Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hoo's On First?

Besides the cupboard space, one of the things I miss the most about  my former home in the Oakland Hills is the sunsets, which up here, even on tiptoe, I can barely see at the end of my front walk. Another is the call of the Great Horned Owls who hung out there. I was fond of standing on the deck and calling, "Hoo Hoo, ...hoo, hoo, hoo. I am not a very good mime but they would always answer. Last Sunday I trekked along with the Oakmont Photography Club to the Raptor Rescue Center, which is really only about twenty minutes drive from here, but in a remote and rather creepy place. Volunteers there treat about 200 birds a month  in the summer months. There are only four large raptors in residence, ones too injured to live on their own or in some way habituated to humans. The guy on the left would not make up to me, no matter how hard I flirted with him.  The handler said they are fed frozen mice five days a week, and fast on two days, as that resembles a natural diet. Perhaps it was his fasting day and that is why he was so cranky. 

Great Horned Owls  have an enormous wing span and can lift
mighty weights. I always suspected
that my missing pet cat, Fat Cat, was the victim of one.
Anyway, as I turned to leave the critter above rotated his head
and glared at me as if he would like me for dinner.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Science Fiction No Less

Last Monday the weather here turned bizarre, the thermostat soaring up  almost fifty degrees to 102 in less than eight hours, and then back down to the mid fifties by the time the moon rose. When I viewed the Eastern sky from my deck about 6 am it looked like aliens from space were arriving.  Guess what! The alien was probably me.
Diagnosed with mild sleep apnea, I'd just been fitted with a full face mask for sleeping. If Kodi were still around I think he would have cowered in the bushes.  I almost did myself.

  Meanwhile, my writing group decided to try a little science fiction, not my forte for sure. I started the story Wednesday and then after yesterday's tragic news I changed the ending. I got a bit carried away, but I hope it gives you a chuckle. 

My Second Science Fiction Effort

She glided under the water effortlessly, stirring neither the grasses nor the lily pads, such was her skill. Sometimes she chose to make herself invisible so as not to disturb the mating salamanders. Her skin, softly dappled to camouflage  her presence,  glowed golden when the sun touched it. 
Like all Komodo dragons, she was born male, but elected in adolescence to become female, and needed no male sperm to fertilize her eggs. With a flick of her forked tongue she could smell prey up to a thousand feet away and her special venom could paralyze any living creature up to 300 pounds. 
On this day she set out to obliterate the terrorists in the Ukraine who shot down the Malasian flight on July 17 from Amsterdam to Kualalumper. 
Her ability to smell was so acute that she could sense evil hiding, wherever it might be. Silently she slithered up to the deserted looking warehouse. She could hear drunken voices coming from inside. Patience was her greatest asset.  She posed motionless by the closed door;. ten minutes, twenty minutes, a full hour. Finally the door opened. Making herself invisible once again, she crouched. As the occupant 
stepped to the bushes to relieve himself of his bursting bladder,  she flicked her powerful tongue aiming for the heart.. The poison acted immediately, leaving  him paralyzed.. Her giant jaws clamped on his flesh, ripping, tearing, ravaging, devouring muscle, tendon and bone, until naught was left. except a small  flaccid penis, which was not to her taste. She pushed it aside and waited for the next victim, until she had exterminated the fourteen celebrating inside. Too bad for them, but at least it was painless. She wished she knew another way to do it, so that they would likewise experience the terror their human airplane victims did. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Eighty-four!

 Last week was a blur of happy memories as I celebrated  not one but three happy birthday parties. At left, from friend Carol's deck. a shared birthday desert party. At right, lunch at Sea Thai Bistro with my sorority sister roommates, Shirley and Dolores, from the University of Washington sixty-six years ago. What stories we can still tell!
We took a vote and decided Shirley looked the youngest. I am the oldest by a few months. Perhaps that's because Shirley has been raising her grandson since he was knee high and he now is starting college. What energy!
Dolores just lost her younger sister of pancreatic cancer. One of the things old friends do is help one another in times of grief, so we worked together on writing her sister Dorothy's obituary. obituary.

Here in the Valley of the Moon they are beginning to harvest the lavender. Tuesday I went with my photo group to the Matanzas winery near here where they were just starting to harvest it .After it is cut it is hung in the old barn, shown above, to dry.
The owners have made the vineyard a magical place but I'm not sure those tools adding to the ambience are as old as we are.