Thursday, May 21, 2009


katherine is awesome. i told her about my slug-catching activities and rather than being revolted she asked me to catch her a big fat one to pre-digest her compost materials. so one night i went out and filled a jar with about a dozen slimy friends and brought them over the next day. the day after that i got a voicemail from katherine, tentatively asking me if i was disgusted by slugs or not, and eventually asking if i would come over and photograph her with slugs on her face. obviously i said yes. slugs don’t gross me out...i don’t think i’d go so far as to personally let them slime my lips and eyelids, but it was fun to watch katherine get slugged.

after i bottled up those slugs for her i watched them for a long time. i put a bunch of carrot peels and some lettuce in the jar for them to eat, and it was fascinating to watch them chow down...they eat surprisingly quickly, and you can hear the crunching, and see their mouthparts and their one big, beak-shaped tooth. some of them were crawling up the side of the jar and scraping their beaks against the glass--it was very cool looking, sort of like watching a sucker fish only you could hear the tooth scraping against the surface. and watching their undersides crawl up the glass is also way interesting. there’s this long, rippling muscle that basically acts like a conveyer never goes back and forth or contracts and expands, it just ripples perpetually forward. and apparently, when placed on the eyelids, it tickles like hell.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


i've been having fun with the underwater camera...i named it "unterwasserboot," german for "underwater boat," because there's a german cover of the beatles' "yellow submarine" that uses that word and i've always fancied it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

there's a place for us

i was out on my bike taking photos pretty much all day today. first i met up with katherine at BSU and we marveled over not having anything to do…we wandered around, dipped our toes in the river (which is freezing right now), then went to the boise art museum. there’s an ansel adams exhibit, and james castle.

after katherine and i parted ways i rode down the greenbelt quite a few miles, then pedaled back and went to ann morrison and katherine albertson parks, then to the nature center, then home.

i was out for six hours, rode about 15 miles (walked a ton too) and took almost 900 photos. saw four turtles, a mink, a bald eagle, a hawk, and countless geese. now i’m exhausted.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

beautiful growing things

i spent a large part of today in the garden, wandering around and staring at everything. it’s so meditative.

peas are elegant. that’s the word that always comes to mind when i study the way their vines curl.

this bee was very friendly. she hung out on the lilac bush for about 20 minutes putting up with my lens right in her face.

record bowls make excellent planters.

there was a huge hail storm today. thunder and wind and everything. i watched it pummel the garden and considered dashing out with some cardboard or towels, but i knew it would be over before i could rig protective contraptions. it didn’t damage anything except the poppy blooms.

i’ve caught and released over 40 spotted leopard garden slugs in the last week, some of them over 6” long. they’re adorable but they had to go. bastards munched every single one of my sunflower sprouts, and a few bean sprouts too. so every night i’ve been combing the yard with a flashlight and plucking them…at first i was collecting them all in a big plastic cup then releasing them in a grassy/weedy area down the street, but now i’m just tossing them over to the other side of the stream. very gently. it’s a nice soft grassy landing so i don’t feel too bad. and really, how many garden slugs get to experience flight?

this is minnidar, the new garden mascot. she was a graduation gift. hopefully she will be an effective scare-slug…or maybe she’s like the pied piper of slugs, leading them all away in the night with her flute. that must be it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

reed's weeds

reed and i discovered a fun new game this week. it’s called “put as much nature as we can fit into reed’s beard and then take millions of pictures.” it started last night when we were on a little walk and i saw some pretty yellow weed flowers and put them in his beard and took pictures. then we wandered around and took lots and lots more pictures. then today we tried another type of flower, then pine needles, and pictures, pictures, pictures.

all of the yellow weed flower pictures are on reed’s new camera, so i don’t have them yet, but i do have the ones from today.
this guy was so impressed with reed’s plumage that he asked if he could take a cell phone picture to send his wife.