Monday, June 26, 2017

Our Butterfly Shelter Hostel and Resort (for Black Swallowtail Butterflies) is open for the Season!



A couple of years ago, we noticed the caterpillars on our dill plants; research showed they were of the Black Swallowtail type. To our horror, we observed that the little caterpillars were the perfect snack for any passing bird!

More internet research showed us how to bring the little guys (and girls) inside to a dry aquarium with paper towel on the bottom and several plastic contains for water to keep their food (dill sprigs) fresh. Cover the container with aluminum foil so the caterpillars don't fall in and drown.

You need a couple of strong twiggy branches in there too, for their last transformation into butterflies.

The caterpillars eat the dill and poop. So you need to get in there every couple of days, renew the dill and change the paper towel, maybe refresh the water.

The first year we tried this, we saved one butterfly. Last year, two. Downstairs in my butterfly hotel right now I have 8 or 10 specimens, in different stages of caterpillar-dom. Old Lady Fun.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Meh" Thrillers from (not-so) Great Britain...


The best books by John LeCarre may be behind us by now; but I keep on reading all I find.

Lately, that included "Single & Single", a post Cold War crime thriller, featuring violence, money laundering, vice peddling of all kinds, gun running and so on. A readable novel, certainly.

The relationship between the spymaster (or undercover agent runner, in this case) and his agent, the son of the money launderer who has "turned"is delved.  As in "Our Game", the agent goes rogue in former USSR Georgia; as in "The Night Manager", the agent flirts with love---this female character was stronger, more interesting than the ladies in either of the above.

Bad Bait:

I was interested to find a British novel, made and sold in the UK which somehow found its way to my local paperback exchange: John Harvey's "Good Bait". "No one in Britain is writing better crime fiction" gasps The Times on the front cover. I feel I was duped, or standards of crime fiction writing have declined in the UK. I enjoy fine British writers, etc. I was disappointed.

The novel was a standard, modern police procedural; the eastern Europeans are the bad guys in this novel, the police detectives felt quite contrived; one character was shamelessly used as a literary crutch, as the story limped along. The author peppers and pads the story with musical and literary references from mid-to-late 20th Century...that felt old, but that is because I've been there. I looked up the You Tube for the jazz selection "Good Bait"...I'm not a jazz lover.

This book was engaging enough to pass my "Thirty Page Test", so I was "trapped"; then the story fizzled for 300 more pages.  So I was not happy with "Good Bait" or John Harvey!


Monday, June 19, 2017

Lots of Renovation Projects in Paducah, KY


What a nice facade on this old retail and office building. I hope it will be saved.



Imagine the old hardware store in its prime. Clerks, customers, managers all busy; the place would have been brimming with stock. Look at those lonely shelves.



The old Public Market was converted into retail space and theater; lovely historic space.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Paducah!



Best "ghost sign" I've ever seen!






Paducah, KY is on the come back trail, I hope. After a long industrial past, the town is the center of a growing arts and touring destination, especially for people who enjoy or take part in, the textile arts.

I loved walking the main streets of the downtown, with many restored old store fronts from the various eras; many are in the process.

There is an entire museum dedicated to quilting; the art and workmanship makes this attractive to all but the tiniest children. My husband enjoyed it. No photography allowed inside the museum, or I would show some examples.

Paducah was fun.

Haha--another kind of mask

One of our home grown potatoes seemed to smile at me as it was readied for cook pot.