Flat White

Hello gentle readers.  It has been several weeks since I have posted to this blog but Alice’s Wanderland is truly living up to its name this week.

Greetings from Australia!  I am mid-way through a three week holiday with a bit of business at the very end.  It has been a wonderful time.

Australia is fun.  It is at once very familiar and, at the same time, very different.  Coffee is a good example, as you can see in the above picture.  It is a simple cup of coffee with cream (milk) but Down Under they call it a Flat White and the very best of them have wonderful designs created from the milk.  This particular cup was enjoyed at a cafe called Emelia’s in Gympie, which had wonderful food, coffee and pastries.

I forget how much “foreign” travel can do for the soul.  It pushes to the rear all the day-to-day stuff that consumes our lives and forces a re-awakening, a re-visiting of attitudes and customs, a great kick on the door marked “Learn” to throw it open as wide as possible.  Everyone travels these days. Age doesn’t matter…from 8 days to 80 years and everything in between.  All colors, languages, dress…and all with a slightly wary eye on our fellow travelers because it is, dear friends, a dangerous time too.  But at the end of 8,000 miles you can emerge in a land where people make hearts on your coffee.  And I am certain in every land there are these gestures of acceptance and welcoming.  Humans, most assuredly too numerous for their own good, nevertheless have great hearts and show them in a hundred different ways.  Keep looking. ❧

Apres le deluge – Images #308-310

Most people are aware of the horrific rains that we have endured here in the Carolinas.  I am in Western North Carolina at about 2,ooo feet elevation so most of what falls here heads downhill…towards South Carolina.  Poor South Carolina.  Anyone who has watched the news in recent days knows the heartache that is being endured in the Palmetto State after a flood of Biblical proportions.  But here in North Carolina things are drying out and the sun has shown for two days. It has been wonderful.


Little Helmets

The return of the sun has encouraged my mushroom friends to emerge.  The first were these helmet-style little guys who popped up at the base of my hickory maple.

I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the photos and saw another little one emerging under the bark.




Later in the day I climbed the ridge behind the house and found this soldier pushing its way up through the pine straw and perfectly lit in the setting light of the day. Things are drying out, life goes on. ❧


At the end of a sunny day.


Get the buckets!

Weather map

One of my favorite weather pages is Mike’s Weather Page.  I stumbled on it several years ago when I was trying to find information on the “hurricane spaghetti models.”   Those are what they call the different projections that agencies put together when a hurricane develops.  They can be wildly divergent and often do look like spaghetti.

But Mike has a lot more than hurricane tracks.  He has an amazing number of weather maps posted from various agencies, like the one above which is from NOAA.  This is the “Next Five Day Rain Forecast” map and I have only included the east coast of the U.S.  Look closely and you’ll see a bright yellow section in the western hills of North Carolina with the notation 17.3.  Well, that’s 17.3 inches and is right over my house!!!  Well, not exactly, of course, but close enough.

I’m on high ground and not worried but there are many people in the Carolinas that could face some real hardships in the next few days.  And who knows where Joaquin will actually end up because the Spaghetti Models are still, pardon the expression, all over the map. ❦Spaghetti models


Image #307 – Blue Velvet Fungi

Blue Velvet Fungi

Blue Velvet Fungi

Still in the Carolina mountains but the days are slipping away. Summer officially ends tomorrow. The leaves are starting to change color and litter my yard.  Soon I will join the birds in heading south.

My pictures this season, like my posts, have been sketchy at best. Today’s offering is a photo that was taken a month ago and sat in the camera, patiently waiting. It is Blue Velvet Fungi that I unearthed while moving some branches. It was in full bloom, an absolutely delicious shade of blue that this photo barely captures.  The next shot gives you a close-up.

Blue Velvet Fungi - Closeup

Blue Velvet Fungi – Closeup

Amazing nature…it doesn’t care about pictures, blog posts, newsletters, speeches or meetings.  It simply does what it does best…astound. ❧

Image #306 – Color of the Day – Banana Caterpillar


A Banana Caterpillar

My friend Joe Bruneau likes to post “Today’s Color” on his Facebook account.  Today’s color is banana and I thought that was interesting since I found this almost banana-colored caterpillar on my deck rail this morning.  I think this is his face but for all I know he could be mooning all of us.  😀    ❦