Nature verses the local grocery...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trails of Yesterday: Today

I found this in an e-mail this morning; it sounds awfully familiar...

I just wanted to mention that it is Wednesday. I have no clue exactly how it got to be Wednesday because the last I checked, it was Monday morning.
It is also sinking in that it is winter, another of life's mysteries to me since I still feel the September sun on my neck and recall the tomatoe plants struggling to set fruit (which they never did!)
My mother is hiding behind my bathroom mirror - absolutely without my permission! 
And those funny-looking guys on PBS, singing my favorite 1970 and 1980 songs - must be impersonating the original singers, 'cause I am CERTAIN none of them looked that gray and wrinkled when they were singing those songs...a few years go.
But then, my sainted husband looks, sounds and feels the same as he did 20 years ago.  So I guess all is right with the world.
Nature prevails! (At least SOMETHING stays the same!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mule Trails: Along The Backroads of Yesterday

Being 60 something has its moments, some of them with regrets, some with sadness.  But mostly I'm thrilled to have another day, to be blessed with all the Love in my life from from family, friends and neighbors, and the multitude of 4 legged friends that allow us to share their lives.

Truth be told, the 'good old days' seem to pop up a bit more often in my mind and heart these days.  Today I heard a song by Walter Brennan which brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with not only Love and memories, but the reminder of my friend, Oris Reed (who sometimes writes as Oris George), and his new book.  Oris has written in numerous and varied publications for over 40 years and is currently, the director for zone 3 of the North American Saddle Mule Association. In case you hadn't guessed, my friend has a Love affair with donkeys and mules and they proliferate his most recent book, Along The Back Roads of Yesterday, a must-read for any mule-lover!

Along the Backroads of Yesterday is all about the 'good old days' - lots of 'em, from the 40's and 50's when 'ole Oris looked and felt a bit like the kid in Mr. Brennan's song, Old Rivers.

Swing over to Oris' website and enjoy lots...of the 'good old days', from someone who lived, played, learned and enjoyed them.

As always, Nature prevails.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tuscany Trails: Cruise Ship Aground

Sometimes, vacations can be risky.  And such was the case for the cruise ship Costa Concordia late Friday, night. According to an early morning report by CBS News, "...Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground in the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012."  CBS sited that about 4,200 people evacuated with three people dead so far.

In their 10:03 AM report, 69 people were unaccounted for.  "By morning Saturday, the ship was lying virtually flat off Gigio's coast, its starboard side submerged in the water and the huge gash showing clearly on its upturned hull."

By 6:51 this evening, CBS had some updated statistics: "At least three bodies had been recovered, and rescuers searching for the missing heard the shouts of a man and a woman coming late Saturday from the wrecked cruise ship. The Coast guard was bringing in a specialized search team to find them, while close to 40 others remained unaccounted for."

Captain Francesco Schettino has been detained while his attorney claims his client performed his job admirably.  'Bruno Leporatti told the agency: "I'd like to say that several hundred people owed their life to the expertise that the commander of the Costa Concordia showed during the emergency."'

Miami-based Carnival Corp. issued a brief statement Saturday. "Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the grounding of the Costa Concordia and especially the loved ones of those who lost their lives. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers in the wake of this tragic event."

Though details of the event seems somewhat unclear until a complete investigation is completed, 'Coast guard Cmdr. Francesco Paolillo said "...the vessel "hit an obstacle," that tore a 50-meter (160 feet) gash in the side of the ship and started taking on water...It wasn't clear if the obstacle was a jagged, rocky reef or something else," he said. "The captain...then tried to steer his ship toward shallow waters, near Giglio's small port, to make evacuation by lifeboat easier."

CBS Photo

According to this article, "Five helicopters from the coast guard, navy and air force took turns airlifting survivors still aboard and ferrying them to safety."

ABS News interviews a passenger who recalls her panic and fear.

If the captain did purposefully steer the ship closer to shore after recognizing the impending disaster, he may be truly responsible for saving thousands of lives!

I am sure there are a few persons counting their lucky stars as they put their heads to a pillow tonight.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writer Trails: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Bradbury Flavor

As a sci-fi aficionado, my nose may occasionally be found welded inside an old, yellowed paperback copy of Isaac Asimov's "The Great SF Stories 14".  'Early' this morning, as I savored the taste of several of Asimov's better short story choices, "The Sound of Thunder" came to life in my old and tired brain.  For a few minutes, I wasn't quite so old and tired - thanks to Ray Bradbury's knack for pulling readers through his tall tales! Enjoy the excerpt below.
"It came on great, oiled, resilient striding legs. It towered thirty feet above half of the trees, a great evil god, folding its delicate watchmaker's claws close to its oily reptilian chest. Each lower leg was a piston, a thousand pounds of white bone, sunk in thick ropes of music, sheathed over in a gleam of pebbled skin like the mail of a terrible warrior. Each thigh was a ton of meat, ivory, and steel mesh. And from the great breathing cage of the upper body those  two delicate arms dangled out front, arms with hands from which might pick up and examine men like toys, while the snake neck coiled. And the head itself, a ton of sculptured stone, lifted easily upon the sky.  Its mouth gaped, exposing a fence of teeth like daggers. Its eyes rolled, ostrich eggs, empty of all expression save hunger. It closed its mouth in a death grin. It ran, its pelvic bones crushing aside trees and bushes, its taloned feet clawing damp earth, leaving prints six inches deep wherever it settled its weight. It ran with a gliding ballet step, far too poised and balanced for its ten tons. It moved into a sunlit arena warily, its beautifully reptillian hands feeling the air."

Oh but to be a fly on the geological wall as Pangaea was moving around on a malleable earth crust and  animals of sizes beyond our worst nightmares, roamed the planet. To be able to watch our planet as Nature took her through her different phases...asteroids landing in the arctic, the tropics and other places; ice ages growing and then melting as oceans ebbed and waned, swallowing up shorelines and then leaving bare continental shelves as the temperatures plummeted...for centuries!  Would we learn from such fantasian knowledge?  Would we build a better society?

Maybe these questions are better left to talented writers who roam through an easier world of make-believe...with realistic overtones. Today, we can instead, read National Geographic articles about the ancient geologic epochs and merely 'consider' this information.

I can attest to the fact that it WAS very comforting - at 2 AM, to know I could put my book on the night table, turn off the light and sleep safely through the  remaining hours of the dark-time.

Thank you Mr. Bradbury, for your talent, your vision and your imagination.

As always...Nature prevails, particularly, sixty-million years ago!

...Was that the sound of thunder?