Showing posts from January, 2024

Two for the price of one

I recently read two of Joseph Heywood's Woods Cop Mysteries back-to-back. It's actually been a while since I read them so my memory may be a bit hazy but here are my thoughts on them. Buckular Dystrophy This was the tenth book in the series.  "Buckular dystrophy" is a term coined by conservation officers to describe a kind of addiction to killing deer, not for sport or food, but seemingly just because they are there and because they can.  The action takes place during Michigan's two-week firearm deer season when it seems that a lot of hunters go just a little bit crazy. During this time, game wardens are on duty all the time and have no personal life to call their own.  In this instance, Game Warden Grady Service inexplicably takes on longtime violator Limpy Allerdyce as his partner. But it is actually a genius move because nobody knows violators like another violator and Limpy leads him into a bizarre series of cases involving deer.  I particularly like these sto

Poetry Sunday: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I'm a little late with this post but here's your poem for the week and it's one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy it, too. Wild Geese by Mary Oliver You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

This week in birds - #577

  A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment : This little bird has recently been causing quite a stir in South Texas . It is a bird of South America called a Fan-tailed Warbler and birders are traveling from far and wide to enjoy its presence in this country. *~*~*~* The West is in the middle of experiencing a two-decade-long drought. Trees tell the story . *~*~*~* Even the Amazon rainforest is in drought. *~*~*~* And yet animals and plants do adapt to the changing conditions, as the Meadow Brown butterfly shows . *~*~*~* Archaeologists have discovered remnants of ancient cities in the Amazon. *~*~*~* In Scotland, hotter and wetter weather has led to declines in some of their iconic bird populations. *~*~*~* You might want to invest in some earplugs, especially if you live in the Midwest. We will have two broods of cicadas emerging this summer - a virtual cicadapocalypse! *~*~*~* Ten more species could soon be added to the Endangered Species List. Among them is

The Helsinki Affair by Anna Pitoniak: A review

Okay, let me be honest here: It has been close to a month since I finished reading this book and so much has passed through my brain since then that I am struggling to remember the plot and characters. But at the time that I finished it, I gave it four stars so I know that I enjoyed it! It's a spy novel as you might guess from the title and the cover. It features a CIA agent named Amanda Cole who is following in the footsteps of her father who was also a CIA agent. When we first meet her she is stationed in Rome and is pretty much bored out of her skull. Nothing's happening there to interest a CIA agent. Then, through the doors of the embassy walks a low-level Russian operative who is desperate to warn the Americans that a U.S. senator on a trip to Cairo is about to be assassinated. Unfortunately, Amanda's superiors do not believe the Russian. They decide to take no action. But Amanda does believe him and so does a brash legendary spy named Kath. Amanda and Kath team up to

Coming soon!

Thanks to all who have expressed their concern. We are doing well here and I hope to get back to my regular schedule of posting soon. Maybe even later today! So, stand by... 

Another update

Yes, no weekend update again. I apologize to my regular readers. My weekly schedule was severely disrupted. My husband spent a couple of days in the hospital. He's home now and he's fine, but that sort of reordered my priorities. Things are getting back to what passes for normal around here and I hope to get back to my normal routine in the coming week.     

Poetry Sunday: It sifts from leaden sieves by Emily Dickinson

(01/14: Oops! I thought I had already published this. Here ya go! ) No snow where I live here in Southeast Texas, but I remember the snows of my childhood and Emily Dickinson describes them perfectly. It sifts from leaden sieves by Emily Dickinson  It sifts from leaden sieves, It powders all the wood, It fills with alabaster wool The wrinkles of the road. It makes an even face Of mountain and of plain, — Unbroken forehead from the east Unto the east again. It reaches to the fence, It wraps it, rail by rail, Till it is lost in fleeces; It flings a crystal veil On stump and stack and stem, — The summer’s empty room, Acres of seams where harvests were, Recordless, but for them. It ruffles wrists of posts, As ankles of a queen, — Then stills its artisans like ghosts, Denying they have been.

This week in birds - #576

A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment :  A Cooper's Hawk surveys my backyard, searching for a possible meal. *~*~*~* 2023 was the hottest year on record and 2024 may be even hotter. *~*~*~* At the other end of the spectrum, Beijing experienced its coldest December since 1951.  *~*~*~* Meanwhile, hotter, drier air in Europe is causing a greater wildfire risk and is affecting farmers' success in raising their crops. *~*~*~* We have live oaks and red oaks in our yard and I can confirm that it has been a bumper crop year for acorns in Texas . *~*~*~* Is this pyramid in Indonesia the world's oldest ? *~*~*~* Oil refineries on the Gulf Coast continue to pollute the air . *~*~*~* Californians have been excited by recent sightings of orcas off their southern coast. *~*~*~* This is the critically endangered Gorgeted Puffleg , a resident of the high Andes and it is the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week . *~*~*~* There is finally some good n

Nope - update

Nope - still no weekend posts. I am still ill and this is getting quite boring. Hoping for a better week next week. Update - Thanks to those who have expressed concern about my health. I did test positive for Covid and I'm getting the care that I need. I suppose I am getting better - just not as fast as I would like. The only positive thing to say about this is that I'm getting a LOT of reading done so there will be plenty of reviews to write in the coming days.