Friday, April 24, 2009


i'm not a techie. Why do the posting times on my blog seem more like West Coast time? Makes it look like I start posting long before done in my Ohio home.
R.A.T. (Sorry to spoil the illusion)


As I promised in this morning's blog (below), here's my photo of the eastern morning sky this Arbor Day at 6:15 a.m., April 24, 2009, from my front porch.
Despite the driving rain, the "sky-fire" spectacle was clearly seen, even through the lens of my rather ordinary camera. This photo has not been enhanced in any way. It was the only photo my camera would allow before the battery died. Too bad. The next photo I was trying to take would have shown the rain-wet highway reflecting the color and looking like a river of fire. (Sometimes waking up a bit too early in the day is worth the effort).... R.A.T. (Rose About Town)


Arbor Day started early for us, just after the first light of day. The day looked fresh and calm, but suddenly we seemed to be quickly immersed in a light... as if we were smack-dab in the middle of a flash bulb. The lights kept coming, on and off for a few minutes.

I went to the door to let my dog out for his morning run, and that poor creature, who HATES rain, was drenched in a sudden outburst. He was shivering and dripping water as he walked into the house.

I glanced toward the big west-facing windows, and the woodland was red, as if reflecting a forest fire; the sycamores were gorgeous!

The rains stopped for a few minutes, and I went to the east windows, and the entire morning was red. Not just the deflected red of a sunrise finding its way through cloud cover; the entire sky was immersed in the glow, as if a red translucent bowl had been lowered over our valley.

I admired it and wondered about it, then the rains began again. The windows shook with thunder, and a spectacular lightning show ensued. Things calmed for a few minutes, and the red drained from the skies, to be replaced by an eerie, sulphurish, glowing green.

A weather bulletin reached my ears from my favorite morning radio station. A rogue storm had "come up on radar out of nowhere," moving from Cuyahoga County, east through Kirtland Hills and into southern Lake County (us!) and Geauga. It was headed northeast at 25 miles per hour, possibly throwing off strong winds and hail along the way. Just before his station was knocked off the air, the radio announcer said he'd been receiving calls about triple rainbows.

Temps, according to my weather station, shot up very quickly from 42 to mid-50s and cooled again as the rains returned.

At our house, we got neither wind nor hail... just a few brief, recurrent power outages which apparently made enough problems at Perry, northeast of here, to close the schools for the day. (Can you hear the squeals of delight from Perry school kids?)

The rogue storm departed as suddenly as it had arrived. All in all, this morning daybreak presented our eyes with a rare and beautiful phenomenon; it was an unusual way to begin our National Arbor Day.

Speaking of Arbor Day, have you hear the recent EPA announcement that CO2 is a serious culprit in global warming. CO2 is also necessary for trees and other plant life, and what kind of world would it be without our trees and other greenery?

Happy Arbor Day from R.A.T.(Rose About Town)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today's late-April cold snap apparently has energized every bird inhabiting my woodland property. Watching from the window of my library at home, I grab my laptop to memorialize the scene:

It's as if there's music from an unseen orchestra with varied repertoire...

A robin hops frenetically, apparently not satisfied with any breakfast worm he comes across as he moves to his own private beat from buffet stop to buffet stop... skittering backward, forward, sideways, all around his grassy dance floor...

Sprightly chickadees are do-si-do-ing, square-dancing their hearts out in my small red maple trees...

Goldfinches are line-dancing carefully along the edges of a long planting box on my porch....

A cardinal is break-dancing his way alone across the branches of an evergreen...

A Carolina wren, always a jammin' little dancer anyway, must be hearing a beat much faster than he has ever heard before. He seemingly intends to keep up with the jive; my sleepy morning eyes can't stay in contact with his moves...

Downy woodpeckers are doing a modern up-speed version of the minuet on a leafless tree limb, stopping every now and then for an insect snack...

An exception to this avian activity taking place before my eyes this morning seems to be a big blue jay, perching coolly nearby on a tree, watching like a chaperon or reluctant wallflower.

But here he goes! He revs his wings, extends his head far forward and storms top-speed across my line of vision. A brilliant blue Speed Racer boldly navigating an unseen track in all that space above the ground, he is stealing the show from every other creature, looping and soaring as his spirit prompts him, changing altitudes and attitudes with great abandon, executing his maneuvers skillfully above my roof and over my lawns and through my trees... He's showing his stuff as brilliantly as any barnstorming stunt pilot of any era... Oh, Mister Blue Jay!

What's been going on here? A reaction to a weather front that's spitting snow into the plummeting springtime temperatures? A prequel to a day of courtship? A mass response to natural harmonic events that fall beneath the radar of our human senses? A spontaneous celebration of Earth Day?...

Whatever, Mister Aviator Blue Jay... R.A.T. (Rose Around Town) appreciates the privilege of having been your spectator, however briefly on this Earth Day 2009.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Dear Mr. President

I hear your family has a dog. I hope it isn't "theirs" alone (Michelle and the girls). I hope it's truly your dog too.

A president needs a dog. A dog will love you, come what may, unless you're mean to him; and sometimes even then.

A dog will listen patiently while you talk about your troubles of the day. A dog will watch quite carefully to see if you are ill or troubled.

A dog will greet you with affection when you return, whether it be from a talk with Congress or a tour across the seas or simply from a corner restaurant.

A dog won't care about your party or your policy. A dog will simply want the best for YOU and everyone you love. A dog won't care about opinions of the outside world; he will simply care about YOUR feelings.

A dog won't see you as the world sees you; he will see you as a human being, the person utmost in his world and sensibilities.

A dog will rejoice when you rejoice; rest when you rest; worry when you worry; mourn when you mourn; he will purposely fine-tune his senses to your needs.

A dog will make your world a better place than it could be WITHOUT a dog.

You cannot buy affection from a dog; you can only earn it.

Love your dog and be a proper master, and your dog will do the same for you.

Good wishes to you, your family and your dog from R.A.T. (Rose About Town), whose world has been adorned by dogs for many years.


We were sitting in our favorite coffee shop this a.m., watching the wind and rain outside the window, when the owner walked over to our table.
She declared with a mischievous grin: "A man was waiting outside the men's restroom, and I told him, 'It's okay to use the women's restroom, as long as you put the seat down when you're done. We don't like falling into the toilet!'... I was serious about that. Do you think I'm bad for saying that?"
I guess you'd KNOW my answer to that, when I tell you I raised three sons. That means I was the only girl in the house for many years, among four males.
By the way, when that man came out of the ladies' room, it turns out he was a tall, handsome, well-dressed guy indeed. He smiled at us, winking as he passed our table and informing us: "I put the lid down."
I think the proprietor and I agreed---that guy is welcome to return whenever he pleases.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


It's Ironic. All these Earth Day activities are growing so big, they involve a lot of people travelling in gasoline-powered cars to the various large activities and festivities, with a lot of litter to clean up after the parties are over. Some of the guests at these high-profile events might even be the very motorists who toss their beer cans and fast-food debris along our roadsides.
I can recall the beginning stages of Earth day, devoted mostly to highlighting recycling and sponsoring litter-clean-up along the highways (at least in our area).
That was a good, solid, down-to-earth foundation for Earth Day. Mother Nature has to shake her head these days at the explosion of Earth Day gatherings, while people have gotten careless or completely forgotten about the functional, effective recycling and anti-litter activities.
R.A.T. (Rose About Town) is shaking her head this morning at that too, as she takes her recycling materials to the bins at town hall and climbs into the deep ditch in front of her home to clean out the litter tossed by passers-by last night.