Sunday, July 24, 2016


There was a tiny intermittent breeze this afternoon! For the first time in many weeks, I dragged a chaise into the Upper West Side paddock and plunked it down in a shady spot. Then I took out my knitting.

This is a sort of mindless knitting project; so far, it's just a big tube of knit knit knit knit knit. It's a perfect thing to pick up for a few minutes at the end of a tiring day. I can knit this with my eyes closed, and often do.

It began as an effort to use up several single-skein cotton yarns
that have been sitting in my stash for a while.
Unused. Unplanned-for. What a waste!
So I'm just having fun. Making it up as I go along.

I think it's going to be a reversible summer top.
I'm pretty sure it will be reversible;
less sure that it will be a wearable top.
It could be a pillow. Or a towel.
We'll see.

It's an experiment.

And like most experimental work, it has advisers.


Saturday, July 23, 2016


Just a quick word to thank Maywyn and Mike and Umme Yusuf for their helpful comments regarding image software. After following up with some online reading and general poking around, I am experimenting with the free version of Zoner Photo Studio. I may end up starting from scratch with different software, but for now this seems to be working. Of course there will be the customary "learning curve." With image software, part of this process always seems to be figuring out where the heck things are going.

I'm trying to be patient and methodical in shifting files from the old laptop to the new, so that nothing is lost. In my previous switch - no wait, it was probably three laptops ago - I misplaced all the images from a trip to France, which is rather sad because it was my first and very likely only visit there. But hope springs eternal, and I keep a happy thought for someday discovering those images in a buried folder labelled "Charts" instead of "Chartres" or some such.

Piper and I actually got into the woods before it became unbearably hot today - hooray! We spent a couple of hours by a little streambed - now nearly dry - where a lot of DrawingAugust2015 took place.

No actual drawing occurred today, but I like to think that feeding Piper treats and watching water bugs and listening to the sounds of the forest was "mental preparation" for DrawingAugust2016.

Anyone feel like joining in?

It's very good fun!

Friday, July 22, 2016

a little something for everyone

As promised, the results of the giveaway giveaway!
There were 15 commenters:

And the random sequence generator says:

So...the winner of the Kiva gift card is Thistle Cove Farm!

Congratulations and thank you for your comment, Sandra!
I hope you will enjoy your first Kiva experience :)

And I know it isn't the same as winning a giveaway, but for all the commenters - and indeed for all the silent readers of Comptonia (who I dearly hope will someday say hello!), I'd like to share two special images. I hope you enjoy them.

The first is a hummingbird moth!

 If you've ever seen one of these gentle furry creatures you can imagine how thrilled I was to find this one - called a Snowberry Clearwing, believe it or not! Did Tolkien name it? - enjoying the bee balm yesterday.

And only moments later:


Have a marvelous day, everyone!
Really. Let's all look around and find something to marvel at :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

wordy wednesday

The weather has lightened up, and everyone is enjoying it.
It's sunny, and it's hot. But not stultifyingly humid.
And there's an occasional breeze.
The air is breathable.


Betula had been basking in the sun, but when he saw me walking up from the garden, he got up and walked down to meet me halfway.

 LeShodu naturally assumed that I would walk to her.
She is rarely mistaken.

We had a brief but heavy rain one evening,
and the corn is higher than my knees at last:

The corn - it's organic popcorn, actually! - 
still has a long way to go.
But the summer squash is coming along:


In very "other" news, I'm in the process of switching to a new laptop. It's a necessary step - overdue, really - but now I must get it done because the tiny laptop needs to go away for repair ASAP. I've been switching over for a week now, bit by bit.

I am not going to make you look at pictures of a laptop.

Look, pumpkin leaves! Aren't they glorious?

I'll talk about the laptops though. Two big hurdles are: getting the goatcams talking to the new laptop, and finding a replacement for Picasa, which I've been happy with as an image manager (mostly) and editor (a bit), but which Google cut loose a while ago. Oh, Google. You are a blister at times.

I do so little "post-processing" of images, I have no need of PhotoShop. And I don't want my images in "the cloud" so I'm not even looking at Google's "replacement" for Picasa.

FastStone was recommended but doesn't seem to have keyword tagging. Tagging is a feature I need at this point; otherwise I will never find anything when I want it. Ideally, I need to find software that will not only offer tagging but which will read the tags on tens of thousands of images already tagged in Picasa.

What are y'all using? Any software suggestions will be much appreciated!

Hurdle 2: the goatcams are critical to my peace of mind; no exaggeration. There's just no calculating how many unnecessary trips to the barns and paddocks they've prevented, especially in the middle of the night. Nor how many times I've gone out with a flashlight because a goatcam let me know there was something genuinely amiss. They've certainly saved at least one life.

After many hair-tearing failures this week, I managed to get one of the cameras talking to the new laptop this afternoon. I have such a headache now, I'm going to rest on that one scrawny laurel til tomorrow, when I'll tackle the second camera again.

And speaking of tomorrow, it's the Giveaway Giveaway! I just discovered that I did not put a time on the random drawing, so to be fair, I will keep entries open til midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, and will draw and post the winner on Friday. That means there's still time to share, so please do...this is just a tiny giveaway, but the more people who hear about Kiva, the better our world may be :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

sunday snaps

Piper and I were determined to get into the woods today.
I packed water, snacks, and the camera.
And a special rawhide chew in case Piper was Extra Good.

It was very hot and humid. We didn't walk far.
Piper wasn't even interested in running way ahead.
Or running in circles around me.

Or running.

And as soon as I chose a spot and took off my pack,
she carefully chose a spot also.

Look at that draped tail.
Too humid to wag!

Not too humid to roll though!


But just one good shake and she's re-styled.

We stayed on a slope by the pond for a long time.
So long, a few birds began to land in nearby trees.
 This bird perched high overhead.
I have no idea what kind of bird it is - do you?

 I think it may have been bathing,
and flew onto the branch to fluff and dry.

It took much longer than Piper to style it's look.
For that matter, it took longer than I do.
"Obviously! Just look at your hair!"

Why, is it full of twigs?
Because I've been walking though high bushes? 

I didn't take many, because it's such an important wildlife food.
But...I couldn't resist a few.


I hope your weekend contained some Extra Good bits.
As good as highbush blueberries.
And even better than rawhide chews.

Let's hold on to the good moments.