The Rainbow Keeps the Bad Cloud Away

I like how it looks like the rainbow is keeping the dark, yellow-grey cloud contained.

Dark cloud trapped under the rainbow
Dark cloud trapped under the rainbow

An evening storm blew by a few weeks ago.

dark cloud and rainbow
Hold it right there, cloud.

Dream Car: Ford Galaxie 500

This car is gorgeous.

Ford Galaxie 500 on the beach
Ford Galaxie 500 on the beach

The fact that it was parked on the beach made it even more appealing. I don’t know anything about cars, but I know when I see a pretty one. This car looks like it would make me feel amazing if I were behind the wheel.

According to my research (and by that I mean read the Wiki page for 5 minutes), it seems like this beautiful, green Ford Galaxie 500 might be a third or fourth generation, or made between 1965 and 1974. Anyone into cars? Can you share some info? Comparing it to some of the pics on Wikipedia, it seems like it might be from 1966-68, maybe?

I saw this on Assateague Island last weekend and was very tempted to hop in it and check it out. Maybe one day I can learn how to Photoshop myself into it.

Day 17 and 19, The Flower Rocket Experiment: Not Dead, Hooray!

I was happy to see when I got back home from vacation that my little Flower-Rockets-to-be were not dead. Hooray! Here they are on Day 17 looking, well, kind of the same as last time.

Day 17, Flower Rocket sprouts
Day 17, Flower Rocket sprouts
Day 17, Flower Rocket sprouts
Day 17, Flower Rocket sprouts

Hey, at least they didn’t dry up while I was away. I was worried. They seem like they haven’t grown much, but I guess breaking even isn’t too bad.

Day 19, Flower Rocket sprouts
Day 19, Flower Rocket sprouts

Day 19, Flower Rocket sprouts

Day 19, Flower Rocket sprouts

And today makes Day 19. It’s nice to see the differences in the sprouts. At least that’s one way to track progress.

Grow, babies, grow!

Cold Days finished, Skin Game out tomorrow

SPOILER WARNING for Cold Days

I finished Cold Days (#14 of The Dresden Files) and it was OK. It’s one of the longer books of the series, weighing in at 515 pages, so there was a lot there to love. The problem is, I didn’t love it. Bums me out to say.

There was a lot of ground to cover in this book. Harry, back from the dead, has to deal with belonging to Mab as the new Winter Knight. She’s got training lined up for him, a great big birthday party, and then his first assignment — to kill Maeve. The story centers on Harry trying to solve the mystery of what the adversary is, who’s affected, and who should be killed, all while he’s adjusting to the power he’s been given.

As the story unfolds, everyone he knows is surprised to see him alive and pissed at him for not getting in touch after coming back from the dead, and finally Harry realizes (again) that he could use the help of his friends. The book has lots of interesting tidbits about other characters and some about Harry’s past, but overall i didn’t love it.

I was disappointed with Harry’s “struggles” with the winter mantle telling him to hurt girls. As I understood it, those scenes were supposed to show him dealing with the consequences of his choice to become the Winter Knight, but that didn’t make them any fun to read. The message seemed to be that Harry is a good guy after all, and would never do a thing like that…although he totally could have if he wanted to. I thought the women involved who knew what he had just been thinking about in those scenes had somewhat strange reactions. As in, not much of a reaction at all. Especially not Molly, what was going on there? He said he wanted to “put her in her place”? That’s pretty dark. Anyway, that aspect of the book was disappointing, and took away from my overall enjoyment of it.

There was, however, some great stuff in Cold Days. I did really like Demonreach and finding out more about that character and island. I loved the scenes with Mother Winter and Mother Summer, and the parts with the Wild Hunt. Cat Sith was lots of fun and I hope to see him again. After waiting so long to see if Harry and Murphy get together, I was happy to see Harry take Thomas’s advice to not put things off until later and just go for it already. However, when we finally got to the end, I found that the conversation between Harry and Murphy was just kind of awkward. Crying and hand-holding? Um, I guess that’s the relationship we’ve been waiting for all this time?  I’m interested to see what becomes of it, and I’m excited for the release of Skin Game tomorrow. Something tells me it’s not going to be full of date nights for H&K and picnics with all the Dresden friends, but I’m looking forward to it anyway 🙂

Ponies on Assateague Island

Yesterday I went back to Assateague Island, and on my way out I saw some ponies! When I saw a long line of cars pulled over and a crowd gathered on the opposite side of the road it was easy to guess why.

Ponies
Ponies enjoying Memorial Day weekend

It was exciting to see so many.  There were even a few little ones. They were pretty close to the road, but not quite close enough for the zoom on my camera to get a good picture.

Ponies
Ponies on Assateague Island

These ponies are part of the herd of 150 wild ponies on the Virginia side of the island, where they are commonly called Chincoteague ponies. This is half of the total population, with the other half on the Maryland side (where they are known as Assateague horses).  The two herds are managed by two different authorities. In Maryland, the National Park Service regards them as a wild species and generally does not intervene except to provide contraceptives to keep their numbers at about 150.

Thanks
Thanks for showing yourselves, wild ponies.

In Virginia, the ponies are owned and managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. They receive a check-up from a veterinarian twice a year, and are kept in good health because every year some ponies are auctioned off during the Chincoteague Island Pony Swim and Carnival. Each year, the herd swims across the Assateague Channel to the mainland, and some ponies are sold. The auction helps control the population as well as help fund the fire department. The first Swim was in 1925, and the today tradition is described as a “national treasure” by AssateagueIsland.com. The website says that roughly 40,000 people attend the event, which is usually broadcast by Good Morning America. This year’s Pony Swim is scheduled for July 30.

We
Afternoon sun on Assateague Island

Assateague Island photos, cannibalistic crab stories

I visited Assateague Island, Virginia, yesterday afternoon. Thick clouds moved across the sky to create some interesting lighting effects.

The evening sky leaving Assateague Island
The evening sky leaving Assateague Island

I saw a few of the island’s wild ponies, but far off from the road. They were running and possibly playing. I only caught a glimpse, and not with my camera.

Picked up some scallops and hush puppies for dinner. The staff at the crab house had to constantly turn people away who were looking for blue crabs. This is the second consecutive bad year for the crab harvest. “No one on the island has blue crabs,” they said, “and it’s going to be this way all summer.” Prices have gone up almost 200% per bushel, according to the waitress.

Last year’s harvest was considered the worst in decades, but that comes after a record high year in 2012, says this article from Southern Maryland Online.

Increased water temperatures and high rates of cannibalism are said to be factors in last year’s low numbers. Cannibalism? Yes, apparently blue crabs don’t have any hang ups about that sort of thing. Even they know how delicious they are!

No ponies but a nice view on Assateague Island
No ponies, but a nice view on Assateague Island

It’s disappointing news (but kind of fascinating about the cannibalism). The beach season is basically getting started this weekend, and to know that there won’t be any blue crabs (or any that I can afford, probably) this year is a bummer. And to think the crabs are eating each other out there. Hey, save some for me! 

Apparently there's a lot of cannibalism happening out there.
Apparently there’s a lot of cannibalism happening in those waters.

Day 13, The Flower Rocket Experiment: Hang in there, sprouts!

Day 13 of my little experiment. Not too much has changed. The tiny plants got a bit bigger.

Day 13, Flower Rocket

Day 13, Flower Rocket

I’m worried about their future. Turns out we have to go away for the weekend. These things are supposed to be watered every day. The good news is that it’s supposed to rain, so I pushed the pots to the edge of the balcony where the rain usually blows in.

Day 13, Flower Rocket

Day 13, Flower Rocket

I watered them thoroughly this evening and plan to top them off in the morning before we go. Good luck little sprouts! I’ll be back before you know it.

Day 11, The Flower Rocket Experiment

So we’re on Day 11 of the Flower Rocket Experiment. Things are going along nicely. We had a few rainy, cloudy days so I think more sunshine could have helped these guys along a bit more.

Day 11, sprouts

Day 11, sprouts (Oops, blurry!)

Day 11, sprouts
Day 11, sprouts

Now it seems like the pot that had the green spiral stuff sticking out of the soil might actually be doing better than the one that was buried farther down. I guess we’ll see how they go.

I almost feel bad comparing them. Like they say you’re not supposed to compare your children (even in your head, to yourself….but how can you not?).  Maybe part of it is because I know which one of my children planted which pot 🙂

The Flower Rocket Experiment

On Mother’s Day, my daughter proudly marched me outside to see my gift. What looked like a piece of blue bubble wrap sticking out of a flower pot is actually something called the Flower Rocket (as seen on TV!, apparently). The grandparents helped my kids plant them, and luckily they saved the box so there was something to explain what I was looking at. This allowed me to show genuine enthusiasm for my gift, as opposed to the times when, well…anyone who’s ever gotten a scribbled paper as a present knows what I’m talking about.

Flower rocket day 5
Flower Rocket Day 5

So here they are on Day 5. Looking good, seeing some tiny bits of green sprouting.

Flower Rocket, Day 5, closeup
Day 5, sprouts
Day 5, sprouts, flower rocket
Day 5, sprouts

Here they are on Day 7. You can start to see differences between the sprouts. So far, so good.

Day 7, sprouts, flower rocket
Day 7, sprouts
Day 7, sprouts, flower rocket
Day 7, sprouts

The box promises that I’m getting 15 flower varieties, with more than 2,000 seeds, thousands of flowers, and continuous blooming all summer long. I’m excited and looking forward to how these turn out!

Has anyone had experience with these rocket things? I see that there’s a tomato one as well.

UPDATE: April 2015, To see how it all turned out, see the list of posts that I wrote about my two Flower Rockets