Category Archives: Weird

Plague of gnats

“He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them. . .” Psalm 78:45 (NKJV)

The Eastern Washington prairie in autumn is beautiful for its colors and still mild weather, with alternating rain and sunshine. A less likeable fall feature is the gnats. They swarm, tiny specks of face-level (no matter how tall you are) white flies. They turn black when scrunched, as I tend to think they deserve to be, but then I’m not a bug person.

My husband was able to get photos of a couple of gnats in flight, which is apparently their primary mode of existence.



Filed under Nature, Photos, Seasons, Weird

Chickens are treacherous, and other amazing facts

I am furious with our chickens, especially the witchy one who just attacked me.

Now that our erstwhile rooster is fulfilling his highest and best destiny (my husband sacrificed and canned the beast the last weekend), the hens are on the march.

I have brought the chickens an apple core as a treat every day of their post-baby chick lives. They have always received it hungrily and fought over it, each ultimately securing a portion. They never complained when I collected whatever eggs they laid. Today was different.

I brought them their apple core and held up the hatch of their hutch to check for eggs. For the first time ever, not one egg was intact. They have sometimes broken an egg but left others intact. Today all the eggs–I could not quite tell whether there had been three or four–were smashed and consumed. Only the shell fragments remained.

As I held up the hatch, one hen leaped onto my arm–these creatures have impressive claws–in an attempt to escape the hutch. I pushed her back and closed and latched the hatch. Then I went in and scrubbed my arm with Bactine. Chickens are incredibly filthy creatures.

It’s actually a negligible casualty, and chickens are far too dull to formulate an intention. I will still bring the hens their apple core, for two more days. We have two apples left, and the storage apples we get in summer taste like paper mâché. There will be no more apples until Fall.

I doubt the chickens will learn any manners by then–though I suppose that’s fair, since I keep removing their eggs.


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Chickens, Weird

A missive gone postal

I printed a selfie that my husband took of the two of us at Dworshak Lake when we were there fishing last week. I think it is the best photo ever taken of us, and I printed an 8 x 10 and mailed it to my mum-in-law, who lives in the small, artsy town of Aurora, Oregon.  I mailed it in a 9” x 12” manila envelope, certified mail with tracking, from our local post office in southeastern Washington State. I included a note of thanks for the wonderful, thoughtful trove she sent for my birthday.

A tracking email informed me the envelope had left our local post office. Today I received a notification of formidable progress. My mum-in-law’s mail had arrived at the post office. In Atlanta, Georgia.

Oregon zip codes begin with 9. Georgia zip codes begin with 3. I live 365 miles from Aurora, and 2,386 miles from Atlanta.

I called our local post office, presented the facts, and asked how these things happen. The clerk posited that my envelope piggy-backed onto another piece of mail and wound up on the wrong plane. She said Atlanta would put it on another plane and send it on to the addressee, probably making delivery  a day later. I thought that she might be a bit over-optimistic, but the content is, after all, replaceable; the photo is in both my and my husband’s computers.

I called my mum-in-law and told her I didn’t want her to think I was remiss in posting a thank-you card, and the fact that her card was sent to Atlanta. She thought it was wonderfully funny, and appraised the situation in her usual way, “All is in divine order,” and this time she added, “And it makes me laugh, too!” Her buoyancy is one reason I love her so much.


Filed under Action & Being, Weird

Plug it in, Lady. . .

My camera quit immediately after I took the photos for the previous post. I plugged in its charging cord, which is plugged in to a four-outlet surge strip, which is plugged into a wall socket, same as always—except that my camera’s red charging light did not come on. This did not at all portend a good thing.

I called my husband, and gave him the model number of my camera’s lithium oxide battery. Owners’ manuals are good things to have for such occasions. My husband thought it was unusual for the battery to die so young. He would order two new batteries and spring for 2-day shipping. They were guaranteed to be delivered Memorial Day.

I conjectured aliens with remote devices, destroying all the lithium oxide camera batteries in the world, to keep conscientious terrestrials from photographing them when they finally invade the earth.

After talking to my husband for 23 minutes, I needed to charge my phone. I plugged it in to its jack, which was plugged into its USB outlet, which was plugged in to the surge strip, which is plugged in to the wall. My phone wouldn’t charge either. Now, this was truly weird.

Everything was properly plugged in. Aliens never come on Fridays. I looked at the surge strip. Maybe its switch was off—who remembers whether its black or red side is supposed to show? I switched the switch to see the red side. My camera’s red charging light came on. My phone’s charging screen came on.

I called my husband and confessed my mistake that the surge strip was somehow turned off. I have no idea how it came to be off. I never purposely turn it on or off; it’s always on, or should be. Effie certainly is not taking the rap for this. My husband belayed the battery order. A fairly good time was had by all. . . .

That red charging light on my camera looked so terrific. . .

Red on the surge strip means “On!”

I took the photos with my phone, which was charged first.


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Filed under Action & Being, Home Life, Technology, Weird

Alderaan or Krypton—or an Unidentified Sinister Force?

Initially, I posited an exploding planet when I saw this photo in my camera. I quickly abandoned that theory, because I had not seen an exploding planet anywhere, ever; and if I had, I doubt I would have had sufficient presence of mind to photograph the exploding planet. In any case, my camera is not sufficient for such a task. As for a USF, that is proprietary to the late Rose Mary Woods.

I actually was attempting to take a photo through a window, of a lilac bush and the poplar trees behind it, blowing in a wind storm with slashing rain coming down. I inadvertently left the flash on, and the “exploding planet” relic resulted.

I have no idea how these things happen, but I find it interesting when they do.

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Filed under Photos, Weird