After the rains — mushrooms!

After last weekend’s deluge of 20 inches of rain — and then a couple more yesterday — we’re finally starting to dry out here. Today was gorgeous — sunny, 70’s and dry —  and perfect for capturing the different mushrooms that have appeared in the back yard. We’ve been here 10 years and I’ve never seen yellow mushrooms sprout in all that time. There must have been some special ingredient in the storms that blew through.


Hubble reveals artistry of the cosmos

The Hubble telescope has been capturing some amazing, inspiring images from the far reaches of the cosmos. The colors, the patterns, the textures are not to be believed! Here are just a few of my favorite images, but if you want to see more — and, of course, you do! — click here to view the entire gallery of pictures.

A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula


Spitzer and Hubble Create Colorful Masterpiece

Jet in Carina

A Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases in the Omega/Swan Nebula (M17)

Praying mantis — or preying?

If you look it up, it’s “praying.” But today I found one doing both. I think mantises are my favorite garden insect, next to bumble bees. (And it really has nothing to do with the fact that they eat their partners after mating.) All green and gorgeous and alert, they appear contemplative and curious at the same time whenever I’ve come across them, like little Yodas for the insect world — “Impress you, I will.”

I stumbled upon this one after noticing a goldfinch was just way too interested in the Rose of Sharon bush by our back porch (click on the images for a larger view).

Brunch in the sun

Honey bee brunch in the sun

She's almost smiling, isn't she?