Late summer color 2012

A wave of late summer cold fronts and the remnants of a hurricane provided enough water to power a last pre-autumn burst of native color here in the Ouachita Mountains.

NECTAR DANCE — Hummingbirds maneuver for a spot at the feeder in a cloudless late summer sky.
SUNRISE — Sometimes a sunrise is worth abandoning the morning java and running out of the house into the street to get a better shot. This taken Sept. 14.
IN THE PURPLE — French mulberries in their full late summer livery.
IN THE GARDEN — The white blooms and green foliage are a nice background for a gulf fritillery butterfly.
PERSIMMONS — Persimmon tree manages to produce its pale orange bounty despite a summer of drought.
SUNFLOWER — The return of rain has allowed some summer wildflowers to produce another flush of blooms.
GROUND HUGGER — A cluster of tiny pink flowers, maybe a type of vetch, stick close to the ground.
BLUES — A spike of blue flowers reaches toward the blue sky.
SIPPING STOP — Fiery skipper sips nectar from the garden.

*Not being insect or flower experts, if anything here is misidentified please let us know!

Thunderbirds are F.A.B.

Growing up in a Chuck Jones-ian Saturday morning world, puppets were just lame. After all, what, to a 5-year-old mind, could match the peerless humor and drama of an Acme    fill-in-noun here   falling on a hapless coyote or “What’s Opera Doc”? When the Supermarionation Thunderbirds aired late morning, it was time to turn off  the TV, watch the black and white picture shrink to a dot and go outside.

Fast forward a few decades to another Saturday morning. Flipping around the satellite channels, there appeared ‘Thunderbirds are GO!” a 1966 movie version of the original series. Oh what the hey, we thought, let’s watch.

We were dazzled by the eye candy. The movie was, well, very movie-like, with multiple camera angles and sophisticated model making. The most delightful aspect was the futuristic pop art design of the buildings, clothing, rooms and air and spacecraft, all created with joyful, playful minds and hands. Really F.A.B.

Next Saturday, maybe we’ll catch all of the 1968 followup, “Thunderbird 6.”

SO FAB — Futuristic conference room in “Thunderbirds are GO!”  Who wouldn’t want that orange bubble mobile hanging in their room?
JIGSAW TABLE — Even from above, the conference table is a pop art/op/art confection.

Weekly photo challenge: Everyday life

“Everyday life” is one of those phrases whose meaning can run to opposite ends. On the surface, it seems to talk about the routine, those actions we take every day, almost without thinking. We check the clock, brush our teeth, drive to work. “Everyday life” can also mean that flow of myriad details, large and small, that make each day different from the one before or after.

SHINY METAL BOXES — The five-days-a-week routine: eastbound into the morning sun. The commute into Little Rock.  The start time may be the same. The end time may be the same, but no two runs to work are ever the same.
RIDING IN THE RAIN — Trolley shuttles tourists around and between the Little Rock and North Little Rock downtowns , both joined and separated by the Arkansas River. The trolley heads north through the Argenta section of North Little Rock on a rainy Saturday.
GRAY DAY — Trudging across the Broadway Bridge over the Arkansas River toward downtown Little Rock.

This week’s main page:

Other interpretations of this week’s theme:

Weekly photo challenge: Near and far

Maybe it was the  recent death of Neil Armstrong, or watching “In the Shadow of the Moon,” but it was all a reminder of how close we once were to our companion in the sky and how far away we seem to be now.  Maybe some day we’ll return to walk on the lunar surface.

While China and other governments have their sights set on moon, in the U.S. we seem to be entering a new cycle of space exploration spearheaded by private sector firms such as Scaled Composites and smaller companies such as Armadillo Aerospace. The next decades should be interesting.

REACHING FOR THE MOON — Pines stretch toward the sky as the moon stays up late.

The challenge page and other interpretations for this week’s theme:


Thanks to Modes of Flight for nominating us for the Super Sweet Blogging Award! We are grateful for the honor!

Rules for this award include:

• Thank the super sweet blogger who made the nomination.

• Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers:

And answer five questions:

  • Cookie or cake? Cookies
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Both
  • What is your favourite sweet treat? Homemade apple pie
  • When do you crave sweet things the most? Morning
  • If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? No idea!


Saw an unusual red bird during a lunchtime walk. A scarlet tanager? A summer tanager, or something else?  A closer look showed him to be a cardinal — a bald cardinal. One colleague suggested this poor fellow’s condition the result of an extreme case of henpecking.

HENPECKED? — A cardinal without headfeathers picks off some lunch on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

An embarrassment of riches

Thanks to the folks at Biltrix for nominating us for the Very Inspiring Blog Award!  And humble apologies for dawdling on acceptance. (These posts take much more thought than the typical post and brain cells have been a little tired of late.) However, the nomination is truly an embarrassment of riches, for as we wrote this post, we were nominated for another award by Modes of Flight (post coming soon.)

Award Guidelines:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

We’d like to nominate the following 15 bloggers for this award:


Now the hard part. Seven things about one’s self.
1. Mom and Dad. The best teachers in the world.
2. Dr. Amélie Kuhrt, FBA; and Dr. Wendy Davies, OBE, FBA, opened my eyes to what good historical research really is.
3. Best sports moment: riding around the track at Oaklawn Park on a retired racehorse.
4. Has a really hard time coming up with seven things.
5. Guilty pleasure: Top Gear UK.
6. Misses the days of the Apollo program.
7. Likes okra.

Weekly photo challenge: Free spirit

The midsummer sky here on the mountain is filled with dragonflies, but as autumn approaches, the numbers decline. Here on Labor Day weekend, there are only one or two zipping and weaving across the blue.

FREE SPIRIT — One of the last of summer’s dragonflies hovers, darts and circles about on a hot Labor Day.

The main challenge page is at:

Others answers to this week’s challenge
Another dragonfly!

Free spirits on the water:

For the birds:


Having a look:

Weekly photo challenge: Urban

Our entry for last week’s photo challenge with the urban theme.

VERY URBAN — Concrete and chain link in a sun-blasted city parking lot.

See the other, more timely entries in this category, here:  and: