Posts Tagged ‘dove’

Equal Pay Day

March 24, 2017

The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 4, 2017. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.1

I just got this email from the American Association of University Women:

April 4 is Equal Pay Day, and to mark this powerful day of action AAUW is offering a discounted introductory membership rate of just $21, of which $19 is tax deductible.
Right now the pay gap is so wide and closing so slowly that women will have to wait 135 years to receive equal pay. If we don’t step up now, the gender pay gap won’t close until the year 2152! I know you think that’s unacceptable, so please join.

This link has my code for your discount:
https://ww2.aauw.org/national-join/?appealcode=D17CEL1003A

Seen This Month

A woman driving a small silver BMW convertible with the top down, a tiny gold glitter Mickey Mouse cap at the top of its aerial.  It is cool and threatening rain yesterday, but a few days ago, when the weather was in the 90’s, I also saw two other convertibles with their tops down.

Then there was the young man leaving the Y with his two-year-old daughter on his arm, explaining why the car in the parking lot had no roof.  Why doesn’t it have a roof? He replied, So the wind can blow through your hair.

A dove made a typically flimsy nest near my kitchen window.  It laid two eggs and now has two young’uns.

I’ve been here a month and the lizards are just coming back into the yard.  The previous renters had a dog and the lizards have just figured out that the dog’s no longer a threat.

Lambert Lane, my east/west artery, is closed for three months, to widen it from two lanes to four.  But before they closed it, we were driving 25 mph as construction workers played in the dirt on each side, scraping away any plant life, moving dirt, concreting a hillside, and so on.  Was checking out a house right next to the construction – three coyotes were on the steep driveway, checking out something in the lot further on.  Usually when you see three together, it’s a mother and two pups.  These pups were well-grown.

There were a few items in this “new” house that had not been cleaned in a while.  One was the small storage shed.  Found, in addition to all of the screens that had fallen off the windows (’cause they had been velcroed on, and the velco had dried up), three desiccated pack rats, what looked like a mother and her pups.  Plus all of the stuff they had chewed up, along with the droppings.  Yuck!  (No – I did not take a photo, but here is one of my potted flowers, grass, and herbs, very happy to have morning sun.)

STILLNESS

The Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, at the Pima College West Campus, had a showing which ended at the beginning of this month, STILLNESS. Our Contemporary Art Society went to the reception.  I love these descriptions from the Tucson Weekly.  (My photos were just taken with my phone.)

Kate Breakey, an internationally known photographer, lives in the desert outside Tucson. She makes gorgeous photos of desert moons and of the ocean waters of her native Australia, but most often, as she does here, she zeroes in on lifeless animals.

Constantly trying out new media, this time she has used waxy encaustic paint and pencil atop the black-and-white archival digital prints of her new series, Taxonomy of Memory, a wall-full of 34 works. The encaustics add a creamy texture to her views of the desert’s dead… a vermillion flycatcher…  She lays out small corpses that she finds on trails, and makes haunting pictures of them, blowing them up to grand proportions. As she writes, “A thing fills with exactly the radiance you accord it.”

Colin Blakely, newish head of the UA School of Art—he started in 2015—makes his community debut with an elegant suite of landscape photos…  Blakely’s “Yosemite Valley” is after an 1875 oil by Bierstadt, who painted Yosemite over and over. Both painters helped mythologize the monumental landscapes of the new American nation; in their art of the sublime, the grandeur of a thundering waterfall or a soaring western peak suggested the greatness of America.

Blakely contends that these mythical place exist in some ways only in “our collective cultural imagination.” To “disrupt” those familiar landscapes, he switches the medium from classic oils to archival pigment prints spit out by a computer printers. He ratchets up or tones down the color, and even shifts some elements in the compositions.

…a fairytale forest of golden trees.  In this dazzling installation by Sean-Paul Pluguez, no fewer than 100 “trees” are lined up neatly, row on row, planted into low birch platforms. Bending slightly, as real trees do, they curve upward toward an imagined sky, reaching about six feet into the air.

The trees are actually grape stakes, rough wooden posts that normally would be used to hold up grape vines in a vineyard. But they’ve been transformed by glimmering 24-carat gold leaf, painstakingly applied by the artist over the course of a year. The gold catches the light, and it’s thick and textured, dipping into hollows in the stakes or pushing outwards into lines and patterns.

“The Genetically Modified Forest” is a thing of beauty—who can resist the allure of gold?—but it carries a warning. The stakes are sharp and pointed at the top. And as many fairytale heroines have found, all that glitters is not really gold.

As Pluguez notes in an artist statement, the piece “speaks of man’s limited abilities to deal with his own planet.” We may think we can clear-cut our real forests with impunity or that we can dump coal dust into our streams, a practice lately authorized by our new leaders in Washington.

We can’t disobey the laws of nature for long. When we pollute our rivers, we lose our drinking water, and when we ax our trees, we lose their life-giving abilities to filter out carbon dioxide from the air and provide us with oxygen. A pretty fake forest is no substitute for a real one.

Even so, Pluguez’s meditative installation is a paean to the beauty and stillness of the natural world, properly preserved. It’s the anchor for a group show about nature aptly called Stillness; all four of its artists create a sense of calm in works that cover landscape, animals and the human body.2

1https://www.pay-equity.org/day.html
2http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/all-that-glitters/Content?oid=7599592

Ah, Spring

May 4, 2012

I frightened two quail starting a nest in one of the potted plants on my patio this morning when I went out to water.  No wonder the cat had been sitting on the sweet potato vine last night…

Last week when I started to water the pots there was a flapping of wings and cooing as a dove was flushed from the next pot over.  I told it that was a bad place to make a nest, what with a cat living here, but I don’t think it heard me in its hurry to escape.  I tossed out the beginnings of its nest.

This morning a dove was enjoying the nectar in the saguaro flowers.

Killer Bees

Killer bees were checking out my patio to colonize.  A few dozen of them were buzzing around the cabinets yesterday.  All I had was a can of OFF! which I sprayed on the cabinets.  Don’t think that it deterred them, but they couldn’t figure how to get in, so today they’re gone.

I think it was four years ago when I was living in South Carolina and The Ex had moved out of the house which was on the market when the real estate agent called and said that bees were bothering prospective buyers.  I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but when I got back to Tucson it turns out a storm had ripped off the end door on the patio cabinets and those bees had built quite a hive, dripping honey.  I called a bee removal company, and the rep said that all Tucson bees have been Africanized, the removal people have to wear hazmat suits to take out the hive, and it’s expensive.  Unfortunately, they never move the hives; they simply kill all of the bees.  How sad!

…if you were to come across a large amount of Africanized honeybees foraging on flowers, you will find they are no more dangerous than any other honeybees in this situation. Bees are, however, very protective of their homes. It is estimated that feral Africanized bees hives can protect their home with up to 4 or 5 times the amount of honey bees and produce more alarm pheromone to excite and alarm the bees in the hive than European bees do. Africanized bees can become agitated more easily, and stay alert longer than European bees.

When bees attack they typically will target your head. Bees also target your hands as they are often in motion. The danger proximity for an Africanized honeybee hive may be anything less than 20 to 40 feet. Once the hive is disturbed, their defensive area can grow much further in range.

All bee removal is difficult, especially bee removal from a wall, roof, chimney or other structure. There are typically five thousand to twenty thousand (5,000 to 20,000) honeybees in a bee hive. Removing Africanized honeybees is extremely challenging and can be very dangerous to persons or animals on neighboring properties in all directions regardless of where the bees are.    http://www.adkinsbeeremoval.com/africanized-honey-bee.php

Coyote

A young coyote, looking hot and tired, just walked across my driveway.  (Temperature at 2:30: 92°.)

Blind

A blind woman at the College, with her guide dog, was attempting to find the correct walkway.  I asked if she needed help.  Yes, she was trying to get to the sidewalk where the bus stands were.  She was only a few steps off.  After I guided her she proceeded to the bus.  Wow!  With the aid of a well-trained dog she was in college and navigating the city!  I have noticed here since then, adeptly finding the correct bus.

When my mother was very ill with a lung disease, mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), for which no cure has been found, the head of the pulmonary department at University Medical Center discussed her case with the rest of the department and experimented with various drugs.  One made her sun sensitive; neither of us had read the small print on the label, and when she went out for fresh air, her skin turned bright red.  Another prescription made her gradually grow blind.  We bought a variety of magnifying lenses, including a large rectangular one for reading the newspaper and a jeweler’s lens with a strap to go around the head, convenient for reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle (as well as cutting a diamond).  But going blind didn’t suit her.  I asked, would you rather breathe or see?  “See,” she answered, so we stopped that prescription and went on to another drug.

Macular degeneration runs in my father’s family.  First, direct sight goes.  I remember my aunt watching television by peeking out of the corner of her eye, as peripheral vision is the last to go.  First she played bridge with cards with giant numbers, and read large print books.  Next she graduated to Books on Tape (this before CD’s).  But without being able to see, she decided to die, and did, at 87.

One of the men I worked with at IBM was blind.  He had a guide dog (a golden retriever who left a circle of golden hair on my friend’s left leg) and a computer screen with a hand-held scanner which, when moved across the screen, translated the computer code to a touch-pad full of pins which raised for the correct Braille symbol, for his left finger.  He had a hereditary disease which had detached his retinas at age 8.  His daughter inherited it from him, but because she had been tested early, they were able to cure her.  Modern medicine!  I checked out hereditary eye diseases on the Web.  There are a number of them.  Possibly he had Coats’ disease:

Coats’ disease is also known as Coats’ Retinitis, Coats’ Syndrome, Exudative Retinitis, and Retinal Telangiectasis. There is some evidence to suggest that Coats’ Disease is caused by a somatic mutation of the NDP gene. Coats’ disease is a very rare  condition where there is abnormal development in the blood vessels behind the retina. The blood rich retinal capillaries break open, leaking the serum portion of the blood into the back of eye. The leakage causes the retina to swell, and can cause partial or complete detachment of the retina. Coats’ disease is seen predominantly in males, about 69 percent of the cases. It progresses gradually and affects central vision. It is almost always unilateral (affects only one eye). If caught early, some level of vision can typically be restored. If not caught until its late stages, complete loss of vision can occur. In its final stages, enucleation (removal of the affected eye) is a potential outcome.

I started reading Ved Mehta in The New Yorker, where his autobiography, Face to Face, was serialized. He wrote of growing up blind in Lahore, where his family lived, and his early years in the U.S.  His recollections, such as describing how he rode a bicycle, are incredible.

Autobiographical excerpt:

“Deprivation often makes a writer. I was born, in 1934, into a Hindu family in India. When I was a couple of months short of my fourth birthday, I lost my sight as the result of an attack of cerebrospinal meningitis. In India, one of the poorest countries the world has ever known, the lot of the blind was to beg with a walking stick in one hand and an alms bowl in the other. Hindus consider blindness a punishment for sins committed in a previous incarnation. But my father, a doctor, tried to fight the superstition and give me an education, like his other children, so that I could become, as he used to say, a self-supporting citizen of the world.”