nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
Calm and mostly sunny right now, but we had an exciting morning with thunder, lightning, rain blowing sideways, and some light hail. And it's supposed to do it all over again after midnight tonight.

Watched a tremendously silly movie last night -- Lucy -- that for all its silliness was actually (I thought) much better than the 6.4 score IMDB gives it. It's a Luc Besson film, and while it's not nearly as good as his The Fifth Element, it was good enough and fast-paced enough to draw me in. I especially liked the Egyptian actor Amr Waked as a French cop named Pierre Del Rio (what), and Min-Sik Choi as the Big Bad, Mr. Jang. Two thumbs up, would definitely watch again, even with its goofy storyline.

The Housefic that Blackmare and I are working on is up to three chapters. :-)

ETA that I almost forgot! Here's a very strange fish, caught off the deep waters of Newfoundland! No, seriously, look at this weird fish. :D
nightdog_barks: Drawing of a coyote (Coyote)
So this morning -- early morning, around 5:45 -- Layla was acting like she needed to go out (in reality, she was awake and just wanted to play), so I got up to let her out. While I was standing at the back door, I noticed what for all the world looked like an airplane (we live right on one of the flight paths for DFW Airport). I watched and watched, but it didn't move, and after a bit I realized it must be the planet Venus. And so it was. :D

I mean, I've seen Venus before, and Mars and Jupiter, and I can i.d. the big three of super-basic constellations, like the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and Orion's belt. But holy shit, this morning it was so bright and so close. It was amazing.

Sunday

Aug. 2nd, 2015 02:22 pm
nightdog_barks: (Red Bird)
Hazy and very warm, which is basically what it will be like until mid-September. I finished reading Niall Williams' History of the Rain and liked it very much, and have started on Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back, by Janice Nimura.

No animal/bug sightings last night, but I did see something else that was wonderful -- a shooting star, which I haven't seen in YEARS. We were walking west and Layla spotted and chased a gecko, which turned us completely around so that we were facing east. I looked up at the moon, which was glowing behind some thin clouds, and suddenly ZZZZZPPP!!!, there below the moon it went. It was a thin blue streak, like a slip of the pen against the sky, and it was gone almost as soon as it had appeared.

Otherwise IDK. I used to enjoy summer, but these days I am just tired and blah.

Saturday

Jun. 29th, 2013 03:21 pm
nightdog_barks: (Burning Book)
So I finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah and while I really liked 90% of it, I thought it got kind of soap-opera-ish in the middle (the main character's boyfriends are pretty much too perfect) and the ending felt tacked-on. Is it worth reading? Absolutely. Most of it is completely riveting, and it reminded me in a way of Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding, in that Americanah is a story whose world a reader can get totally immersed in.

Also I am about three-quarters of the way through Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, which is essentially about a young woman trying to recover from the sudden loss (in her childhood) of a unique family member (her sister), and ... wow. So far this is one of the four or five best books I've read this year, and if it holds up all the way through, I can easily see it being on a shortlist for the National Book Award.

Otherwise it is hot and sunny. Need to fold and put away laundry, probably going to roast a chicken for dinner. And speaking of birds, we had one of these in our backyard the other day -- a roadrunner. We see them occasionally in the neighborhood. This one was chasing the blue jays who were trying to eat the dried corn I have scattered around, and making runs at an annoyed squirrel who also wanted to eat. Then it (the roadrunner) tried some of the corn itself and decided it didn't like it, but persisted in chasing the jays and squirrel. So generally it was being a dick. I thought perhaps it was a youngster wanting to establish territory, but who knows. *g*

So that's it.

Friday

Apr. 5th, 2013 02:51 pm
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
SUN YOU ARE A WELCOME SIGHT AFTER THESE DAYS OF GLOOM. Still damp and a little cool outside, but ye gods the sun is such a relief.

Discovered this morning that we have a mourning dove nest in a gutter under a sheltering eave over our front porch. There are at least two active chicks in it, stretching their little heads up, mouths open to be fed as mama watched me warily (I was probably just a moving shadow through the window glass by the door). Also, something sneaked onto our deck last night and made off with some lettuce from the pot. While we're willing to share, I hope it was something soft and cuddly like a bunny rabbit. ;-)

Thursday

Dec. 6th, 2012 06:59 pm
nightdog_barks: (Red Tailed Hawk)
We may have a red-tailed hawk living in the live oak in our front yard. At least, I saw one at dusk yesterday on our roof (supremely ignoring me and the dog), and he (or she) flew from the roof to the live oak, where she (or he) ... vanished. And there's a nest up there, way up high. So, perhaps a resident? It might explain a few things -- like why I haven't seen nearly the usual number of smaller birds or cottontails around here.

Loved The Hour last night; I'm eager to see where they take this storyline with Hector. Looking forward to Person of Interest and Elementary tonight.

Wednesday

May. 16th, 2012 01:33 pm
nightdog_barks: (Dame Judi)
The new bird (the Mississippi Kite) is still here. I've heard her (him?) calling (a short, five- or six-note call that sounds like she's chuckling to herself -- hee! hee-hee-hee-hee, and just a minute ago s/he was perched in the same tree as yesterday, an ash tree in our backyard with a few dead branches, so that's s/he's very visible. She sat there, just surveying -- somewhere a car door slammed and she snapped her head around to find the sound; otherwise she was very calm. She knew I was there, and when Chango went out she watched her traipse around the yard but showed no other interest. :-)

Sunny and warm. Still reading The Sisters Brothers, and it really does sound like an Old West version of Pulp Fiction. Charlie and Eli Sisters are hired gunmen (Eli, the narrator, says, "We're the opposite of lawmen."), and they're on their way from Oregon to California to ... kill someone. Along the way they've already killed ... eleven people, I think. They're all people who have insulted/harassed them in some way, but yeah, eleven is a lot in 170 pages (the paperback copy I have is 325 pages long). I would be astonished if someone has not picked this up for a movie yet.
nightdog_barks: (Bird Black-Winged Hawk)
You guys! This is what was in our backyard today! I'd been hearing a new bird for the last few days, and I finally spotted this beautiful girl in a tree. How do I know it was a girl? Because ANOTHER ONE brought her a long strand of grass and then they boinked. :-D

Srsly, they are gorgeous birds -- a lovely pearl-grey all over, and with ferocious claws, so I was really surprised to see they are insectivores. Their call sounds kind of like a rusty grocery-cart wheel. I sure hope these two stay around.

I'm still thinking about last night's House, yes.

Read more... )

TL;DR, I'm looking forward to the finale next week.

Started reading Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers. It is violent and sometimes funny, not unlike Pulp Fiction.

Also, the great Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes has passed away, aged 83.

That's all I've got at the moment.

Saturday

Apr. 21st, 2012 05:16 pm
nightdog_barks: (Descent of Man)
Tired and ugh. Did manage to vacuum today, though, so that's good. Also we seem to be in the migration flight path this year of these little guys -- Red Admiral butterflies. Here's an article about them in our area. And here's another. They're really pretty.
nightdog_barks: (The Girl)
Eight photos beneath the cut. Dog, lizards, hilarity ensues. This was all just about an hour ago. *g*

Read more... )

My poor dog. She's such a genius. :-D
nightdog_barks: (Sunflower)
Hazy sun and warm -- 91 now (32.8 degrees Celsius) and it will probably hit 100 (officially) for the first time this season today.

Hodgepodge:

A poetry rec. Dreamwidth has a [community profile] poetry comm and it's very good. Today's poem is really wonderful, about the brushes with mortality we all have, every day. It's Near Misses, by Laura Kasischke.

The Guardian has two excellent photo galleries up -- Wildlife in Madagascar (I love it that a frog species can be called Boophis bottae. Boophis. Heh. *is twelve*) AND The Residents of Gogol Street, Kiev. The latter gallery reminds me of Jacob Riis' New York tenement photos from the late 19th century. Also, "bursary" is a great word.

Watched Swing Kids the other night. It was ... entertaining. It is worth seeing for RSL fans -- he was 24 at the time, and he's got a wonderfully loose-limbed kind of gangly grace that's lovely to watch. And he really can dance. Also watched Russell Brand's Get Him to the Greek, which was fun and silly. And caught the last half of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which was way more fun and much better than I thought it would be.

And the Stanley Cup games this year are awesome. There, done.
nightdog_barks: (Barred Spiral)
Remember this post I made a while back, where a group took images from the Heliospheric Imager in the NASA STEREO project, strung them together and made a mind-blowing little film? Yeah, this is like that. Except this time it's from the Cassini Mission spacecraft, and it's Saturn.

Watch this. Please. Via Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy, it is beautiful, and astounding, and deeply eerie, and ... yes, mind-blowing. It's like ... space. Dreaming. :-D
nightdog_barks: (Bunny Ears)
This was in our house yesterday ...  )

Otherwise sunny and warm. Hope folks are having a good Saturday. Heard the first cicada of the season today, so I guess summer is here.
nightdog_barks: (Compass)
I know because I saw one of these guys while I was out:

Scissor-tailed flycatcher
Tyrannus forficatus, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

(Not my photo -- it's from the Texas Parks & Wildlife folks.)

Friday

May. 6th, 2011 01:59 pm
nightdog_barks: (Oak Leaves)
More beautiful weather, a little breezier than yesterday. Started reading Bill Bryson's At Home last night. Need to do some vacuuming, so thinking about turning the radio on for some classic rock.

In the meantime, here's a great slideshow of Japanese wildlife in a Hokkaido winter -- red-crowned cranes, whooper swans, Steller's sea eagles and many others.
nightdog_barks: (Red Tailed Hawk)
I scattered some more corn and peanuts in our backyard this morning, and got a fine crowd of white-winged doves, robins, cardinals, woodpeckers, the blue jay that mews like a cat (for real), squirrels, and this cottontail, looking somewhat worse the wear for the season. *g*

Photos of the rabbit under the cut ...  )
nightdog_barks: (Bee Flower by Jilian Tamaki)
Chango brought me a tennis ball, and when I went out on the deck I saw this handsome fellow.

Dragonfly alert ...  )

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