Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Note to Shelley

Hi Shelley W. (Blogspot doesn't give me people's contact info, so i respond to your comment on my sun scorpion post here.) We must have almost driven right past your house last weekend when we headed up the highway from Amarillo through Liberal, KS and beyond. We live in Portales, NM. I'm glad you are bringing your interest in local wildlife to your classroom. So important to develop youngsters' interest and respect for the other organisms we share the earth with. Thanks for your comments!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Road Trip Posting 1

It was a very pleasant and uneventful trip from New Mexico to Winnipeg, Canada, a few days ago. I usually have a needlework project or something to do while my husband logs 24 hrs behind the wheel. I folded flowers this time. I believe it is called kusudama.

I nodded off one morning and came to with about two miles of flooded hiway in front of us, complete with whitecaps. The water was about 3 inches deep right across the 2-lane road. They were letting trucks through and warning cars to detour. Since i was sleeping, my husband made the unilateral decision that our vehicle wasn't a car--it was a minivan... :-) We made the crossing without problems.

The old house looks great, and compared to our New Mexico home, everything is deliciously moist and verdant here. Mom's gardens look great, and we're enjoying rhubarb pies and rhubarb crisps! The mosquitoes haven't come out in their expected swarms, yet. My mom and dad took us to Lower Fort Garry to learn about life here in 1850's. Mostly my kids (teenaged boys) acted bored, but the Fort interpreters are really amazing: they dress and speak like they are right in the 1850's, living life in a Red River trading post.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On Vacation

Had to close up etsy shop while we head north on our annual trip to Canada. I look forward to posting a few blog entries while enjoying trees and water, wow!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lost in the Petals

Our rain last week was wonderful, but it is but a dim memory now as the hot, dry, windy continues. I love poppies, and i managed to catch this one's image before the heat and wind shriveled it. Our cat Bogart is a real character. He joined us about 6 months ago and he has been the subject of probably 75 percent of the photographs taken by my family. He liked the poppy, too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


These long white bones covered in little flowers bring to my mind the Mexican Day of the Dead festivities. It's a strange combination of birth and blooming and death and mortality. The grungy antique look of the silver plum glass bone and heart is attractive, too. All of these bead are now in The Bead You Need etsy shop.

My little babysitting ward turned two today! My previous nanny charge was named Henry. Since one of my son's was already a Henry, we referred to the baby Henry as "Baby H". He was about 4 yrs old when he pointed out that he wasn't a baby any longer and that the nickname "Baby H" was embarrassing, if not downright insulting. Up to this point i have referred to my current ward as "Pip", which seemed cute when he was a baby. But since he's getting to be a big boy now, i'm going to have to give him a different pet name. I'm leaning towards "J.D." (stands for John Deere) since he's a serious tractor enthusiast).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Target Practice

My teenaged son has an etsy shop! The shop is called Target Practice. He is selling slingshot ammo that he makes in a mold. The lead he uses to make the ammo is stuff he's collected on our nature outings. So he's recycling, cleaning up the environment, and being creative. Awesome. I'm giving him a hand with the sewing of the recycled jean denim ammo pouches. These sets of ammo, pouch and amusing targets would make a really neat Father's Day gift, if the father happens to have a sling shot. Or a great outdoor activity starter for any boys in your life.

He's looking into making bullet shell and glass jewelry, too, and i hope this comes to pass. It sure won't be from lack of support, gentle nagging, and light shoving on my part.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Some Pretty New Crow Beads

Finally! New beads. These are in the shop now.

I like beads that look handmade, as opposed to being made in a bead pressing machine. I like a little variation, particularly in color, but a little variation in size and shape doesn't put me off usually. But since i'm in the business of selling beads, not buying them, i get into this mindset where i don't think my beads are perfect enough for public consumption. Eventually i always argue myself back to a position of: i make beads that i like and people don't have to buy them if they don't like them. And then my job/hobby is enjoyable once more. :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Noble Sun Scorpion

This is an arachnid from the Order Solifugae. They are found in most of the really dry, hot climates on earth. You don't come across them very often unless you poke around at night with a headlamp, like we do. :-) They are commonly called sun scorpion, wind scorpion, camel spider or false spider.

This one has been living with us for about a week. Why? because they are really fun to watch. They are incredibly active and voracious like you wouldn't believe. This one has been dining on cockroaches and even when she was full to bursting, like a grape, she couldn't resist tearing into yet another roach.

Note the cute little close-together beady eyes on top of her head. The front of her head is two massive chelicerae. The pair of long legs on the front are modified mouthparts called pedipalps. Before she gained all that roach weight she could pull herself up the side of her container using them, and they also are sensory in function, kind of like antennae.

As she fattened up, you could see her fill up with lumpy white tissue. We thought maybe it was eggs, but maybe just fat. The consistency of the white stuff is now much grainier, but we think it is too tiny for them to be eggs, since that would be a thousand eggs, where as they only lay about 100. In any case, she was released today so that she can go do what she needs to do. Good luck, Mabel!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Misc. blog subjects continue. With the kids out of school and husband off from his teaching job my time is not being used at the torch, and i can't seem to get a new routine going. Too many distractions.

My family is dealing with flooding up north, and we've been dealing with drought in the south. But for the third evening in a row it is raining tonight, and you can almost hear the land sighing with relief. And best of all, my roof repair seems to have worked! The other night it started out with a little light hail, and while me and the kid were standing at the back door in awe of precipitation, this single big hail ball came flying across the yard and stopped at his feet.

The guys drove out to Lake Meridith last week to collect a particular kind of beetles that can be found on the shores of certain lakes. The top photo is a picture looking down the boat ramp. Lake Meridith is a large reservoir north of Amarillo, and is the source of that city's water. The water level has been dropping for the past several years. But it looks like a nice spot for a picnic. There was water in other areas of the lake, and specimens of the desired beetles were taken.

The goats are in the back yard of a house here in town. I love those thick, knobby legs. Lots of homes also have flocks of chickens that free range down the alleys or into the playgrounds. One home has what sounds like many roosters behind a high fence. I'm pretty sure it is a cock fighting production.