I Found Lucas Again

Last year, about this time, I posted a short video of Lucas, the Spider, thoroughly watching adored it, and promptly forgot all about him.

Yesterday, I was researching some stuff on YouTube for a big project Mrs Widds and I are planning for next year, and I’m sure you know about that dastardly sidebar that leads down all sorts of rabbit holes. Well, there he was looking out at me with those adorable shiny eyes, (all eight of ’em) and I decided to share his latest adventure with you.

Just in case you want to investigate his adventures further, here’s his Youtube channel.

Here we go …. Boop!

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Once Upon A Time …

… there were three very, very, little raccoons …

… who, with their mum, firmly herding them, scooted across our back garden, where Mrs Widds and I were having an afternoon cuppa, before the mosquitoes and drizzle drove us inside, yet again.

I’ll be honest, I’m loving these cooler temperatures and wildfire-smoke-free skies, but I’d like to see the sun and some blue sky, more than once a week.

Anyway there we were, peacefully sipping our beverages, coffee for Mrs Widds and tea for me, when Mrs Widds quietly squeaked, she seldom squeaks, quietly or otherwise, so I looked in the direction she was squeaking toward.

The three little brown fluffballs accompanied by Mdme Raccoon completely ignored us as they traversed the scruffy lawn, which was in dire need of mowing, but the deal was when the sun decided to shine for two consecutive days then, and only then, would I haul out our ancient lawnmower and do the deed.

I was so enamoured of this raccoonish close encounter that I simply beamed at them and raised my cuppa in salute to what was obviously one of their first outings into the wide world.

They soon disappeared behind the neighbour’s shed to further their adventures elsewhere, or so I thought.

Mrs Widds squeaked again, and I had presence of mind, this time to dash inside and get my trusty cellphone/camera, while Mrs Widds kept me informed of the little darling’s peregrinations.

It turned out that the day’s adventures were over and the three baby raccoons were on their way to bed in … well, you’ll see.

(these are the best of the shaky and blurry shots I managed to get without having my glasses on)

Mdme Raccoon - "This way children." #1 - "I wanna go this way" #2 - "Ooooh, what's that over there?" #3 - "I think I trod in something disgusting ... and tasty."

Mdme Raccoon – “This way children.”
#1 – “I wanna go this way”
#2 – “Ooooh, what’s that over there?”
#3 – “I think I trod in something disgusting … and tasty.”

Mdme R - "Well, alright, you can stay up for five more minutes." #1 - "I think I heard a ghost. I'll come in now."

Mdme R – “Well, alright, you can stay up for five more minutes.”
#1 – “I think I heard a ghost. I’ll come in now.”

#2 - "Me too." #3 - "Well, I'm not staying out here all by myself, even though I'm not scared or anything." Mdme R - "Follow me then, and no dawdling."

#2 – “Me too.”
#3 – “Well, I’m not staying out here all by myself, even though I’m not scared or anything.”
Mdme R – “Follow me then, and no dawdling.”

#2 - "Do you believe in ghosts?" #3 - "Nah."

#2 – “Do you believe in ghosts?”
#3 – “Nah.”

#2 - I think I'll go in anyway. It's getting a bit chilly."

#2 – I think I’ll go in anyway. It’s getting a bit chilly.”

#3 - "Wuss."

#3 – “Wuss.”

#3 – “Um, well, I guess I’ll go in too.”

All quiet, up on the roof

All quiet, up on the roof

In the grand scheme of things three little babies might not be important, but given the state of the grand scheme of these days, the adventures of three little babies just might be the most important thing ever.

Cue ‘Up On The Roof’ made famous by The Drifters, and of course, written by Carole King

Midsummer Chills and the Pyramid

At the beginning of May we had a week of summer temperatures, and at the beginning of June we had three consecutive days where the sun managed to break through the cloud cover for more than a few fleeting minutes.

These are the ‘interesting’ times we now live in, and which will continue to get more ‘interesting-er’ as the seasons progress.

The seedlings I started in pots and carton-halves in the patio are only now strong enough to go out into the gardens. I will tend them as I can, but their survival is uncertain.

The beans and climbing cardinals, (I have no idea what they actually are but the flowers looked pretty on the seed packet) will be going into a new garden that Mrs Widds and I constructed, in between rainshowers and thunderstorms.

Baby beans ...

Baby beans …

... and baby cardinals

… and baby cardinals

Our little rented house on an island in the middle of a lake is a duplex. Since the new owners took possession four-ish years ago, the other half of has remained vacant except for their infrequent flying visits, so we basically have the yard to ourselves.

A previous tenant had build a firepit with old bricks, but it soon degenerated into a pile of ash and weeds. In order to do some sort of gardening this season I decided to take it in hand.

First there was the removal of bricks and weeds …

… to reveal a decent heap of ash, most of which we removed to the compost heap, then rebuilt the soil with compost and sandy topsoil. Then it was time to assemble the required tools …

An assortment of dried bamboo sticks ...

An assortment of dried bamboo sticks …

Scissors, a ball of old wool, and duct tape - a gardeners best friend

Scissors, a ball of old wool, and duct tape – a gardeners best friend

… and construct this …

I stopped stringing the wool halfway down to plant the seedlings

I stopped stringing the wool halfway down to plant the seedlings

Look at that craftswomanship!!!

Look at that craftswomanship!!!

Here are the babies, all snug and sound in their new home ...

Here are the babies, all snug and sound in their new home …

That white stuff on the ground isn’t snow, (although the high passes to the interior just north-east of us did get a bit of a fall for Summer Solstice) it’s crushed eggshells, to ward off slugs. They don’t appreciate all those sharp edges …. bwhahahahaha …

The sun graced us with her presence yesterday so I took advantage of the light for the final shot.

... and now we wait

… and now we wait

Why Mirrors Lie

Mrs Widds seemed in a pensive mood last night.

As couples who have been together for a while tend to do, we both, for no particular reason, turned to each other at the same time. I, from my computer and she, from her book.

Perhaps something had been triggered by what she had been reading, for she looked at me and asked, probably rhetorically, “Why do mirrors never show us as we see ourselves?”

“Because they lie,” I answered without thinking.

It’s not their fault, of course, they were cursed, a long, long time ago: And this is how it happened …

When they were first invented, by a cronemage who chose the name Skögul after one of the Valkyries of legend, mirrors reflected all aspects of the viewer back to themselves.

First there was the Physical image, but it was a weak, thinly defined, image, because, of course, the physical is only the first stage of one’s Self. Layered on the Physical, was the Mental image, where one could, if one looked closely enough, discern all the thoughts one had ever created. The third layer was the Emotional, thick and full of drama and beauty, it was the layer that created a three dimensional aspect to the other two. Finally came the Spirit layer that bound the other three to it and thereby giving the viewer what was known as a True Reflection.

Skögul made them, freely available to all who asked.

When she felt her life drawing to a close she made a special mirror that enabled her Spirit, at the moment of her Death, to brush lightly across the surface of all the mirrors she’d created, in a kind of a Blessing. Then she was no more.

Eventually one of Skögul’s mirrors crossed paths with a wizard. The sort of wizard who had long white hair and a long white beard, both longer, in his estimation than all the other wizards he knew. In fact the wizards gathered together once a year for a beard & hair measuring competition, as is the way with wizards who are concerned more with the length of their, beards, than being wizards.

This particular wizard looked at his reflection in the Skögul Mirror, and to his horror and disgust, saw the true nature of his Spirit.

He was also bald and cleanshaven, which wouldn’t do at all.

He gathered his dignity around him like a shroud and, ignoring the twitching eye in his reflection, cast a mighty spell that broke the enchantment on every one of the Skögul Mirrors, so they would show him only what he wanted to see.

Skögul, of course, had the last laugh. The wizards curse didn’t quite work out for him. From that moment on, all the mirrors ever made, in all the world, would only ever reflect back the thinnest, meanest, layer of what a person truly was.

Every now and then though, in dusty corners of second-hand stores, or mouse-nibbled boxes in attics and basements, and wrapped in cloth that smelled of mists on lakes, and sunsets on ancient stones, and if one is very lucky, a true Skögul Mirror will appear, and a True Reflection will be shown.

The Perfect Riposte …

… on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Found this on a ‘fun memes’ thread at Permies.com, an all-things-permaculture-y site.

A Bit More About Doris

When I heard the news this morning, that Doris Day had died, my first reaction was, ‘Oh, that’s so sad’, and I put up a ‘Bon Voyage’ post.

I knew immediately which song video I wanted to include, because it has been a favourite of mine for decades.

A little while later I was listening to and watching the video again and I burst into tears, the big gut-wrenching sobbing kind of tears, but not, perhaps, for the reasons you might imagine.

When I was growing up, there were no songs about people like me. There were no movies, no TV shows, about people like me. There were books written about people like me, but the characters almost always went insane or died tragic deaths.

As I grew older I learned there was a large part of society, that I believed I was a part of, that wanted me dead too, or securely locked away from them, and at the least, to never be happy, never have a cultural identity, to never live freely, and most importantly never, ever, fall in love. (that part of society never goes away. Sometimes they’re able to butcher us with impunity and sometimes their brutalities are censured, but they never, ever, leave us alone)

Isolated from each other by all aspects of mainstream cultural expressions, we found our voices elsewhere. We started writing and singing and recording our own songs about women loving women. We started writing and publishing our own stories about women loving women. (mostly with happy endings, because we desperately needed to know that is was possible, but occasionally an unhappy ending, because we never fooled ourselves into believing that ‘happily ever after’s’ existed all the time)

And every now and then, there came from the mainstream, moments that called to us out of the relentlessly heterosexual cultural offerings, and we saw our Selves, inside the dialogue and characters of television shows and movies and books, and inside the lyrics of songs. (a secret code, like that ‘certain smile’ we give each other when we pass each other on the street)

Some of those songs became our cultural anthems, to be shouted from the rooftops, with all the anger and rage and passion we could muster. Some we danced to late at light in underground, and illegal, nightclubs, and in our living-rooms, because sometimes that was the only safe place where we could gather. And sometimes we cried them into our pillows, holding on to them for dear life. And sometimes our friends and lovers played then at our funerals. (or at the wakes we held because the ‘blood’ family wouldn’t allow us to attend the funeral)

‘Secret Love’ was one of those songs, of course it was. (pretty much the entire movie was, actually)

-oOo-

A bonus video, because I’ve had a good cry, and it’s time to smile and remember the good times.

This scene happens before ‘Calam’ rides out in her bright-and-shiny buckskins, a’singin’ and a’ridin’ along. You put the two songs together and wadda you got? A secret love that’s no secret anymore.

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

This is a report commissioned by the United Nations. Wikipedia has an outline that’s worth reading. One sentence leapt off the page at me and it goes like this …‘The total biomass of wild mammals has decreased by 82%, while humans and their farm animals now make up 96% of all mammalian biomass on Earth…’

And then there’s this bit …‘humanity has rendered 23% or Earth’s land ecologically degraded and no longer usable’. On a planet where only 29% of it’s entire surface is land.

Are you angry yet? Is there a sick feeling in your stomach yet?

The UN SDG (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) website has a much more in-depth breakdown, and it’s just as horrifying.

All those facts and figures aren’t what’s coming, they’re what’s here, they’re real, and they’re going to get worse because politicians will tweet and squeak and blame the ‘other’ side. Their willfully thoughtless followers will do the same. Corporations will continue to use ‘jobs’ and ‘profits’ and ‘shareholders’ to justify their actions.

Others will use the good old standby of ‘no-one else is stepping up so why should I?’

Others will trot out their ‘sustainability’ credentials as if that absolves them. ‘Unwilling to comprehend that ‘sustainable’ is no longer enough.

There are men and women, and children, all over the world, millions of us, who resolutely face how things are, and are doing what we can to change this catastrophic trajectory, but right now in this moment, it’s not enough.

It’s not enough. This I believe.

More and more people will take action over the coming years, and perhaps that trajectory will be swayed. This I hope.

Right now, I’m going to take my tea and sit in my garden and I’ll probably have a good cry because my heart is hurting … and then … and then … I’ll watch the newly awakened bees, along with all sorts of other creatures, pollinate our strawberries, and the dandelions and buttercups.

This too, is where I find my hope.

Strawbs and Co

Strawbs and Co