asakiyume: (misty trees)
The starlings over the cornfields of Hadley, Massachusetts, sometimes achieve murmuration levels--I saw them do it Saturday, them moving together like a great whale at play. It was breathtaking. I went back yesterday with a camera but came too late in the day, and then again today, and was only a *little* too late, or they weren't in a mood to all rise (ALL RISE) and swoop, and then settle.

Also, maybe if I had turned the phone sideways it would have made a wider video? I am very new to the ways of the smartphone. (Video is 38 seconds)

Although I didn't catch the murmuration yesterday, I did get a photo of the sun like a pearl in the shell of the sky...

golden sunset

And then another of all the many colors sunset sky is heir to...

red sunset
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
When the curtain parts, when the doors open, when unknown beings from there come here, they always arrive in an empty parking lot, at twilight, when the sky is glowing but the earth is dim, and the electric lights of humankind seem as weak as a last breath.

portentous sky
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
First, let me tell you what the parking lot at the supermarket was like, around 5:45 pm, on my way home. There was a smell of cinnamon, maybe from someone's discarded gum, and the sun was at the edge of a tide of rain-colored clouds, and there were goldfinches somewhere nearby--you couldn't see them, but you could hear them.

Now let me show you what the sky was like closer to home, about an hour later.



Jun. 1st, 2017 12:06 am
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)

Here's something I just learned:
According to some of the chroniclers, particularly Pané and Las Casas, the Amerindians from Hispaniola recognized the existence of an eminently benevolent being. His name has been spelled in different ways, but in Puerto Rico it is commonly written as Yuquiyú. There was also a furious and malevolent being known as Juracán, from whose name the word hurricane is derived, which denotes the Caribbean's extraordinarily destructive storms.
--Fernando Picó, History of Puerto Rico: A Panorama of Its People (Princeton: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 2006), 17.

Coincidentally, we had some fantastical clouds prior to a thunderstorm today. The clouds looked Jovian:

wild clouds

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

Yesterday afternoon this dramatic sky was up above the Aquavitae portion of what's known as the Great Meadow of Hadley, Massachusetts.

I had always wanted to go down Aqua Vitae road--I remember when last the Connecticut River rose and flooded it. Some of the houses down there are on stilts (wise move).

While I was there, I noticed the narrow fields. You can see them clearly in this satellite shot, courtesy of Google maps:

The whole Great Meadow is laid out that way--a style of farming known as open meadow farming. It was common in eastern England in the 1600s, and the earliest settlers in New England brought it with them, but by and large it disappeared as a land-use pattern in the 1700s. But it survived in Hadley--in 2007, 136 parcels of land in the Great Meadow were farmed or maintained by 87 owners.1

(Image from Patricia Laurice Ellsworth, Hadley West Street Common and Great Meadow: A Cultural Landscape Study, 2007.)

Just think: 350-plus years, these fields have been tilled. Can you see the different colors of the ground? Those are the different fields.

Back in the earliest days, the Aquavitae area was planted in hay, and other parts of the Great Meadow were planted in wheat, oats, rye, and corn, as well as peas and barley. As you can see from the cut stalks, corn is still grown there. Tobacco, a crop that caught on in the area in the 1800s, is still grown there, too.

These horses haven't been here anywhere near as long. See the Connecticut River behind them? The horses were frisking with each other until I came up.

1Patricia Laurice Ellsworth, Hadley West Street Common and Great Meadow: A Cultural Landscape Study, 2007, p. 10.

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)

Something gold, something fiery
slipping from a sky-cast net
peeking through pines
flaming, molten,
along the line of the hills




asakiyume: (glowing grass)
I've decided to walk to work, even though I work at home.

On my walk today, I stepped in all the large potholes on my street. They are the footprints of some creature whose weight affects the asphalt the way mine affects wet sand. A winter-weather beast, a very large dinosaur or lumbering mastodon. Some kids once tried to charge admission to see them--the potholes, I mean--as a way of raising some quick money, but no one would pay because these dinosaurs and mastodons get everywhere. (No, I'm making that up; no kids ever did that, or at least not on my street, or at least not while I was paying attention.)

Up in the sky, wind has unearthed (... un-sky'd) the white vertebrae of an even larger beast that swims up there. Or maybe it's just that its sky is so thin that its bones are visible through it. I didn't catch it on film but you've seen skies like that--large backbones and sometimes ribs laid out across them.

But now I've arrived at work and should begin. Here's a skunk cabbage from last week, consuming its daily meal of sunlight.
asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
There's a weathervane perched on the tip of the steeple of the Congregational Church in town--I thought at first it was a skeletal fish, but maybe it's just a decorative arrow.... but maybe it is a fish, swimming in the sky ocean.

The birds are not sea birds. Maybe they perch on the fish-arrow the way savannah birds perch on elephants. Maybe they just like the view. So high. Now that I know they cluster there, I look for them every time I pass the church.

And here's a photo of a reflection of the setting sun. It's actually a reflection of a reflection. If you look at this blog post through a mirror, you'll have added some extra layers.

I had some actual words-y content-y sorts of things to share, but pictures are good too. The other stuff comes and goes, and there's always something new. Oh, hey, but one other thing: at the laundromat the other day, I saw a woman, helped by her little son, empty the dollar changer of dollars and put in a whole tubful of quarters--presumably ones taken out of the washers and driers. What a happy closed system. There was a dollar jammed up, which they couldn't get out, and the mom said, "leave it for the spirits of the change machine." A cool thing for her to say. The boy was bumming about it, a little, but a torn dollar bill is no good, in any case.

Phone photos

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
Apologies to people who have seen these already; I posted them on Twitter.

.... I don't post identical content in all venues, but things I really like, some version of them, I tend to put everywhere (except Facebook; these days I'm just a passive lurker on Facebook). But don't ever worry about losing out.... not that you probably would? But I used to, when I realized people were posting things in venues I didn't visit. But now I've changed my mind. There's just so much. Catch what you can in the places you feel comfortable, that's what I'm thinking now.

So anyway: furrows in the celestial fields.

someone has been tilling the sky

sky furrows

asakiyume: (far horizon)
This morning it's a planet full of atmospheres. Birds are rising and falling in the long grass and others are declaiming from high up in the trees, and some are swimming in the gauzy sky.

cloud gauze

Small Farms Institute


Jul. 6th, 2015 04:12 pm
asakiyume: (shaft of light)
Here are some thoughts and pictures I've saved up over the past few days. First, a picture of magnificent skies. Such weighty clouds, such gauze of rain over there in the distance, and such uncanny light:

portentous skies

Influential rain

Some days later, there was a walk alongside a canal. Rain was coming down, not severely, but--and we hadn't expected this--fairly unquittingly. It was watching its influence spread as it hit the canal water. Lots of little circles of influence:

And here, in a photo by [ profile] urbpan, is a magical creature, bred of wetness, despite the fact that the ancients associated its kind with fire. See how his hind quarters melt away? And he sparkles darkly. You can find out all about this salamander, a "leadback," at [ profile] urbpan's entry here.

The winner of NPR's Sunday puzzler yesterday was a 15-year-old, Arushi Agarwal. Will Shortz asked her if she'd been playing long, and she said she'd been playing for five years: her parents had thought that working on the puzzle each Sunday would be a great way to stretch their minds and spend family time together. I was so charmed by that notion! What a fun family thing to do! ... Only if everyone participates willingly, but Arushi seemed very happy. She has a brother, too, who's part of all this.

"So did you have help solving last week's puzzle?" Will Shortz asked.

"Yes, my brother helped me."

(The puzzle had been, take the name of a major US company, take off its first and last letters, and the remainder of the letters, in order, will spell out the name of a well-known singer.)

She went on, "We figured we probably wouldn't know the singer, so we took a list of the Fortune 500 companies and just went through it. When we got to "Walgreens" and took off the W and the S, we thought, 'Al Green seems like a pretty viable name,' so we went and looked, and yeah, he's a singer."

"So you didn't even know him," Will Shortz remarked with a laugh, and she said no, so he played her a clip of an Al Green song. And then she did the puzzle on air, and acquitted herself admirably.

I fell into a daydream about the Agarwal siblings figuring this out, the parents enjoying their kids working on it... I'd like to draw the picture, but I don't know if I will...

Rock of the month
[ profile] a_soft_world was visiting. She told me about how she and her brother used to like breaking rocks open, and how they'd display the rock of the month--the one that was most fabulous or interesting inside. On our walk by the canal, in the influential rain, she picked up two, and the next day, we hurled them at a large boulder, and they did shatter! And here is one, split open:

Surely worthy of the title of rock of the month.
asakiyume: (Kaya)
On this day in Pen Pal, Kaya wrote to Em and told her it was too dangerous to continue the correspondence--from this point, the story enters a new stage. There won't be more posts between now and the day the story ends, but at the end I have an idea for a special post. And I might post something between then and now, if something occurs to me.

Meanwhile, here are neither lava nor waves, and yet it might be both:

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
It's not foam on the crests of the waves in the sky ocean tonight: it's fire. White-hot fire licking the edge of the long wave as it breaks on . . . what shores do the sky waves break on?

the crest of the wave afire

asakiyume: (autumn source)

The waves of the sky ocean:

And a rich-brown acorn in its hand-knitted hat:

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)

I will have a this-day-in-Pen-Pal post for you later, but first I want to point you to two wonderful posts. One is by [ profile] mnfaure, and features the work of an amazing poet and spoken-word performer, Anis Mojgani--it is here. And in case you are click-aversive, here is half the wonderment of that post:

But you must go to her post for the link to the other poem, "Shake the Dust," which is equally good.

And the other post is by [ profile] sovay, and is a description of a truly wonderful-sounding movie. It is here, and I don't have a visual to tempt you with, but consider this:

What it reads most like is a version of Beauty and the Beast in which each of the lovers takes both parts in turn and the story plays fair with them . . . And the film never, not once, claims that love fixes broken people. All it underscores is the importance of loving people for who they are, not who they used to be or who you hope they'll turn into.
asakiyume: (bluebird)
This is the season for tiny green inchworms to be suspended from nearly invisible strands, which they're climbing either up or down. Someone in the sky ocean is fishing.

fishing (photo by Chris Kendig)

I suppose the fisher might catch some worm-eating birds? Robins, maybe, or starlings. Or maybe a bluebird. They generally eat insects and berries, but they "have also been observed capturing and eating larger prey items such as shrews, salamanders, snakes, lizards and tree frogs," says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I'm sure a floating inchworm is not beyond the skills of such a potentially fearsome hunter. And yet if it takes this inchworm . . .

Then again, maybe sometimes you can catch people this way.

(photo from

* * *

Isn't it funny that a fugitive dye--a dye that runs away--isn't fast, and in fact a dye that sticks around is what we call fast. You'd think a fugitive, fleeing, would like to be fast. Different senses of fast though: the permanent dye is steadfast.

fleeing, but not fast

asakiyume: (glowing grass)

Two days ago, Writer's Almanac quoted Marjory Stoneman Douglas, eulogizer of the Everglades, who said of them,

Nothing anywhere else is like them: their vast glittering openness . . . the racing free saltness and sweetness of their massive winds, under the blue heights of space . . . the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose . . . it is a river of grass.

(vast glittering openness
sweet massive winds
blue heights of space
a river of grass)

One day I'll see them. For now, here is my own Everglades, waiting to be reborn.

my own everglades

Nearby a male turkey was displaying for an only moderately interested crowd.


One more picture, this from yesterday--the turbulent sky ocean

turbulent skies

asakiyume: (shaft of light)
It's calm, not a whitecap in sight, and there's sparkling manna everywhere, turning the grass to silver. The light is morning light, not dawn light anymore, but still long, and golden. Silver-golden. The long, silver-golden light of an inhaling, not the rose-golden light of evening, which is exhaling. Golden light has two sides? Morning and evening? Maybe that's it: the two sides of golden light are morning and evening. Or: golden light is a signpost, and one arrow points to morning, and the other to evening.

This golden morning light, with the leaves just so, and the road cool beneath my feet, is a place I inhabited first in dreams, but I come here often, now, and as I think about it, I'm glad we have three dimensions or more in which to give (and receive) directions, because some maps are hard to make, otherwise.

. . . And--an extra thought--when you inhale, like morning, your feet may come off the ground. Not that mine have, except in leaps, except in dreams, but they may. It is both permitted and possible.

asakiyume: (the source)
It starts when you wander down a desolate road. . .

empty cabin

You look up and find the sky is strange . . .

lowering sky

Ahead, there is a smooth green expanse. . .

smooth, green, and dangerous

Do not put a foot to it. You will slip through, and under. The green will close above you, and be just as still and smooth as it was before. No one will know what has become of you, and no one who passes by the green place will suspect you lie below.

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
birds beneath a battling sky

The birds sit on the wire, shoulders hunched, while overhead the clouds and sun fight for mastery of the sky. It's like they're the battle's foot soldiers (wing soldiers?), too battle-worn (except for that one on the left) to take to the air.

Below, there is a bright and narrow road. You walk balancing on it, poised four inches above the earth, almost touching it. Almost. Like a ghost, not quite through the veil into the living world.

the straight and narrow

Bible lawn signs )


asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

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