Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pug Day Afternoon

Did you ever wonder what the expression "dog day afternoon" meant? Well, yeah, there was that Al Pacino movie, which I've mostly forgotten except that it had AP in it. But the original meaning had to do with the position of the Dog Star (Sirius) and was believed by the Ancient Romans to be a day in summer when people went mad and the seas boiled.

For a pug, it's a little different. Here's Lucy lying in the sunniest, dustiest part of the back yard, the place where the dogs have scratched off every bit of grass, catching a few rays. Mad? Maybe a little.

In other Nature news, some of you have been so good as to ask about the pond. You will recall that at one point last summer we had 20-some fish. Then tragedy struck and now ... three remain. The good news is that that's a constant number since last August or September. The bad news is that only one of the Big Two (originally Mr. Big and Biggie Smalls) survived the koi-o-clasm.

If you will look a little to the left of the center of the picture, you'll see Biggie Smalls, (he's the multi-colored one), who thus far has been a little more lucky than his namesake, the original Biggie Smalls, AKA The Notorious B.I.G., who was born about the time of the Dog Day Afternoon movie and went to the big koi pond in the sky about 25 years later, victim of an unsolved drive-by shooting. Confused? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, THIS Biggie Smalls survived a long winter under an ice crust along with two unnamed fishy buddies and now the hope is that they can survive Mr. Pug's endless tinkering with the water, plants, and algae levels.

I'll let you know.

Friday, May 29, 2009

KIP Day, June 13

Knitting in Public Day is two Saturdays away, June 13.

I mentioned this to Mr. Pug last night.

His sarcastic comment was that it would be a nice change if I'd actually stay at home and knit for a change.

Do you think there's a message somewhere in there? Nah, me neither.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Dichotomy of Working in the City

My friends are all complaining about the dearth of news in Pugville. Well, it's been a busy period ... Stitches South, babysitting in Charlotte with the grands, working, knitting ... but the Blog Muse has been strangely silent lately.

Not so the friends:

  • "Don't you have any opinions? Strong opinions? That doesn't sound like you!"

  • "What about us? Don't you know we're checking out the blog and you're not writing?"

  • "What's with you, anyway?"

  • "Geez! Get over yourself!"

So, here's what's on my mind today.

Snapping Turtles and Crime, that's what I'm thinking about.

I work in the area of Atlanta called variously Midtown and/or Morningside. My job is on a 13-acre parcel of land smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest parts of the city--all green grass and magnolia trees--and right across from the newest entrance to Piedmont Park. In fact, except for the huge electric power farm in front of us, it's definitely one of the prettiest parts of Midtown.

As I wander through the campus, I experience all the joys of nature. Yesterday, we got to experience one that surprised even Crusty Old Me:

Yes, that's a turtle. A snapping turtle, in fact. A rather large turtle--about 14-16 inches. Not the thing you want hanging off your arm. (I made the mistake of looking these beasts up online--they will stand up on their hind feet to attack if they're cornered. You don't want to know what the article said about how they use their tails and jaws to attack, although I guess that's rare. They're apparently less harmful than reputed unless threatened. However, Yikes!)

She's not just hanging out, either. She apparently wandered from the creek that runs through the property to lay her eggs in the dirt behind the administration building where my office is. (God knows what other wild animals might be lurking in that creek--I prefer not to know. Let's just hope nothing too big grabs one of the kids.)

All right, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, is there no privacy in the world? All you want to do is lay your eggs in private and a bunch of humans come along and hang out watching you drop a hundred or so eggs in the dirt. Nope ... there's not.

Anyway, by late afternoon yesterday she was gone.

Compare and contrast that with this news from the park across the street:

Man found stabbed to death in Piedmont Park
Another stabbing nearby could be related
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Atlanta police Thursday were investigating the early-morning stabbing of a man found dead inside Piedmont Park.
The victim, who was in his early 40s, was stabbed in the chest during a 1:45 a.m. robbery attempt near the park’s lake, Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows said.

Don'tcha just love it? Birth and death within feet of each other...Nature and Man. Guess I better stick with my side of the street.

By the way, assuming no predators get the eggs, and assuming there ARE eggs, we can expect baby turtles in about 90 days. We've got the eggs, if there are any, covered up to protect them from feral cats and too much sun. Neither of those things are good for baby turtles. I'll keep you updated.