve seen in the wild of the new CX-3, which is the crossover version of the Mazda 2 very small car. I don’t really like the word “crossover”– that’s a station wagon, folks, one with a tall suspension, available all wheel drive and a few tough-looking body bits.


But no matter what you call them, cars of this type are all the rage, so much so that crossovers of all sizes are set to replace the ubiquitous mid-sized sedan as the best-selling  vehicle type in the US.  Mazda is betting on this trend and choosing to bring this CX-3 to market here instead of the Mazda 2 hatchback. The wisdom of this highly unconventional choice is unproven (my guess is that it all depends on the price of gas), but they’ve certainly chosen a very appealing little car for the experiment.

(And yes, no photographer in his or her right mind would shoot shiny new cars in an unsheltered parking lot on a blazingly bright day at more or less noon with a phone camera.  But bloggers do what bloggers gotta do.)

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the new double garage (more or less finished)


I haven’t been posting the many tiny increments that have marked the slow, slow progress of the garage.  Some of the most important steps, such as the full week it took to finish the electrics, were invisible to the camera eye.

But as you see, the new double garage has two doors, entry and overhead, gutters, soffits and trim in russet red, and both Arts and Crafts style lanterns and ordinary farmyard floodlights.  There are a couple little bits left to finish, but there’s a car in it, so you can call it a garage at last.


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