Tuesday, May 23, 2023

My Story, "Vodník," published in Uncharted Magazine

This story takes place in the Czech Republic.  When I lived there, the stories and imagery of the Vodník (often translated as "water goblin") fascinated me.  So here's my own take on the famous creature:

Vodník, by Melinda Brasher


A vodník statue in České Třebová.  Image courtesy of ŠJů, Wikimedia Commons, creative commons license 3.0.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Park_Javorka,_vodn%C3%ADk_%2801%29.jpg

All over the Czech republic you can find vodník statues around ponds and mills.  The creature is also popular in folk art, like that of Josef Lada (google "vodnik lada").

Mine's a darker take on the sometime-playful water goblin.  For a really dark take, read about the poem by Karel Jaromír Erben:  http://from-my-pov.blogspot.com/2012/02/water-goblin.html

Dvořák also wrote music to accompany the tale.  You can find it on Youtube ("Dvorak Water Goblin")  

Monday, May 22, 2023

The Grand Canyon from Yaki Point

So beautiful!  And even more thrilling when you can see the trail you're going to be following the next morning at dawn.  

Photo taken May 7th:

Thursday, May 18, 2023

30 Animals that Made us Smarter, by Patrick Aryee


 The subject matter here is fascinating.  Before reading this book, I could only have named you maybe four examples of biomimicry—despite being interested in the subject.  So this book took me by surprise.

I found the writing a touch on the dry side when it was talking about the actual science of it.  I think most of that, however, was because of me.  When the author got down to the nitty gritty, I often couldn't quite visualize what he was writing about because I don't have enough science background or mechanical inclination/interest.  So…Mr. Aryee, it's me, not you.  I just wish there had been more photos/illustrations.

I'm in awe of the research involved in this book and in even more in awe of nature and our attempts to understand and copy it.

It's an interesting book, especially if you read it slowly—no more than a couple of chapters at a time.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Cactus Blossom Time!

 From my hike Friday, April 14, 2023, at Skyline Regional park in the Phoenix metro area:

From the end of March at Tucson's Arizona Sonora Desert Museum:

Friday, April 14, 2023

Rattlesnake Ranch, near Dragoon Arizona

 We were headed to Willcox, Arizona and Chiracahua National Monument when we took a small detour looking for a place to enjoy the rocks of Texas Canyon.  We didn't find a good place to explore the rocks.  But look what we did find!

This is Rattlesnake Ranch, and you can just drive in, park, and wander around looking at the beautiful metal statues spread though the wild grounds of what looks like a private home.  Most are dinosaurs, but there are also a few other surprises waiting for you.  

A VERY cool and unexpected attraction on a road we almost didn't take.

Thank you to everyone who put so much love into these works of art.

NOTE:  beware of rattlesnakes.  I think the signs are probably serious, considering all the visibility-blocking grass and the fact that Arizona does indeed have a fair number of rattlesnakes.   

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Chiracahua National Monument

 I finally made it to beautiful Chiracahua National Monument at the end of March.  It was a great time to visit.

I hiked the nature trail around Massai Point and the Echo Canyon/Hailstone loop.  I loved the Echo Canyon Trail.  Next time:  Heart-of-Rocks loop.  

The grottos, on the Echo Canyon trail:  

Monday, April 3, 2023

A bee enjoying the poppies

 Okay, I know I post a lot of poppy pictures, but they're just so beautiful.  One hundred percent of bees I saw agreed.  Picture taken early March this year at Sophie's Flat near Wickenburg.