We have a few Rose of Sharon bushes in our yard. (I don't know the technical name, but it's some kind of hibiscus that grows well here.) There are a couple out in front, by the front deck, and one is just bursting with buds--and they're starting to open now. The flowers on this one are a beautiful light purple color, and the hummingbirds love it. They check out each flower and get a little nectar, then they fly up to the feeder hanging nearby. It's fun to watch them at flowers rather than just at the feeders. The Rose of Sharon hasn't completely blossomed yet, but here are a few pictures.
And here's my favorite, so I'm making this one bigger:
Oh, I just love that. Look at the red pigment in the middle, the star-burst pattern...WOW! Nature ROCKS! I might have to play with that picture a little bit and see what kind of cool effects I can get.
A quiet day, just doing an errand here, a chore there. I started getting out clothes to take to California--hard to believe we're leaving in two days! We're taking the laptop, and I think most places we're at we should be able to get connected with no problem, so I hope to write a bit from "the road" and post a picture or two. Oh, and Ken found a great price on a car rental--a convertible! Fun! I have to admit, though, that I'm not looking forward to some of that L.A. area traffic. Ugh. If I had to deal with that every day, I would go absolutely mad. Mad, I tell you!
Anyhoo, it was good to get a handle on what I want to take. Note to self: Ask Ken if I need to take anything somewhat dressy. I didn't pull out anything like that yet, and I don't see us going to any place that would require such attire, but maybe I should take a casual dress just in case. Most of our time will be spent just hanging out with friends and family, so it should be a nice, relaxing trip.
Except for when we're stuck in the traffic gridlock. Have I said "UGH" yet? Oh yeah, I have. I suspect that seeing the gridlock will have a new impact on me, considering the price of gasoline. Whenever we've been in such traffic, I've already been appalled, and I think it will be magnified now. We have GOT to rethink things in this country. I think I'll call it the Man on the Moon strategy. Just like President Kennedy calling for a man on the moon within the decade--and NASA, using some of the best and most brilliant scientists in the country, got it done--I want to see President Obama (yeah, I said it) put out the challenge for an alternative to petroleum-based fuel that is practical and affordable and available to everyone.
Why not? I'm sure that in 1961, when JFK said he wanted a man on the moon, plenty of people called him crazy, and said that it could never happen.
Well, it DID happen, didn't it? (For those of you that happen to be in that select group that believes that the lunar landing was a hoax, well...you probably don't really need to read this journal any longer. Feel free to move along.) My greatest wish for our country is that we get back to our feeling of we can do anything if we work hard enough, rather than the fatalistic and defeatist attitude that so many seem to have lately. We have incredible talent, soaring intellect, brilliant minds, the capacity for dreaming the wildest dreams...and making them become reality. I'm tired of hearing people say, "That's just crazy talk," or "That can't be done," or "No one has ever done anything like that before." My question is, "So what? Why can't it be done?"
As someone who was trained as a scientist, I've seen the amazing advances in health care and science in general over the years. Just the technology in my own job, as a microbiologist, changed vastly over the space of a mere 20 years. Three words: polymerase chain reaction. It is astounding technology.
So not only can we do this...we MUST.