Weekly photo challenge: Green 2

More green, with some gratuitous panda cuteness, thanks to my adventurous cousin. Dang got to visit the panda center Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province.

Find more green here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/weekly-photo-challenge-green/

Persimmon predictions

Long before computer models for forecasting the winter ahead, there were simpler, folksier tools: persimmon seeds, woolly bear caterpillars and squirrels.  READ MORE … 

PERSIMMON PREDICTION — Folk wisdom says the shape that appears inside a persimmon seed will be an indicator of the winter to come.  A spoon shape (top) means a wet winter. A fork (middle)  means light powdery snow. A knife (bottom) can mean icy, cutting winds or splitting the difference between the spoon and fork predictions, depending on what you believe.  The verdict of these seeds, opened Nov. 15, 2012,  is divided. However,a consensus of cut seed reports from other parts of Arkansas seem to be leaning toward a wet winter.  (U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture photo)

Weekly photo challenge: Green

This week’s photo challenge is all about green. Our gallery of green features things somewhere around 375 in Pantone’s uncoated universe, including a bad breakfast choice and variations on a plasma lamp.

More green!

Mother page: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/weekly-photo-challenge-green/

Years of faith

Illustration from The New Roman Missal.*

Torn, worn, stained and faded, this New Roman Missal, published in 1936 by Benziger Brothers, Inc.,  has seen daily use for decades. It has traveled many miles in family hands over the years, but how it wound up in our family is a mystery. Inside the cover is the inscription: “For Leonard from Sophomore “C” 1945. No one’s sure — or willing to admit — to being “Sophomore C.”

A virtual encyclopedia of Catholicism, this volume of 1,852 pages contains not just the (pre-Vatican II)  Mass in Latin and English, but also “an explanation of ‘The Ecclesiastical Year and the Sacred Liturgy’; ‘Short Accounts of Certain Feasts and Brief Lives of the Saints’,” a glossary of liturgical terms, description of the beautiful illustrations and what they represent, and a collection of prayers.

Sure, there are great resources for daily prayer everywhere — in books, online and even smart phone apps. And there is some thought to retiring the Missal at the end of this Liturgical year. However no app can match the content: years of Mass cards in memory of family and friends, bookmarking key dates,  the faded ribbon in which the words “Ordinary Time” are woven, the table of moveable feasts that extended all the way to 1971, and the truly unique “Act of Reparation for Profane Language.”

The montage shows some of the illustrations and the layout of the text. The blue background is a tile of the paper that lines the inside of the covers.

This Missal was truly a work of deep faith and love for the editors who wished it to be the door to the faithful to participate in the Mass in the days when the priest faced away from the congregation. In the introduction, the Rev. F.X. Lasance writes: “All books of devotion are good at mass; it is quite right to say the rosary at mass; but the missal is preferable, being pre-eminently the product of the mind and heart of the church …”

With Oct. 11-2012-Nov. 24, 2013 being The Year of Faith, perhaps the little-Missal-that-could, should see it through.

MISSAL MONTAGE — This missal, published in 1936 and given as a gift in 1945, has seen a couple of lifetimes of use.*

*All images are copyright Benziger Brothers.

Color on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau

Cousin Dang sent dozens of photos from her journey into China (including the unhappy looking monkey of the previous post.) The prayer flags are a beautiful expression of faith.

Peanuts again?

My adventurous cousin took another exotic trip to China and Tibet. These two photos reminded me of Blossom the Groundhog  and her peanuts, except this primate seemed a lot less happy with his treats.

PICKY — This monkey in China’s Sichuan Province picks over peanuts given by tourists.
YUM? – This monkey doesn’t seem too happy with peanuts again. (“I’d settle for a banana … A moon cake? Candied lotus pods? Anything but peanuts. PLEASE!”)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal 2

Robin takes part in an annual renewal of the species. Our second entry from this week’s challenge.

NESTING INSTINCTS — Robin incubating more robins at the Heifer Project headquarters in Little Rock back in March.

More renewal:


Car fun

People love to customize their cars.

SUBLIME — Taking the minivan to new heights. Perhaps this was used to navigate farm fields or taken off-road for hunting. And who knows, maybe a high-rise Chrysler minivan is the perfect duck blind. Seen at a used car lot in Forrest City, Ark.
HUNGRY? — What’s left from of the model name from this Tacoma Prerunner. Toyotas seem to be a favorite when it comes to customizing a name from the factory badging. Around town here, you can spot a couple of pickup tailgates that now read “TOY” or just plain “YO.”


A meditation on creation

Having a father who enthusiastically dug up fossils and examined road cuts with a hammer or loupe, it was hard not to share his love for geology and history of all sorts. His cellar workbench and shelves had numbered samples of rocks bearing pelecypods, brachiopods and slaty leaf imprints. As kids we climbed up basalt cliffs, looked for arrowheads all the while absorbing a little about the complex geology of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

That love for understanding what stands under us has never really diminished. So when I stumbled across the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Tapestry” map and learned it was available for download,  I just had to have it. It now sits in my office, on a wall opposite the window.

It’s a beautiful riot of colors, but more than that, it’s a description of how North America has been assembled and shaped over the eons. There’s something restful about walking your eyes across  the crustal stretch marks of the Basin and Range, pondering the sediments in the Mississippi Embayment or following the north-trending folds of the Appalachians. It is a meditation on creation.

Tapestry map

Closer to home, the Arkansas Geological Survey has a wonderful map that not only shows dating for rocks, but also fault location. Here too, (like the view out the living room window), the Ouachitas are very colorful place, shot through with a spider web of faults (one of which I walked across several times capturing this morning’s violets, hairy leaves and tree bones). Ferndale even has its own quadrangle.