A Little Help for America

A Little Help for America

This afternoon, in Washington DC, Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as the newest Justice on the Supreme Court.  In the vote in the Senate, all of the DemocRat members acted like little babies, throwing a temper tantrum. The majority of them refused to be in the room for the vote, and the ones who were there, voted No and then walked out.  They cast no light on the Senate by their behavior.  She was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas

So, starting right away, the Court now has its full complement of nine Justices, who will be hearing cases immediately.  Justice Barrett is well-known as a Textualist, Originalist, who interprets the Constitution as it was originally written, and decides cases based on the Law, not on a political agenda.  She will be a most excellent Justice, for, we hope, a very long time.

Congratulations, Justice Barrett!

Lens-artists Challenge #120-What a treat!

I’m not a professional photographer, and I’ve never been to exotic foreign lands.  But I am an amateur bird-watcher, starting in my own backyard.  I am often to be found in our kitchen, peering out the sliding glass door, watching to see who shows up at our two bird-feeders (one seed feeder and a suet-feeder).  I have seen in the neighborhood of 25 different varieties of birds visit our yard.

In fact, just yesterday, we were visited by a juvenile red-shafted flicker, who I caught perched on our bird-bath/water source.  I could tell he was a juvenile by the lack of the red stripe on his face.  He actually sat there for quite awhile, so I could take his picture.


A few years ago, I walked out into the yard, and took this video.  I was surprised at how close I was able to get to the feeder without frightening the birds.

The little gluttons!  They were using the vine maple on the right as a “staging area” to decide when it was time to flit over to the feeder.  They also seem to fling more seed onto the ground than they eat, making them pretty messy eaters.  However, our local squirrels help clean up the ground under the feeder, along with the juncos who are mostly ground-feeders.

Continue reading “Lens-artists Challenge #120-What a treat!”

Please keep my Hero, Rush Limbaugh, in your prayers.

Please keep my Hero, Rush Limbaugh, in your prayers.

He needs them right now.  The story over at Fox News is pretty comprehensive.

I have been a Rush listener only since 2001, but I can’t imagine life without him on the radio.  I have been a RushBabe since they were invented.  I felt like I had been sucker-punched when I found out that he had been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in January.  But, as he said, he has beaten the odds this year.  He said that, when the doctors gave him the diagnosis, they said that if they did nothing, he had at most three months.  A lot was done, and he has demonstrated extraordinary courage all year.  He has been before the Golden EIB Microphone every day that he felt up to it.

So, all you RushBabe49 Followers and Readers, please send God your prayers for his well-being.  He needs every single one.

Thank you all.

View This Video. Share it Far and Wide. Today.

This Video by my Hero, Rush Limbaugh, celebrates our First Responders, Police and Firefighters, who have been denigrated, shot at, murdered in cold blood, by the New Thugs of American Society. This has to stop.

Please share this video with all your friends and neighbors, on all your Social Media, today. Do it Now. Support those who have always to keep Society safe from criminals. Do your part to Save America!

Thanks very much.

What I learned from watching the movie The Bowmakers, by Ward Serrill

What I learned from watching the movie The Bowmakers, by Ward Serrill

This past week, I was invited by the Curtis Institute of Music, one of the world’s premier music conservatories, to watch a movie about the people who make bows used by string-instrument players.  Specifically, the movie profiled bow makers who live right in my neck of the woods (the Pacific Northwest), in and around Port Townsend, Washington.  It is wonderful!  In fact, the movie will be streaming through October 11, and you can get tickets here if you wish to watch it.  Highly recommended.


It was exciting to meet the bow makers, whom I had heard of but did not know much about.  We were treated to tours of the workshops, and stories about bow makers Charles Espey, Robert Morrow, Paul Siefried, Ole Kanestrom, and Cody Kowalski in Port Townsend; and Noel Burke in Portland.  Then, it was off to Paris to visit Stephane Thomachot and his daughter Josephine, both bow makers!

I was actually very pleased to learn also about the wood that the best bows are made of, called Pernambuco.  The movie gave some history of that wood; starting from the 1500s, Portuguese explorers who discovered what is now Brazil, bringing back with them some of the logs, which have a heartwood center that became the source of an excellent red dye, in addition to wood for stringed instrument bows.  The strength of that wood allowed bow makers to make them in a new design, so that they could produce better sound from the newly-invented metal strings.

The movie also profiled chamber groups Brooklyn Rider, and the Dover Quartet, its members commenting on their bows.  Our local makers have a great reputation!

Above are pictures of a pau-brasil tree, and a log cross-section, showing the red heartwood. In the past, loggers in Brazil cut down too many trees, nearly decimating the forests, and the wood for bows, so that the tree was declared endangered. This caused much consternation within the string-instrument community, as everyone was worried that the best bow-wood might no longer be available. The movie showed that there are local organizations who are re-planting these trees, and keeping the new forests safe, so there will be wood for today’s, and tomorrow’s fine bow-makers to use. We also were introduced to a couple of youth orchestras, where the players come from peasant backgrounds, learning to play music that may take them far outside their home territory. The kids had fun, and were very good.

I myself have a beautiful pernambuco-wood bow, made by a Port Townsend-resident bow-maker, Christopher English. It is beautiful, and draws great sound from my David VanZandt violin. I consider myself very lucky to have it.

So, get your tickets now, and go online to see the movie The Bowmakers. You will love it!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #117: A Photo Walk on Dungeness Spit

In May of 2019, I took a little driving vacation by myself, to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.  One day, I went to one of my very favorite places in the world, the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge.  I have been there dozens of times, and every time I see something new.  The path to the Spit starts at the top of a bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between the US and Canada’s Vancouver Island.  The path winds through mixed forest, and there is something beautiful around every corner.

At the top of the bluff, outside the refuge, there is a great view of the entire Spit.  Its total length is 5 miles, and there is a lighthouse at the end.

Dungeness Spit

I took the above picture the day before my walk, when it was sunnier.

Path to the Spit

On this particular day, it was foggy, but the forest walk was pretty clear.

Continue reading “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #117: A Photo Walk on Dungeness Spit”

Instant Halloween!

This morning when I went out the front door to walk across the street to our mailbox, I noticed that our neighborhood was shrouded in fog.  We have a pear tree in the yard, and on my way back home I noticed that it was shrouded in spider webs, made more visible by the fog-deposited water droplets.


Eerie, but beautiful!  I am afraid of spiders, but I do have to admire their artistry in constructing their webs.


How many webs can you spot in this picture?  The entire tree is covered in webs!  One enterprising spider even strung his web between the tree and the edge of the house, which is a pretty long distance.


Nature’s architects, and artists too.