Monday, May 19, 2008

New Growth

We had a fabulous weekend of sunshine and highs in the 80s or lower 90s. Or so I hear. I worked all weekend, and when I finally got outside after work, the days were a little overcast or simply getting dark. Today is overcast but still warm, so maybe Seattle has finally warmed up from its cold spring. All of a sudden the clover flowers are blooming, much to JoJo's joy. I brought a handful home for her today on my way back from the gym, and she gobbled them up.

The Wollemi pine I got almost a year ago has burst out with a nice layer of new growth. I like the way the tender little needles are all stuck together at the ends. The little pine is definitely bigger than last year, but it's looking a little scraggly just now. Maybe I'll wait to do a full photo on its adoption day in June.

This morning Michael and I saw our first begging baby bird. We call these "dumb birds" because at first glance they look adult sized, but they're all scruffy, wobbly, and look around with a dazed expression. Here's a short video of a house sparrow getting fed by his dad from the bird feeder:

This year we haven't had as many baby birds around as usual. Unfortunately, no one moved into my Nest Cam nest box. I'm very bummed. Last year some Bewick's wrens moved in, but this year, nada. Also, we used to have several families of sparrows or finches nesting in the eaves of our house. They had pecked through then screening on the vent holes under the eaves and were actually inside the attic, though just inside the eaves. I used to enjoy their loud begging in the morning, though it woke up Michael. This winter a rat moved into our attic, and we had all the holes plugged. No more rats, but no more baby birds. Oh well, it's better for the house this way.

I have today off, but a bazillion things to do. I hope I can enjoy the outdoors a bit!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Antiquities & Modernities

Yesterday was pretty exciting.

Early on in the day Michael and I went to the SAM to catch the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibit before it leaves at the end of the week. It was a wonderful exhibit, filled with sculptures, reliefs, and mosaics which I usually only see in books. I especially liked getting a very close-up view of the intricate mosaics. And of course I always love the jewelry! Even though we got there at 11:30am on a Wednesday, the place was packed. Way to go Seattle!

I haven't been in the SAM since it was renovated, and it was pretty spiffy. It had a much more modern feel than I remember. I really liked the sculpture Mann und Maus; an enormous matte black mouse sits on a sleeping man.

After a thrilling afternoon of coding and composting, Michael and I headed out again to go to Corteo, the latest Cirque du Soleil event to visit Seattle. Sometimes traffic to the East Side and parking at the show can be awful, but we got there with plenty of time to spare -- until I realized I had just left my wallet at the restaurant where we ate dinner. Duh! After rushing back to get it, we made it into the tent with 2 minutes to spare.

As usual, it was an awesome show. This year there were no bizarre costumes or makeup, and the acts revolved around ordinary things such as chandeliers, big bouncy beds, and large silver hoops. I actually was refreshed by the change, but some people probably missed it. The lady in the picture below was a mini-lady, and she was harnessed to a set of enormous helium balloons which made her almost weightless. She crowd surfed the audience as they helped her launch herself around the room with dainty boosts to her feet. I want one of those contraptions!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bijou!

My oldest child Bijou turned 14 on May 5th! Such a big girl! The oldest I've had a cat live to is 14, so I'm crossing my fingers she goes on for many more years. I think she will!

We had a bit of a scare earlier in the week with JoJo. She got very sick and stopped eating and pooping after a round of diarrhea (all over the living room!). After a few days of tempting her with fresh picked clover, she's back to her regular bouncy self. We think she ate some stuffing from the couch and got blocked up. Silly wabbit!