Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Another cool celestial event is coming, next week in fact, and this one--to my mind, at least--is an even bigger deal than the solar eclipse we just had.

The Transit of Venus.  The planet crosses between earth and the sun, a visible black dot cruising along for about six hours with the sun as backdrop.  I've been trying to get some solar eclipse glasses, and a hefty lens for my camera, but I think I waited too long.  One major dealer of these specs is still sold out from the eclipse and another only accepts orders in bulk.  Now, if I were having a big Venus party, 25 solar glasses would be fine.  Too bad I'm not.

This is a pretty important event--whether you're into astronomy or not--because it won't happen again until 2117.  I'm fairly certain most of us won't be around for the next viewing.

Here's the map showing the trajectory.  Except for parts of Africa and most of South America, nearly everyone else on the planet will be able to see the Transit, either June 5th, or June 6th, depending on where you are in the world.


Yesterday at the VA, where I walked the boys in the morning, all the flags were out for Memorial Day, lining the road that meanders through the whole complex.  It always looks so beautiful to see hundreds of American flags, waving in the breeze.

The Rhododendrons are in massive bloom everywhere on the grounds, too.  Here's a shot of just one of the Federalist-style buildings that make up the VA compound.  I swear, some weekends, when it's very quiet, not a soul to be seen, I can just imagine Thomas Jefferson strolling out the huge front doors of this building and down the steps as I walk by.

Playing with my Macro...though handling two leashes at the same time made it pretty tricky.  I attempted the Super Macro, but with the dogs vibrating at the end of their patience, I just couldn't hold still enough.


Ozzy had an appointment this morning with the groomer.  He equates grooming with the vet, two things he hates the most.  He starts shaking and shivering a mile before either place; I have to practically jackhammer him out of the back seat, then unpeel him from my neck as he winds around me like a monkey.  It's grim for everyone.

However, when I pick him up two hours later he's ready for the red carpet...maybe his paw print at Grauman's before lunch at Prego?  He prances, he smiles, he knows he's handsome.  

Max was very worried for his buddy when I dropped Ozzy off, and we drove away without him.  Thankfully, he doesn't need a groomer as his hair is short, and I can bathe and brush him myself. 

Later, after we picked Ozzy up and came home, Max had a good long sniff, then they shoulder-bumped each other--a guy thing, I guess--and he plopped down on the floor, exhausted from all the excitement.  He watched me take a picture of Oz, then before he could react, I turned and snapped one of him; his only acknowledgement was the twist of one ear.  We have made such great strides since the early days when he would run in terror the minute I picked up the camera.

He looks like such an old man, doesn't he?  But he's only four.  I wonder if he's always had that white around his face and paws, or did his past bring that about?  I'll never know, though for a long time after I rescued him, I used to imagine his story based on his reaction to the things that terrified him.  He's such a good dog, I'm glad I was the one to give him a home.


The weather is changing.  We're going from cool rain to scorching heat.  Today is the interim:  warm, gentle breeze, blue skies.  I have the doors and windows open, the overhead fan slowly whirling, the soft scent of Papier d'Armenie wafting in the warm air. 

(Read this wonderful post from Mr London Street about this paper.  I used to buy it at this great little shop in Aberdour (a village in Fife, Scotland), though here in southern Oregon I can only buy it from Amazon.  Still.  At least I have that option.) 

The smell fills my head with images of mysterious, shadowy alleys in Marrakesh, ripe with the odors of exotic flowers and spices.  I always think of The Arabian Nights--in particular, that most excellent movie with Dougray Scott and Mili Avital--a film I've probably watched a dozen times.

And hmmm.  Speaking of that...I think, while the scent of mystery lingers in the air, that I'm just going to go and make that a baker's dozen...

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