a new family in the new tree

A few weeks ago I mentioned that some robins had built a big sloppy nest in one of the two new maple trees we planted earlier this spring in the front yard.  There was no action for a long time, and we were starting to wonder whether the project had been abandoned.  After all it is very late in the year for a robin to be nesting.


But then I saw the little hen sitting very conscientiously on her nest.  Maybe she’d been shy and flown away whenever she saw the camera until things started to get serious.  Which they apparently did, since she now has two hungry youngsters.



They are visibly maturing every day. And she’s not doing her child rearing alone.  This guy is always coming around with bugs and caterpillars for her and the kids.


Remember that I am the worlds least competent wildlife photographer.  This very patient family is great to practice on.  Images from the Pentax K-5iis and the 55-300mm zoom lens.

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things that annoy werewolves: the season begins

bigger werewolf beer label

Halloween’s starting early this year, Iowa thought, as she scrolled through Suki’s photoblog to find the source of the latest image that was filling up the bulletin boards in the basement of the Noakes.  Yep. There it was.  As she suspected, Suki had been messing around with her phone camera in the beer store again. Reliably, the craft brewers were celebrating the holiday with … those kind of jokes.  Just like clockwork.  They really should come up with a new gag.  And Suki should stop taking artsy pictures and encouraging everybody to waste printer toner making a dozen copies of every example.

Of course it would help if the boss was less touchy about it.  If he didn’t puff up and growl in such an entertaining way when people teased him about his … furry side, it wouldn’t happen so often.  But as long as the culture as a whole didn’t believe werewolves were real, much less that they were fussy about sloppy thinking and stereotyping, there were going to be plenty of opportunities to tug on his metaphorical tail.  (Even the library riffraff  had the sense to stay away from the real one.)

“Hey, Professor,” she heard Syd calling across the workroom.  “I didn’t know your ex-girlfriend was a model!”

“Hardly a likely scenario, Mr. Van Cleef.  I make it a practice never to date models.  However, the young lady does bear a distinct resemblance to my sister.”

“You’ve got a sister?  Wow, she must be beautiful.”

“Oh, she is.  But I can assure you she’s also a real b…”

Iowa shut the door quietly and got on with cleaning off the bulletin boards.  Sister.  That was interesting.


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the most wonderful pratchett reference

It’s always highly satisfactory to gather little bits of evidence that there are other people out there who love the works of the late great Terry Pratchett as much we do.

Currently running on PBS’s Masterpiece is the third series of Endeavor, a police procedural chronicling the early years of the great Inspector Morse. In one scene of the last episode (“Coda”) there is a passage where Morse’s mentor, the marvelously deadpan Inspector Thursday*, advises the able but very green Woman Police Constable** Truegood to smoke a cigarette for her nerves after she witnesses her first in person murder. She should keep the pack, and if she hides it behind her notebook, the brass will be none the wiser.

Thursday tells her he learned the trick from his first guv’nor, “Sergeant Vimes of Cable Street”.

The funny thing about this is that Roger Allam, the actor who plays Thursday, looks exactly like Sam Vimes as I imagine him, and would be my first choice to play him in an imaginary Discworld series.

Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday.

Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday. ***

* Later in the episode, Inspector Thursday coughed up the bullet that has been knocking around in his lungs since the end of the last series and went on to win a standoff with bank robbers with just the old revolver he brought back from the war. Last week he drove off a tiger with a flaming torch. He is a badass.

** That is the real title. 1950’s England was way sexist.

***Image from wwwdotsundaypostdotcom.

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instagram again!

On this busy weekend, please excuse this second post announcing that I am now on Instagram! My username is “kekiongacomics”.

This is my first venture into the big bad 21st century world of social media and I am already learning a lot from it. If you are an Instagram person, please consider joining my happy band of followers–we’re up to 3 in the first 24 hours. The goal is one photograph a day, with a line or two of commentary–some old, some new, some direct from the phone camera, some from the big cameras. Today, you’ll see some neighborhood palm trees.

Palm trees? In Indiana?

Tomorrow, back to the usual blog content with a bit of werewolf fiction.


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More slow steps into the world of the 21st century– I have decided to dip my toes into the big scary ocean of social media by opening an Instagram account!  More photos, more commentary, more hashtags, more weird stuff from the growing Kekiongacomics online empire.

If you are on Instagram, you are cordially invited to follow me. Suggestions of great people for me to follow would also be awesome. Over the next couple of days, I will be posting potential profile pics for my new account and you can help me choose, if that’s any incentive.

See you on Instagram, you wonderful modern people! My username is kekiongacomics.

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the great questions of life

  • Who needs ten pounds of blueberries?
  • Nobody.
  • Unless you are making lots of pies.
  • Can I come over to your house?
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song of new buffalo

Michigan poem-Michigan wordMichigan poem-watermelon wordMichigan poem-onion

(Three golden rings.)

Michigan poem-raspberry wordMichigan poem-blueberry wordMichigan poem-geep

Song of New Buffalo

  • Michigan watermelon,
  • Three golden rings.
  • Raspberries, blueberries,
  • Geep, geep, geep.

Michigan poem-fruit stand 1

(A poem from four small photographs taken on a brief trip across the state line to New Buffalo, Michigan: a typical “fruit stand” and onion rings and placemat drawings at the incomparable Redamak’s.  Nexus 5 phone camera with the Camera FV-5 camera app and the Pixlr photo editor.)Michigan poem-fruit stand 2


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what’s the deal with the mint green?

A few days ago, we discussed the Mint Green Outfits being worn by the Belgian national team in the current Euro 16 association football tournament. You may recall that I felt there was something slightly untoward about grown men running around the football pitch in Mint Green Outfits.

Green-Portugal-Away-Kit-Euro-2016But Belgium is not alone. Today Portugal faced Wales in the first semifinal in their own version of the Mint Green Outfit.  Theirs is a slightly brighter green and sports Pine Green sleeves, side stripes and socks. The commentators did observe that this was their third choice kit, and it didn’t seem to slow Portugal  down as they stepped on the Dragons pretty thoroughly and won 2-nil.



But it’s mint green, mint green everywhere, and not just on the field of sport. At the local big box store you can celebrate the latest Euro color trend with a Mint Green Extension Cord.

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mismatched mulch

Oops! Some of this mulch is Absolute Black and some is Radiant Black.  Which bags will our neighbors take back?  Or will they combine the two for a subtle, toned effect?
Somewhere there is someone who is earning his or her living thinking up names for colors of mulch.  Radiant Black is probably not his or her best effort. Not only is it probably a contradiction in terms, but there are few things less radiant than mulch.

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matchbox label casting call

Another set of characters in search of a story from my virtual collection of matchbox labels.

Announcing, with considerable fanfare, the story of


And her journey far from her native flocks and meadows with her companion


Away from the mountains they meet the beautiful


And a mysterious hero whose mind is as agile as his body, known only as


Together  they thwart the nefarious plans of The


With A Landline, and return to the mountains with


that they have a tough time explaining.

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