Dizzy Swallows

Salt Spring Island, Part 3

September 5th, 2011

Happy Labor Day chaps! Hopefully all of you are still in the full swing of a long, restful weekend!

Today I’m wrapping up our wonderful Salt Spring Island camping trip with the third part of our adventures. One of my very favorite things about our tent (while it may not be quite so charming as that of the lovely Artemis) is that the dome is nearly all mesh. Lying inside at night, the stars are your ceiling. In the morning, enjoying a glorious sunrise is only a matter of sitting up.

After breakfast and a bit of lounging, we spent the morning roaming the rocky shore, enjoying the tide pools and their inhabitants.

I love the bulbous anemones. Their Jabba-like bodies are at once rather disgusting and fascinating.

The low tide exposed a bounty of mussels, barnacles, and seaweed.

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the stones, … Continue reading

Salt Spring Island, Part 2

September 2nd, 2011

Our second day on Salt Spring dawned sunny and fresh. The tide had slipped away in the night, leaving the dark rocks naked and glistening green with seaweed.

Coffee never tasted so delicious.

After making ourselves decent for public viewing, we wound our way back to town for ice and to see the sights.

The largest town on Salt Spring is Ganges, a friendly, buzzing little metropolis curled round a small marina.

There are several parks scattered about town, with inviting lawns and charming residents.

As it so happened, Saturday was market day and our ears brought us to the music pagoda, complete with dancing hippies. This is an island after all. We hippies love an island.

But even I was surprised by a certain pastime in which three local girls were happily engaged. Chicken tossing. Yes. The three were gently tossing a fluffy, speckled bantam hen from one loving … Continue reading

Little Bits for a Monday

May 16th, 2011

This morning I would like to share a video from one of my favorite experimental-folk groups Akron/Family. “Islands” is off their new album, released under the ponderous title, Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. Indeed. Directed by Daniel M. Gahr, the video has me longing for summer sun and tropical beaches…even more so with a certain sister of mine on holiday in Mexico. Sigh.

Island by Akron/Family from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

A few hours ago the Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on its last mission; to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station (yeah, you read that right). As a testament to the digital age, photos, videos, and updates are racing about the intertubes just 3 hours into the mission. The incredible video below documents the shuttle’s launch and entry into … Continue reading

Rattlesnake Ledge

March 23rd, 2011 4 Comments

Our kitchen and living room look out over nearly 180 degrees of the Cascade Mountains. Making coffee in the morning sunlight, I can hear them calling as clear and loud as a gong. My birthday pressie from Jacob was a pair of hiking boots. After years of watching me tromp about in old sneakers, soaking up whole mud puddles, and getting poked by the tiniest pebbles, he’d had enough. While my new kicks won’t see me moonlighting for The Sartorialist anytime soon, they will float me through 12 hours of hiking with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Last Saturday, we took them for their first spin, driving the quick hour to the Central Cascades. This area is crisscrossed by hundreds of hiking trails, dangling promises of mountain views, sparkling lakes, waterfalls, the Snoqualmie river, and acres of lush green forests.

From this embarrassment of … Continue reading

Google Art Project

February 9th, 2011

With the aforementioned exception of libraries and bookstores, I find few places more pleasing and comforting than art museums. This pleasure is not always practical, however, with high admission fees and let’s not forget, in many cases, the requisite travel expenses.

The newly launched Google Art Project is an amazing compromise to this dilemma, which introduces art space that eschews the limitations of money and geographic location.

While I am the first to admit that digitized art can’t hold a candle to the real thing, nor can an online platform replace the atmosphere of a well curated gallery, this project opens a whole world of art to those that would otherwise not have the opportunity.

The Art Project works with Google’s Street View technology and offers tours of 17 important museums from around the world, including some of my favorites like The Uffizi in Florence, The Van Gogh Museum in … Continue reading