I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sunday bird blogging

A fairly terrible picture of a scrub jay enjoying breakfast in the garden here.

Drakes Beach

I haven't taken many pictures in Berkeley, and haven't processed most of those I did take, but here are a few from our excursion to Point Reyes on Friday.

Drakes Beach is backed by steep sandstone cliffs, which the wind and water have sculpted into beautiful patterns. The winds were on display Friday, and I could only stand to walk on the beach for maybe twenty minutes, but it was worth being in the grindstone of the flung sand and water to be able to breathe in that fresh air.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


My AirBnB in North Berkeley has a wonderful garden, lush and half-wild, full of bees and butterflies. And I have been spending a lot of time in it after a bad fall on the sidewalk on Sunday night which left me bruised and a little shaky. I have a lot of reading still to do for my Oxford program next month, and I have found that sitting in the shade in the garden and watching the swallowtails and hummingbirds makes it possible (barely) to wade through the impenetrable thickets of Henry James's prose.

At any rate, I have managed to finish The Turn of the Screw, and am pleased to realize that I still hate it every bit as much as I did when I was younger and much more inclined to decide I liked certain books because I felt that I should rather than because I actually did.

I'm very glad that I never have to try to teach my English students to parse something like this:

It was a pity that I should have had to quaver out again the reasons for my not having, in my delusion, so much as questioned that the little girl saw our visitant even as I actually saw Mrs. Grose herself, and that she wanted, by just so much as she did thus see, to make me suppose she didn’t, and at the same time, without showing anything, arrive at a guess as to whether I myself did!

The Truckee River

The trees and the water provided some respite from the heat, and the overwhelming Reno-ness of it all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Urban poetry

I find it hard to believe that anyone actually rides these things around downtown Reno, but they can't be merely decorative.

So Reno

It's never too early to stop in at the slot machines or the wedding chapel.

When my baby, when my baby smiles at me I go to Reno

Since I was in Reno for a funeral, I don't want to be flippant but that was my earworm for the two nights that I was there.

Not long before my mother died, I was sitting with her in the hospital and we were looking out the window at the desert sprawl. My mom sighed and said, "Kate, did you ever think we'd end up in Reno?" I hadn't, and neither had she, but there we were.

This was the first time I had ever stayed downtown, and I spent a morning walking around before it got too hot (which was at approximately 9 am.) I did get to see the small park along the Truckee River, which was pretty and pleasant, but otherwise it was all so, so Reno.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Saturday reflections

The view from my hotel room in Reno, Thursday night.

I was only there for two nights—I flew to the Bay Area today and am now at an AirBnB in Berkeley. I am too tired to come up with anything interesting to say, but I am very much enjoying being in a place that isn't oppressively hot.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Back to the Bay Area

I'm leaving tomorrow, for a brief stop in Reno and then on to Berkeley. So I want to post these pictures from last year's trip before I start collecting new ones: the view from Mount Tam and some nearby wildflowers, and the always amazing view from Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday bird blogging

This is really going back: a Cape robin-chat in the Virunga mountains in Rwanda in 2018. Considering how sick I was when I came home from that trip, it's not surprising that I overlooked a photo or two.

And that I eventually managed to travel again, to places that weren't Canada, despite that harrowing journey home and the pandemic that seemed to happen almost immediately afterwards, occasionally still surprises me. I keep thinking, Maybe I'm done now, but then I remember one more thing I always wanted to do, one more place I always wanted to see. And I'm making plans again.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Saturday reflections

Continuing with cleaning out the old folders: the Depot Rink Train Shed in Minneapolis, two summers ago.

One more bus window picture

I liked Costa Rica a lot, but for some reason this is the picture that makes me want to go back there.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Costa Rica through the bus window

The last day of the Costa Rica program we did an excursion to Cartago, Ujarrás, and the Orosi Valley. The traffic heading back into San José on a Saturday evening was solid gridlock, and these are pictures I took from the bus windows during the long ride home.

More Monteverde trees

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Monteverde again

Doing some flashbacks here. There are so many things I loved but never posted, like these trees in the Aguti reserve in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Urban poetry

Two stylized looks at a wonderful fire escape I saw in the neighborhood yesterday.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Saturday reflections

I took this picture on one of my discouraging treks to the Apple store last February, on what turned out to be the only snowy day of the winter.

In the hassle of moving everything to a new laptop, this picture got overlooked.

Random things I saw in Michigan

At the Pictured Rocks National Seashore: lichen on a wooden railing, beach through the trees, some forget-me-nots, and another look at Miner's Castle and the amazing green waters of Lake Superior. And I think that's it for the road trip pictures.

One last waterfall

And it's a good one. This is Tahquamenon Falls, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Sunday bird blogging

A raven—at least I think it was a raven; it could have been an enormous crow—in Wawa, Ontario. He'd obviously just been fishing.

Rainbow Falls

In the Ontario provincial park of the same name.

For the serious fan

You can have your very own official Packers helmet encrusted in Swarovski crystal for a mere $10,000. If that is too expensive—or perhaps, not sufficient as a sign of your devotion—there's also a crystal football for $5000.

The Packers

The official grill of the Green Bay Packers, along with associated official accessories, plus a few of the obligatory foam cheeseheads. (Sadly I did not think to take a picture of the official pickup truck of the GBP, with an entire truckload of cheeseheads.)

I do love that statue of Vince Lombardi outside the stadium in the picture on the right.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Saturday reflections

The window at the Green Bay Packers store at Lambeau Field.

I was never a huge football fan, but I can't watch it at all anymore, thinking about the brain damage those men are inflicting on each other while the NFL turns a blind eye. But going though the acres of merchandise on sale there—I hadn't realized how many objects it was possible to slap a logo on—was hugely entertaining and I enjoyed it very much.

It was a highlight in what was otherwise a surprisingly dreary city.

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