Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodbye July: What I did this month

Seagull on the roof of the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, Maine, where Brian and I got away from the heat for a while.

Back about 40 years ago, I remember my mom would exclaim about the heat that "It must be 80 degrees in the shade." I used to marvel at that when I lived in Texas for 10 years and the temperatures didn't dip below 100 for days sometimes. This July, my mom's expression has come to seem quaint again. Goodbye, July!
Kayaking in Bar Harbor, Maine, a great destination to which we had never been. The Obama family was there the weekend before.
Me after I fell into Bar Harbor -- NOT. This is a painting from the wonderful Portland Art Museum, a ticket to which allows you to walk into an adjoining house with great old-fashioned wallpaper and furniture.

The Icelandic-Swedish actess Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, the heroine of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book and movie series. We saw the first two installments at Amherst Cinema, and while they're gory and disturbing, I love Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. They're also dark and chilly. We also loved "Winter's Bone" and, surprisingly "Cyrus." Not a bad movie summer, so far!
I went swimming at Puffer's Pond twice.
Biked on the Norwottuck Hike and Bike trail.

And visited the Hampshire College Farm. Don't you love this mobile chicken house?

See you in August!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bugs and more

It's been awhile since I've posted bug photos and AboutAmherst's resident entomologist's analysis. He keeps getting questions -- from our friend Alison about this cave cricket, for instance, but I've been focusing on cute creatures instead.

Like this possibly incompetent -- or overly confident -- watch-cat in a Shelburne Falls bookstore.

Brian advises doing nothing about cave crickets, which like to hide under things in dark, cold places. But I noticed a blogging exterminator, who casts a colder eye on cave crickets and their ilk, suggests building homemade traps for them with a shoebox and sticky paper.
Diana, our artist friend from Ohio, sent this charming photo. Says Brian: "It's a squash vine borer. They are neat, as a moth that mimics wasps. The larvae can damage or kill a squash plant but usually are not common enough to be a big problem, not usually worth trying to control."
Although a person could cut them out of the stems where they bore, if you just have a small number of plants, he said.
Ewweeee! is it hot here in Amherst! Our thermometer says it's 100 degrees, although that's a bit of an exaggeration; the official temperature here is 98! Yesterday, it reached 97 and the record for the day here was 96 in 1949, according to

Brian and I are dreaming of taking a vacation in Iceland this summer!

I have something like this in mind -- an 1883 Montreal ice palace.

In the meantime, we've been visiting some of our favorite summer spots, such as the Shelburne Falls Bridge of Flowers.

And getting around to some classic parades. I particularly liked this guy, who marched in Chesterfield's parade, an Amherst performance mime named Christopher Yerlig.

And then there were these two clowns at the Amherst parade -- JUST KIDDING, they're my friends Nick Grabbe and Larry Kelley.