From the world pool: just for fun edition

It’s been a while since I’ve done a world pool post, partly because the news has just been so depressing. And yes, I’ve got depressing stuff (also useful/interesting), but I’m going to save it for later and start 2019 with happier content.

Art + Design + Writing


The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver died on January 17th. I loved her writing. Rather than an obituary, have something written when she was alive.

What Mary Oliver’s Critics Don’t Understand

Nature […] with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself. Like Rumi, another of her models, Oliver seeks to combine the spiritual life with the concrete: an encounter with a deer, the kisses of a lover, even a deformed and stillborn kitten. “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work,” she writes.


Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle, Remedios Varo, 1961 

“Sometimes the city lands right on top of you.” 

Friendly tower cranes, grinning street signs, and other adventures in augmented reality


Interview: Photographer Spends 10 Years Capturing the Visual Symphony of Waves

Just cool

Frozen in time: the miraculous gold rush movies buried under the Yukon ice 

Just for fun

Why you’re tying your shoelaces all wrong

January ice

ice on puddle

It’s been more cold than not for a month or so now, and that means ice on puddles. And I love taking pictures of ice. So here’s a start, from recent excursions.

ice on puddle

The ice is pretty thick; this chunk, tossed up previously from a puddle, is a couple of inches thick. (And today I caught Our Dog walking across the ice on the slough—argh.)

ice in water-filled bucket

You find interesting things in the woods sometimes; this bucket was left by someone working on an unofficial trail. As far as I could see the ice in it was solid all the way down.

ice on puddle

And it’s so varied, especially when we start getting a bit of hoarfrost.

ice on puddle

ice on puddle

ice on puddle


More fungus

From today’s walk.

Probably spindle-shaped yellow coral
Some kind of yellow coral fungus.

orange mushrooms
Orange mushrooms from the side…

underside of orange mushroom
…and upside down.

underside of small shelf fungus
A turkey-tail type fungus from underneath…

top of small shelf fungus
…and above.

brown mushroom
And finally, your basic boring brown mushroom, but with some elegant frills.

mushroom closeup

Have some mushrooms.

We had some enormous ones this year; these photos are all of the same kind. This was an early stage before it started to flatten out.

mushroom closeup

mushroom closeup
And a bit dewy.

mushroom closeup
And a bit friendly.

Solstice and strawberry moon

moonrise over the ocean

Yesterday I went down to a beach just after 5 am and watched the solstice sunrise with friends. There were seals, possibly an otter, a hummingbird, and passing orcas. There was a faint sundog to one side of the rising sun.

In the evening I mediated and watched the full moon rise just before 9:30. There were seals, an eagle in the tree above us, drummers on the other point, and a collection of people who are good to spend time with.

Solstice and strawberry moon, all at once. I’m told that it will be 70 years till it happens again. I made a conscious decision not to take a camera, in order to be in the moment, but I took some snaps with my phone.

The world is a beautiful place, especially where we live.



The dianthus is blooming.



some kind of onion flower buds

… and blue. This is some kind of ornamental (?) onion that pops up in the lavender bed every year. It’s very subtle but I really like it.

From that bike ride

black and white image of bike in meadow

I stopped and took quite a few pictures on that bike ride. This one is black and white because I accidentally swivelled a knob. But I liked it anyway; it quite catches the feel of the morning, which was both foggy and frosty.

top of old stump
A little frost on an old stump…

dew on branch

dew on branch

dew on branch
…and a lot of dew hanging from branches.

Winter light

The light of a winter sun is one of my favourite things. So have some beauty to share.

old wood and fern
Old wood and bracken

dew on salal leaf
Dew on a salal leaf

fungus on tree trunk
Fungus on a tree trunk

shadow on tree trunk
Shadow on tree trunk

Black and white, February 15th, 2016

There’s a trail I hike fairly regularly that’s lined with alder; at this time of year the trunks and shadows make lovely patterns, and I decided to take some black and white images for a change.

path through winter alders

alder trunks in winter

alder trunks in winter

alder trunks in winter

old wood
And some bonus old wood.

Shadows on stone

shadows on stone

shadows on stone

shadows on stone

There’s a new trail I discovered this fall, and it’s one that wasn’t there in the spring. I know this because in the spring I tried to follow it, and it was only a deer trail. It’s not very long, just a connector between other trails.

But it has a glacial erratic ten feet high part way through it, and the trail winds round it. I took these pictures a few days ago.

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