Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LUSH

We had a good rain last night, courtesy of a thunderstorm that came muttering in from the southwest. The sound of its distant drumrolls woke me from a deep sleep—a low, resounding rumble that, as it approached, might have been mistaken for the wheels of a horse-drawn wagon clattering over a wooden bridge. After a while the storm drew near and the smell of coming rain, fresh and damp, came wafting through the open screen and quickly cooled the room. The dog, who’s not afraid of even the most tumultuous storm, stirred on her bed, savoring the sudden profusion of scent carried in on the thickening night air. The rain itself began with a few drops on the roof, an erratic pinging, spasmodic, asymmetrical, too misshapened to be called rhythm. But a minute later I heard a dull onrushing as the wall of pouring rain advanced through the woods opposite the cottage, changed pitch as it crossed the open channel, then roared exuberantly as it drenched our side of the river. I don’t mind rain—especially not in the spring when all the earth needs a life-boosting drink. Rain in spring is vernal refreshment. Of course I do mind when it rains day after day, or comes discharging such a protracted downpour that streams flood their banks and I have to stand on the muddy edge of my swollen river in the middle of the night, worried like a parent with a feverish child, and pray for the rising water to crest before climbing another inch. Last night’s rain, however, proved as well behaved as anyone could want—giving freely of itself for half and hour, then packing up and moving elsewhere when the ground was sufficiently saturated. By dawn’s sunny light the whole world sparkled under a sheen or moisture. Everything looked green and lush, swollen with pleasure and quickening with energy. I could almost hear the grass starting to grow. And that is the perfect one-word description for today…lush. A succulent green land, tender, heavy with leaf, dense and thick, yet soft, verdant, almost tropical. The sun remained out and bright; temperatures climbed into the mid-80s. For the first time this year the air felt sultry. I’ve spent much of the time working around the yard, fiddling with plants, moving more wood to the woodpile, trying to figure where to plant what, should I have the funds to expand my landscaping anytime soon—not to mention the necessary energy. Before going inside I stepped onto the front deck overlooking the water. The river was up an inch or two and showing some color. A half-dozen mallards came winging downstream, flying fast, gabbling to one another as they hurried along. One of the local herons, perhaps inspired by the early-morning freshet, was intently fishing the shallows on the island side of the channel. The mass of wild grapevine I allow to trail over the rail was green and lovely in the backlight of the now-lowering sun. Everything was lush today. And I feel lush, myself.
* * * * *
[Faithful readers…you’ll notice some changes today in the “Riverdaze…” layout. A bit of tweaking in colors and background; a new header, including a different great blue heron header shot. (Same series as the old heron, taken just a few minutes earlier, in the riffle near the cottage…just a different, less “busy” pose.) I’m not big on change, except for a reason—and the reason here is that I was trying to make it cleaner in design, and most importantly, easier to read. I hope I’ve succeeded…but that’s where I need your help and input. Tell me what you think. Like? Don’t like? Doesn’t matter one way or the other? Let me know.]

43 comments:

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I like the new design! I also liked the old one.

Your description of the storm and the subsequent lushness is so wonderful and vivid. I like thunderstorms too, and the scents which come wafting in with the rain.

It's nice and verdant here too after recent downpours. All the colours look doubly luminous.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

Appreciate the comment re. blog. I just thought this update gave it a bit more snap and maybe less eyestrain. Hope so, anyway.

After-rain colors are usually lush and luminous, saturated, great for photography.

Jenn Jilks said...

Griz, we had pouring rain for hours. The wee goslings were sitting out on our Flower Rock. Water off a duck's back or something.

I have travelled an hour north with a friend to stay at a resort for a conference the next day. I can see my breathe outside. It is so cold...

yes, I like the colours. I like change! (My late mother said I am schizo...)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

Though it was lovely here today, the forecast calls for rain—quite a bit of it—through the next 48 hours. So I've probably had my last outside time for a while.

Hey, I've spent plenty of time up north. I remember once, while on a brook trout junket, this little town on the shores of Lake Superior ran a piece in their local paper about their upcoming 4th of July (kind of like your Canada Day, I guess) parade. The big deal was how they expected all the snow to be melted by then! So, yup, it do get cold up your way!

Glad you like the new layout…

Delwyn said...

Good morning Mr Grizzley

Your heron looks very like mine. Is he a white face heron also known as a blue crane?

I love the lush vine - you can almost see it growing.

Happy Days

KGMom said...

New layout looks dandy, although I confess unless I had the OLD one right next to the new, I am not sure I could name all the changes.
Never mind--new way looks fine.

As for rolling thunderstorms, I enjoy them--love the sound of thunder and the patter or clatter of rain, but our dog does not share that love. She freaks, as I have observed.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

I love the sounds of the storm as it found it's way to you. We had storms here last night and today, as well. Our world is dark green.

I like the 'header' of your blog - it is detailed and colorful. At the end though, I couldn't even see where it was written "post a comment". the words blend in with the dark back ground. It is only because I know where it is suppose to be that I found it.
I am not a big fan of change either, it pretty much hapens without any help from me. Ya know?

Oh, I was having coffee yesterday morning and the most beautiful white tailed rabbit was eating whatever in the yard, He or she was really big and a lovely light brown and white speckles. I ran to get my camera and when I came back he or she was gone.

Love to you]
Gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Delwyn…

The heron pictured is a Great Blue Heron. The same sort of heron in both the header photo and the one accompanying this posting—possibly even the exact same bird. Though I have several GBHs along "my" section of the river.

The grapevine in the photo is, appropriately, called river grapevine. It is lush and lovely, which is why I let it grow.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Moon the dog has never been afraid of thunderstorms or much of anything in the way of loud noises—not even 4th of July fireworks.

I do love thunderstorms, as I've said before in other posts. And last night's was perfect…though I could have done with a bit more sleep.

Glad you like the blog—even if the changes aren't all that obvious.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

More storms predicted for here tonight, so I may have an encore.

I'm not sure about the part you're having trouble seeing—in the two browsers (Firefox and Safari) I used to check the new layout before actually putting it up, that comments area is actually white or very light, with dark lettering; easy to read.If I can figure out the problem, maybe I can fix it. I sure don't want to make it difficult for anyone to comment.

Rabbits are creatures of habit. Keep watching (with camera ready) and you should be able to get the shot. Sounds like a curious bunny to me!

Take care…

Rowan said...

I agree with Raph, I like your new design and I liked the old one too, it's nice and simple and easy to read. One thing I don't like is over busy backgrounds on blogs as I find them very distracting. Your description of the rain was beautiful, there's something wonderful about summer rains after a long dry period, everywhere looks fresh and sparkling and you can almost hear the grateful sighs of the trees and plants as they absorb the water. I really enjoyed reading this.

Bernie said...

A lovely post...the changes you made does make your post easier to read but like Gail said where it says to post a comment it is very dark and one has to look closely to see where to click on it. I am not fond of change either but you did very well my friend.
The pictures and descriptions allowed me to hear the thunder, smell the freshness of air and wet grass, and then I too could see how green and lush everything had become overnight. I love when my blogger friends can draw me into their yard or homes. My friend Wanda's blog gives me the same welcoming feelings as your's does. Thank you sharing.....:-) Bernie

Bernie said...

Sorry Griz, I just went back to look at your header and I clearly saw the "comment" in white, I am not sure why it was so dark and tiny when I posted my original comment. Just thought I'd let you know..:-) Bernie

Jayne said...

I could just feel the lushness in this post. :c) Like you, I like a nice, steady rain that feeds and swells everything green. I like your blog layout and colors very much and look forward to coming each day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

I'm glad you like the new colors and glad to hear it comes up easy for your to read. That was my intention in cleaning up the design.

It was supposed to rain most of the night here, but didn't rain a drop—although the morning is dark and cloudy; I imagine today will indeed be rainy. Which is okay, as I have work to do at my desk…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

There's obviously something going on—at least sometimes—with that comment box portion of the posting column. I can't get it to do anything wrong when I look at it using different browsers, so I can't quite visualize the problem—at least not yet.

But you and Gail and anyone else who's having trouble seeing this bottom portion—please keep me informed. I'll try and redo the page—remove then reapply the background color—and see whether or not I can figure things out.

I'm pleased you liked the post. I do want readers to feel like they're here on the riverbank, sharing something of the vision and adventures, small and large. And I want everyone to know they're welcome guests here—old friends—and will always be treated as such. Again, keep me informed re. new layout…and thank you for your nice comments.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Yesterday's rain shot the grass up noticeably—lushness that now needs a haircut! But in this morning's soft light, everything is so verdant, so green and tender, I almost wish I were a herbivore.

Let me know if you have problems with the comments portion of the blog. I'm glad you like it otherwise.

Wanda said...

Reading your discription of our storm yesterday has made it even more wonderous to me...I could hear and experience it all over again...The lushness you describe is pretty close to being jungle-like in places here...most things need a trim...but it is good to see everything in the plant and animal world thriving and coming alive.

I posted photos of my mystery insect that looks somewhat like your Hover Fly...maybe you will know what it is...

The changes to your blog are nice...complements your "lush commentary" even more so.

Gail said...

hi again-

the bottom of the post, where I can click on 'post a comment' is barely visible. the font is blue on a green back ground - it is only because I know where the 'post a comment' line is suppose to be that I found it.

also, when people comment, there name is eliminated now. it reads.

.......said.

there is no name as to who said. what's that allabout?

okey dokey

love you
gail

Gail said...

oh, I see that the name of the person commenting is also in the blue color against the green back ground and it is not visible - not tome anyways.

giggles said...

Me likey!! Especially the new header picture and font......

Thumbs up!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I'm really sorry you're having problems with this change—that's one of the reasons why I'm not a fan of such meddling: if it ain't broke…don't try and fix it!

That said, try as I might, I can't get it (the post page) to do anything other than what it seems like it should do.

I've logged in as Blog Administrator using several browsers. Signed off and logged in as just another visitor on those different browsers. Used the library's computer to visit. Had a neighbor visit on his two computers.

In all cases, the post for yesterday's column, as it appears on the screen, is a gray background with light tan/yellow text typeface. There's a white rectangle, column-wide, at the bottom, which contains in three lines this info:

19 comments
Posted by The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself!
at 5:55 PM Labels: lush, spring rain

Also, when I click on "comments" and go to the comments section, the person's name and their profile image does show, just like it always did.

Obviously, you're seeing stuff differently. If you don't mind, do this for me if it isn't too much trouble: turn off and restart your computer; restart your browser and see if the problem persists. I'm wondering, since you're seeing green instead of this white comments box, if it isn't a cache deal—your browser trying to use the old colors or some such thing. Also, let me know what browser you're using.

I'm not anywhere close to being computer literate. If this doesn't fix it, I don't know what to do except switch to an entirely different template and see if that makes any difference. I'm not even sure that going back to the old color scheme (this is the same template, just different colors) would change it.

If anyone has a suggestion as to what might be causing this, or how to fix it, I'm happy to give it a try.

Again, I apologize.

Gail said...

Hi again-

huh. very strange. I shut down and re-booted. same colors, - that make my seeing the person's name that is commenting barely visible. I know it is there it is just impossible to see. I really appreciate all you did to try and fix it but it is what it is. I can find my way around, grope in the dark a bit. :-)
love you
Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Glad you like the new photo and layout—although I apparently have a problem. So who knows what it will look like tomorrow.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I'm still going to try and fix this; I DO NOT want to make things tough for you if I can possibly come up with a solution.

Sometime this afternoon I'll redo the entire blog layout—put it all over on another template, then switch back to this one and redo all the settings and colors. If that doesn't make it any better, I don't know what else to do.

Regardless, I really appreciate your patience. Maybe sooner or later, I can get this worked out…

The Weaver of Grass said...

Vernal refreshment - I love it Scribe - can't wait for it to rain here so thatI can say "we are getting a drop of vernal refreshment"! Yes - I like the new layout, but then I liked the old one. As long as that old heron stays around - I get ready for him to pop up on your header - I would really miss him.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Use the "vernal refreshment line at will…though you'll have to get it in before the 21st of the month.

As I said in the note at the bottom of the posting, this is the same bird as before, just a different shot taken a few minutes later.

At one time I considered using the same lens and camera viewpoint, taking the same shot on, say, the first of each month—a scenic, across the river and slightly upstream from the cottage, showing riffle, pool, and the big sycamores on the island (but likely no heron)—and thus recording the visual change throughout the seasons. But I couldn't quite forgo my fellow feathered angler.

Rest assured, regardless of any "home improvements" here on Riverdaze…the old heron stays.

Carolyn H said...

What good is your very own blog if you can't play with it every now and again? It's sort of like cleaning house, though I have to do that more often. Looks nice!

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

You're right, of course. And I really want to give things a sprucing up.

From here, everything looks good—I like the new header; the post type seems easier on the eyes, the background appears okay; the comments area at the bottom of the post is easy to see and read, and the comments page is also acting normal, as intended.

But obviously, at least one or two readers are have problems. But without being able to duplicate the problem, I can't fix it. Ah, the digital life…

Hey, rain here this morning; almost sunny out now. Even more lushness coming!

Wanda said...

I may know what Gail's problem is ...I have Riverdaze on my header page listed under favorites of mine and coming from there everything is as you describe, white backgound on comment page.....I also have Riverdaze on my dashboard page listed in my Blogger Reader List...coming from there I experience the brown background making the names of commenters hard to read that Gail is talking about...it's because from there you get the post and comment section all on the same page(brown background) and the blue doesn't show up well on the brown.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

By George (or by Wanda?) you may have hit on part of the answer.

I used another blog, made myself a follower of Riverdaze, put the link on both the header page under "blogs I follow" and on my dashboard page, and I got exactly the same thing…the Riverdaze posting was fine if I went there from the dashboard, ditto for comments page. But if I went there from the "blogs I follow" widget by clicking on the posting name, I got a brown comments page; however, if I clicked instead on the "Riverdaze" rather than the title of the latest posting (still on the "blogs I'm following" widget list) I got the white comments page. Weird.

As late as it is, I'm not going to mess with trying for a fix until tomorrow (well, actually today, but later today). And I still can't figure about the comments rectangle at the bottom on the posting.

But I sure thank you for letting me know—and Gail will doubtless than you too. At least I'm getting closer to a fix. Maybe.

giggles said...

Re: "...problem..." Have you notified Houston yet?? (tee-hee!)

Being a technophobe, you have given me more reason not to fool much with my own blog, though some feel it "busy..." Begs the question; "Who ya doin' the blog for anyway?" (I, personally, am still workin' on that one!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Confound it! The last thing we need re. this problem is practical thinking! Practical people don't live within spitting distance of rivers…and probably don't write blogs!

I AM NOT PRACTICAL!

What I am is frivolous, fanciful, and a bit quixotic. I gambol in the rain, frolic without reason, and have to restrain myself from having a fit of the giddy-weeps when I see a full moon rising into a star-spangled sky.

Any practical DNA was obviously flushed from my system several generations ago.

I'm just a simple, impractical ol' semi-hillbilly fisherman who'd rather blog and share my days along the riverbank than engage in useful work…'cept when the smallmouth bass are biting…and I don't know much about computers and know even less about computer problems. I am not so much a "technophobe" as a "technofool."

But I want this doggone redo to work, if I can make it, I guess. (Yes, I watch Red Green.)

Jain said...

I was so happy to read of your rain! The heron photo in the body of your post is beautiful.

I like the new scheme, the title font, and the heron in the header is terrific. It might be my monitor but I have trouble reading post-ers names in the comments; it appears dusty blue on gray to me, not enough contrast.

Interestingly, I just read that a dark background is good for the planet. It requires less energy to generate than a white screen.

gig said...

You watch red green?? WHat the heck is that???????

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

I'm glad you like the new layout and colors, but I don't want you—or anyone—to have trouble reading the text or comments type.

I think the problem you're having—blue text on darker gray—is caused, for God knows what reason, by the way to actually go to the blog. I'd try and explain it in this reply, but I'm so beat (been out all day running errands, etc.) that's I'd mess it up for sure. Better you read Wanda's note to me from yesterday (she has two, I think, and the one to read is the last one) and my reply.

Tomorrow, I'm going to tray and figure a way to prevent at least this mistake from happening.

You know, that energy business makes sense—brighter should require more than darker, just by the way color is generated; more contrast, more energy.

Rain here tonight. The river's on the rise. Don't know what the morning will look like…

Lisa said...

I too like the design, but I must really tell you that I love your description of the "lush" scene. I swear I was there now, watching it unfold with you. What is even more wonderful is, that I don't often meet people who can REALLY connect with nature, and that is what I love about your blog. There's something here that draws me in. Kudos to a genuine nature lover and great writer. This is the kind of writing I like to read on a rainy day, which it is here.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gig…

Oh, my! If you've never watched a few Red Green shows, then you're in for a genuine cultural experience.

The Red Green Show is produced in Canada and shown regularly on PBS—usually late in the evening so the neighbors won't drop by for a chat and catch you watching. Red Green is the main character's name. It revolves around Red and the men who are member's of a mythical club, the Possum Lodge, located somewhere in the north country. PBS says the show is "for anyone who thinks God created man to give the rest of the world something to laugh at!"

Two sites you might want to check out are:
http://www.pbs.org/redgreen/
http://www.redgreen.com/

Of course there are those among us who are afraid to come out of the closet and actually admit they've watched Red Green and his cohorts, let alone found them funny or socially relevant. I understand this. If you're middle age or older—too old that such proclivities might simply be excused as youthful sidtracks, akin to joining the Hare Krishnas for a summer—then confessing to a Red Green addiction is tantamount to confessing that you're becoming attracted to goats.

I have no such restraints. I don't much care what people think of me (well, I do…but that battle has long ago been lost) and I grew up in, still live close to, and am quite comfortable around the Red Greens. While Red Green may appear outrageous to some, he's like kith and kin to me. I might, in fact, actually BE a bit Red Greenish.

Which I take as a compliment.

giggles said...

Well...research to be done!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lisa…

I'm happy to hear you, too, like the blog's new look—and I hope you're not having problems viewing comments or anything.

Thank you, too, for your nice words re. my writing. I do try and convey and share awareness of nature and its interconnectedness to the natural world, which I have, in part, simply because so much of my life has been spent outdoors, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, taking photographs, etc. My parents were knowledgeable and ardent outdoor people, and certainly in my case, the fruit didn't fall far from the tree. I've always been an odd mix of artsy/bookish/woodsman…or maybe just odd…and writing about what I love, sharing that with others, is about all I'm good for, I think.

I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

There is indeed! It will not only make you a better person, it will give you a wonderful insight into the male id and ego. Moreover, you'll finally begin to realize the awesome technological importance of duct tape.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I love the soft greens, fragile and new. I also love the rains, when soft too, though everyone has been complaining about the rain, I have enjoyed it and the thunderstorms. I had friends staying here this past weekend and they said my guestroom and the gentle sound of the rain reminded them of their grandma's house...Sweet memories

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Teri…

It rained here this morning—an hour-long hard shower that thrummed on the roof. Unfortunately, I'd been up since the crack of dawn, hoping to do some yard work. But I almost went back to bed just to lay there and listen to the rain…