Beltane '11

May. 1st, 2011 01:37 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane. Winter is behind us, and now for blazing fires and blazing days.

Five hours sleep last night. The latest drug regimen has been helping me sleep the last week or so, eight hours a night two or three nights in a row. So, last night it was a surprise. It was just after six ayem when I finally got to sleep. The sky was the lightest shades of daylight. I covered my head, and pretended it was still night, which helped.

Yesterday was a day off, and it was a good day off. We left the house about 2:30 p.m., and headed north, through Woonsocket to Millville to the Blackstone River Gorge. We lingered briefly at Rolling Dam (aka Roaring Dam). The safety line strung with red pontoons had broken free, and there was damage to a portion of the spillway. I'm guessing it happened when the ice broke up. When we visited in February, the river above the dam was frozen. Also, there was a maple in the water that must have only just gone down, as the branches were filled with reddish sprouts. Then we headed out to the Gorge itself, which lies downstream (to the southeast) of the dam. We've never done the hike, though there and back is only a little more than a mile (depending which trail you take). We climbed to the top and gazed down into that dark tannin-stained water thirty or forty feet below, listening to the rapids, stared into the tops of trees beginning to come back to life. When we left Providence, the sky was cloudy, overcast, but the sun came out about the time we reached the dam, and I was able to take off my sweater and scarf.

In a hollow between slabs of Devonian granite, we found a boggy place that proved to be the remains of a very old garbage dump. Late Nineteenth Century or older. Heaps of glass, brick, ceramics, ornate china shards, shattered jugs, lead nails, shreds of hobnailed boots...it would be a fascinating place to dig, but the park forbids it. Not far past the dump, we found a wide sandy place by the river. I spotted something in the water downstream, which I at first mistook for ducks. However, the disturbance turned out to be two otters (Lontra [?=Lutra] canadensis) frolicking in the shallow, slow-flowing river. I'd never before seen otters in the wild. Various other mustelids, yes (skunks, mink, weasels, etc.), but never otters. We sat and watched them for a about half an hour. They were maybe a hundred yards from us, at the most, and we did most of the watching through a 10x42 monocular. They breached and dove, rolled, and swam swiftly, sinuously, along just below the surface. The air was filled with birdsong. And were actually heard a Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). It was truly wonderful, and the cumulative effect of yesterday was to lead me to resolve that the stagnant age of sitting at this desk all the time, whether I'm working or not, is over. I'm missing the world, the world I used to live in, the wild.

Part of this, of course, is that, thanks to meds and exercise, my Lousy Rotten Feet have improved dramatically over the last year and a half. I don't even really need the stick anymore. I used it during yesterday's hike, because the ground was so uneven and heights were involved, but, usually, I leave it at home now. Anyway, there are a few photos from yesterday behind the cut, below, and I'll post more tomorrow.

---

And this month, the selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press, 2010). This is such a marvelous book. Koja has become such a very brilliantly polished author, and here she treads territories that have rarely been done justice. There's a faint whiff of Angela Carter. But yes, there's our novel for May.



---

We played far too fucking much Rift last night, mostly questing out of Perspice. The highpoint had to be escorting Kayfax, a talking cat, as it tracked trolls. Kayfax decided that Selwyn and Miisya would make very fine pets, and so we were referred to as "pet." Selwyn made Level 35, and Miisya made 36.

Ah, and by the way. Back at the beginning of March, I vowed to make at least one blog entry every day for four months. I didn't want to jink it by announcing it until I was well in. And now I've made it halfway.

And that's all for now. Have a fine first day of May, kittens.

Springy,
Aunt Beast

















All photos Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac

Date: 2011-05-01 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
Gorgeous photos, happy Beltaine, what an excellent book pick, and I'm glad to hear that your Lousy Rotten Feet are at least a wee bit less lousy and rotten.

Date: 2011-05-01 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Gorgeous photos, happy Beltaine, what an excellent book pick, and I'm glad to hear that your Lousy Rotten Feet are at least a wee bit less lousy and rotten.

Scares me when things are going well.

Date: 2011-05-01 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
Anything I type into this little box will merely be further frightening, even more discouraging, and certain to wholeheartedly reinforce the innate unpleasantness of life. No matter what we do, gravity always wins.

Date: 2011-05-01 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

No matter what we do, gravity always wins.

Just like Radiohead says.

Date: 2011-05-01 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
Somebody else sang about how gravity plays favorites--but I think they were high out of their gourd, or at least a mystery cat called the hidden paw.

Gravity plays gravity.

Date: 2011-05-01 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

"Feeling Gravity's Pull" by R.E.M.

Date: 2011-05-01 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
And a good Beltane to you and Spooky, Aunt Beast.

Thank you for the Book Choice. I've heard a few good things about Under the Poppy, and this gives me an excuse to buy it.

I'd have rooted through that dump myself - there were similar ashpits in the fields round my folks' house. As a kid, I loved exploring them: bringing back Edwardian shards, pig teeth and the like.

Date: 2011-05-01 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Thank you for the Book Choice. I've heard a few good things about Under the Poppy, and this gives me an excuse to buy it.

I doubt you'll be disappointed.

pig teeth

Ah. Pig teeth.

Date: 2011-05-01 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mlb194.livejournal.com
Beautiful photographs, I especially love the tree roots, and a Happy Beltane to you and Spooky.

Date: 2011-05-01 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I especially love the tree roots

We have a love of them. With me, it's almost a fetish.

Date: 2011-05-01 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mlb194.livejournal.com
They are incredibly sensual, but I may have spent too long living in forests.

Date: 2011-05-01 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I may have spent too long living in forests.

No such thing!

Date: 2011-05-01 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
How convenient that I nabbed Under The Poppy last month and just finished Zero History. Looks like I'll be moving on to join the ABBoMC.

Man, I need to work on Celinn, I'm falling behind.

Date: 2011-05-01 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com


We, um... kind of binged last night...
Way too many quests given from the same place makes it too easy to keep going.

Date: 2011-05-01 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Looks like I'll be moving on to join the ABBoMC.

Yay!

Man, I need to work on Celinn, I'm falling behind.

Snap to it! Also, we added a new guild member last night.

Date: 2011-05-02 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
Yes, I am seeing about those quests there now. I think Celinn is partially through lvl 34 at this point.

Would have been nice to binge, but I was running some tabletop gaming Saturday night which was equally enjoyable.

Date: 2011-05-01 09:00 pm (UTC)
blackestdarkness: (falling)
From: [personal profile] blackestdarkness
The photos are great. I really love the sky in the second one.

Date: 2011-05-01 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I really love the sky in the second one.

As the day went of, the sky grew ever more remarkable.

Date: 2011-05-01 09:20 pm (UTC)
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
From: [personal profile] sovay
And this month, the selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press, 2010).

I loved that novel.

The last photograph is my favorite, knuckling into the earth.

Happy Beltane!

Date: 2011-05-01 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
To be fair, I read your posts on Under the Poppy, and decided it sounded like a damn sexy novel. So, thanks to you as well. I've got it on order.

The moss and lichen photos are great. These pictures are slow to show up on my mobile.

Date: 2011-05-01 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
D'oh, I meant 'moss and (bracket?) fungus photos'...

Date: 2011-05-01 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

decided it sounded like a damn sexy novel.

Yerp.

Date: 2011-05-01 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I loved that novel.

It's great to see people have already read it!

Date: 2011-05-01 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] egologic.livejournal.com
Otters? In the wild?

O, how I envy...

Date: 2011-05-01 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Otters? In the wild?

It was just beautiful.

Date: 2011-05-01 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessamyg.livejournal.com
Otters - a favourite animal that I haven't been lucky enough to see, not many in my neck of the woods. Loved them since I saw the film Ring of Bright Water and then went on to read the books by Gavin Maxwell. Moody little beggars, vicious and loving in turn, by all accounts - who wouldn't like to have an encounter with a bi-polar animal with teeth?

Date: 2011-05-02 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

an encounter with a bi-polar animal with teeth?

Now I'm imagining a toothless encounter.

Date: 2011-05-01 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catconley.livejournal.com
Happy Beltane to you both. Glad you had such a good day off. Otters in the wild! That's amazing :) Thanks for posting the photos.

Date: 2011-05-02 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Otters in the wild!

Two of them!

Date: 2011-05-02 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catconley.livejournal.com
Lucky! *twice as jealous as before!*

Date: 2011-05-01 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessamyg.livejournal.com
Oops! Belated Beltane Blessings.

Date: 2011-05-02 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizliz13.livejournal.com
In no particular order:

Lovely photos.

Happy Beltane!

I continue to love Rift, but my main is only a level 27 because I spent so much time dickering around with character creation in the beginning. Looking forward to meeting Kayfax.

Under the Poppy -- brilliant Book of the Month Club choice.

Date: 2011-05-02 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


I continue to love Rift, but my main is only a level 27 because I spent so much time dickering around with character creation in the beginning. Looking forward to meeting Kayfax.


Kayfax is a hoot. Also, tsk tsk tsk.


Under the Poppy -- brilliant Book of the Month Club choice.


Yeah...I know.

Date: 2011-05-02 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prose-lover.livejournal.com
YES! HAIL QUEEN KOJA! I read the book when it first came out and loved it! She hasn't lost her touch at all!!!

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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