Tuesday, August 28, 2018

One More Mushroom Village

Bumper Mushroom crop up on the Mogollon Rim, Arizona (mid August):

See my previous post for more pictures of the lovely and strange mushrooms I found.  

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mushrooms on the Mogollon Rim, Arizona

Mushrooms on the Mogollon Rim, Arizona
Rim Lakes area
August 18-21

I'd never seen so many mushrooms up there--both in quantity and variety.  It was quite a joy--though I wished I'd been with an expert who knew if any of them were edible.


Maybe something edible (and tasty)? Look at the spongy bottom below:

Pretty sure you shouldn't eat this one, even if you scraped off all the dirt:

Alien ears?

A tiny little guy above
A big guy below

A mushroom huddle above

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Semiosis by Sue Burke

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it.  And it didn't disappoint.  I loved the premise—both the tiny colony trying to survive on a strange planet and the idea of this planet having intelligent flora. 

I really enjoyed the story being told over multiple generations by different characters, and how, until closer to the end, each chapter was almost like a short story.  I loved watching the culture developing and changing, while still mostly holding true to their peaceful aim.  It was a bit of light in a dark world. 

Because of the changing points of view, I did occasionally feel a bit distant from the characters and sometimes mixed up minor actors, but I wouldn't have had it told any other way.

The fascinating premise was somehow both the book's strongest point and the thing that made me unable to give it 5 stars.  I didn't have a hard time believing an intelligent plant.  I did have a bit of a hard time swallowing the plant being so quick-thinking and quick to adapt, since plants are a life form that live in what we would think of as slow motion.  I also couldn't quite believe its facility with human language, and I thought the plant sounded too human—though also quite plant-like in some ways.  I loved the way it changed, but things like the "humor root" just felt too easy.  Still, such a unique viewpoint and premise.  And who knows:  maybe this is how an intelligent plant would really be.   Maybe I'm thinking too much like an animal. 

Semiosis is a very, very interesting book, and I absolutely loved the imaginative plants and animals and the sentience of so many things.

I strongly recommend it to people who love nature and its amazing variations, both real and imagined.

This is a definite 4.5 stars.  Almost 5 stars.

After I wrote my review, I read some by other people.  One reviewer talked about how it was very enjoyable because it didn't have a standard story arc.  

I hadn't thought about it in exactly those words, but that's probably why I enjoyed the first several chapters more than the last few.  As I said above, they were more like interconnected short stories in the same universe, and I loved the ride.  I never knew what to expect from the next chapter, and they focused on different aspects of life on Pax.  I liked how there weren't a lot of clear-cut bad guys.  I never knew which characters would be important in the future--or even which ones would survive.  It was very unpredictable.  Then, when it started getting more "let's defeat the bad guys in a big action-packed climax" it lost some of its unique beauty.  

Then, of course, I read another review that said they didn't like the book all that much because, basically, it didn't have a standard story arc.

You can't please all of the people all of the time.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cruising Alaska on a Budget only 99 cents!

Upper Dewey Lake, from Sksgway
I'm having a sale on Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide.  For today and tomorrow, it's only 99 cents!  Even if you miss the sale, you'll still get a discount for the next few days until it returns to its normal price.

If you want to discover Alaska without breaking the bank, that 99 cents will pay for itself many, many times over.  The book includes tips on finding good cruise prices, how to anticipate or avoid hidden costs, information on public transportation, and many ideas of great things to do in port for little or no money.

I highly recommend an Alaska cruise, especially if you like wildlife and nature.  If you dedicate some time to watching the water, you're almost guaranteed to see marine life from the deck of the ship.  If you want to see a glacier, Alaska's the place to do it.  If you're a hiker, there are so many nice nature strolls and rigorous hikes within easy reach of where your ship stops. 

It's a paradise of green and blue and white.

So start planning!

Buy Cruising Alaska on a Budget on Amazon--99 cents!