A Journal For Charlie


Fields of Grain


On my way to Mickey D’s for iced coffee

I noticed a wide field of grain

Under the setting sun, it looked absolutely golden

I raced home for the camera and the wide-angle lens

When I returned, the field wasn’t quite so golden anymore

I had visions of photographing my landscape

from a very low and dramatic angle

Well, forget that

Risking loss of life and limb parked alongside a busy highway

I did what any sensible old woman would have done

I snapped what I saw from the solid footing of the pavement:

My shadow, a luxuriant crop of Johnson Grass, and a muddy ditch.


So much for that elusive Great American Landscape photograph


Green Chicken & Pasta



If there is anything That-Green-Chicken (as Kelli calls her)

Loves more than little bits of chicken

It’s great gobs of pasta


She finished off her scant serving


While I was fetching a glass of water

Dove right into mine!



Garden Bones

The winter freezes left a skeleton garden

Covered in the corpses of Fan Palm Fronds

Pygmy Date Palm Fronds

Flowering shrubs


The Carolina Trumpet Vine

Gone from the pergola

Leaving only shadows

To stand in for shade



A baby Tree Frog

Taking refuge under cover

of the rocks

That protected the winter fountain


Where there was a view of graceful Pygmy Fronds

Sheltering the porch

Only bearded Pygmy trunks remain


a rude vista of a fence

where low-hanging Fans

once shifted in the sunlit breeze


Layer on layer of fallen fans

Littered the lawn

Waiting their turn to be hauled away

Only two rows, he said

We’ll plant underneath, something for color, he said


While I was busy looking down at what was lost

The old palms were busy looking up

At the youngsters unfolding like magic above them

Fans would shift again in the sunlit breeze

Come early summer.


Pygmy Blossoms


An ancient Pygmy blossom

Dried on the trunk of a Pygmy Date Palm tree

Tiny dates once grew on the stems


During pruning of the old fronds, these dried blossoms were overlooked

They were undoubtedly among the first fruits produced by the tree

Years ago


The blossoms were once heavy with clusters of tiny dates

The shell was green and the blossoms were bright yellow

The tiny fruits developed from the stems

Although they do not resemble regular dates, they are edible


A shell that once covered the growing cluster of dates

When it opened, the blossom spilled out in a profusion of fruits

It dried to a woody shell and remained unnoticed on the tree

Hidden by the long, graceful fronds from above


 Romero Martinez

The happy Garden Butcher

After the winter freezes, Romero removed the lower fronds

Revealing the hairy trunks of the Pygmy Date Palms

Exposing their ancient blossoms.



I have made the blog private because it is difficult for me to follow the many kind bloggers who

have followed me here on the Parrot.  I want to post as much as I am able for as long as my tremor

allows me to do it, and I would not feel free to do that if the blog were public.

Please do not feel obligated to visit or to comment.  I am happy to share my posts with you whenever you want to

stop in to visit.  Thank you very much for your encouragement and for your friendship.


A Grateful Spring


It is springtime in South Texas

A time for sweeping away the losses of winter

A time for planting

A time for renewal


New beginnings


It is a time of gratitude

for friends who surround us

Friends who wrap their arms around us

Friends who support us while we find our way


I am grateful to all of you

Who so generously support me in

This springtime of loss and renewal


Thank you.


In Memoriam


The Vonnegut Maxim

It is what it is

Is true



Of course

It is not

Kurt Vonnegut

*(Vonnegut Image:  Kanellis.com)

Dove Politics

The Beginning








The End

Return of the Doves


Every year, the doves appear in the spring.

They add new sticks to their flimsy nests

And set up housekeeping for another season.


They built shabby nests under the eaves at the entrances to both of our houses.

Every year, the nests grow bigger with the addition of new building materials.

And, every year they lay their eggs and raise their young in the old nests.


They visited the garden and sunned themselves on the roof of the pergola.

I could never photograph them through the screens.

If I opened the door, they flew away.

I had to be content simply to watch them.


The Carolina Trumpet Vine started to fail as Romero said it would.

It must be removed from the pergola.  Cut back to the ground.

Without the myriad sizes of branches for perches,

The doves stopped sitting there to sun themselves.

I missed them.


One day, I glimpsed them through the window at Cheeky’s cage.

I could hardly believe they had chosen that spot for their afternoon sun bath.

So close, again behind the blind.

Without much hope of capturing them, I grabbed the camera

And stuck the lens through the opening in the blind.

And started frantically clicking the shutter.


They return every afternoon to the same spot on the fence outside the window.

I am always delighted to see them there.

On some days, the wind ruffles their feathers.

But, they return.

And I smile to see them again.

And cannot resist another click or two of the shutter.


Sepia is Mud

Sepia is not my favorite tone.

It often turns pink.

Or the color of mud.


Sepia is the color noise in my photographs.

Color Noise stalks me.  She is my Nemesis.

She lurks in the shadows waiting to invade my favorite shots.


I thought of this one as “White Chocolate”

(Or, Mud Cake)

I was sitting on the porch late one night

When I decided to snap the vase of roses.

There wasn’t much light, but the 100mm lens works well in very low light.


This one isn’t too bad.

If I can manage to get enough yellow to offset the mud, I like it okay.


This one seems to edge a bit too much toward pink.

And, it gets pinker from here.


The background is the screen on the porch.

These are your mom’s Valentine’s Day roses.

You remember, we went to the H.E.B flower display to fetch them.

Dad was at work and all of the florists in town had stopped delivering flowers.


We chose a dozen white roses and a dozen pink tulips

From the huge displays of flowers.

And, we had lunch in the deli while we waited.

It was fun.

I started out with sepia here

And increased the black until the sepia was almost gone.

I like soft tones for flowers.

Flowers really should be in color, I suppose, but these were already dried.


Actually, the only sepia tones that I like are yellowed

Like old camera plate photographs.

From Nemesis

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1867)

In spite of Virtue and the Muse,
Nemesis will have her dues,
And all our struggles and our toils
Tighter wind the giant coils.


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