Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Aye it's a hot and sultry day

I think this may be the NC state bird. Actually, I just made that up. There are vultures EVERYWHERE here. It's just amazing. They're excellent fliers. They ride the thermals and wait for something to die. They're very cautious, because once on the ground it's hard to get back into the air, so they want to make sure it's really dead. These were photographed at a vulture-fest in someone's front yard. A deer was hit by a car and they were congregating.

This is the NC state reptile, no wait, made that up, too. We have lizards in the front yard and in the garage. Lizard poop looks a lot like bird poop. This is one of the largest we have seen. He lost his tail, it will grow back. They're fun to watch. We have tera cotta yard art and they enjoy laying on it and soaking up the heat. Although after today they probably will be down at the pool instead.

No, this is not the NC state mammal. Isn't he cuuuuuuuuuute? Yes, I know, not everyone enjoys squirrels. I've been putting out corn for them. They insist on burying it in the "natural area", that would be bark under the trees. There are now lots of little holes where they've been digging. People in NC buy 50 pound bags of deer corn, and load it into feeders. The deer become accustomed to receiving food at the feeder. Then comes hunting season. I'm not morally opposed to hunting, it's just that doesn't seem to be sporting.

These are growing wild across from the fire station. When we lived in Seattle, growing anything was so often a struggle. Here, you throw it in the ground and it pretty much grows. It's amazing what copious amounts of sunlight will do for plants. New Guinea Impatiens are full sun plants in Puget Sound, here they have to be sheltered from the afternoon sun. It's too hot! Their little leaf edges were turning brown.

Today we have the August weather pattern, there's a high sitting off the coast shepherding hot moist air in. It was 96 and 99% humidity. Air conditioning is our friend.
No action on the house, I think patience and a jaw dropping price cut will be required. Even then, who knows. The articles in the paper about the market picking up in two years are dismal. I don't know why we read the newspaper. Is it just me or is it really really depressing? Between the economy and the rest, I'm opting for the comics and the advertising circulars.
When we were in Sedona, I found the March 2008 issue of dwell in the laundromat. The editor had done a really good piece on the lack of good design in this country. This was something Jim and I had become aware of driving across country, that it's become impossible to look around and know where you are. Every 25 miles there's a retail clot with Borders, Target, Chili's and a Walmart. Downtowns and the areas that made places unique and special are just dying out. Anyway, someone else had included this on their blog, so I'm stealing it and pasting it here since I don't have to retype it. It was very thought provoking for me.

"Undesign, as I will call it, is a national virus. I am not talking about a dearth of starchitect structures and Eames chairs or a simple lack of style. I am talking about a vital carelessness, both programmatic and aesthetic. I am talking about a passive willingness to allow poor decisions to invade and govern our enviroment at every turn. Undesign is fed by America's all-you-can-eat-for-less mentality--another trip to the buffet even though we are stuffed--and too few question it, because why turn down another plate of popcorn shrimp when there is so much?"
-Sam Grawe

March 2008 Dwell magazine editor’s notes

And further, now that the economy is tanking and people aren't driving as much or shopping, since all their money is now going for gas, what happens to China and the countries that were pinning their hopes on the American consumer? One wonders if the entire planetary economy is going to auger in. It gives me a headache.

So, on that happy thought, we're going to go pack up the mountain bikes and head out to Umsted park EARLY in the morning. There is a 14 mile trail there that's fun to ride, and there will be shade.

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