shadowy gull
I fixed a problem with this blog's comment system. Anyone who had trouble trying to post a comment over the past few days should have success if they try again now. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Also, a bee. Click the pic for larger.

bee on beavertail cactus flower
41 years ago, I played the last movement of Bartók's 4th string quartet (a recording by the Julliard Quartet) for a friend. He approved but said he'd like to hear it with drums. I wasn't convinced that was a great idea but I was glad my friend liked it at all.

I had no idea that I'd live to see a really fine performance of it with drums. My hat is totally off to Cristián Tamblay and the quartet from Berklee whose performance is available on YouTube.
I couldn't find a tool in my garage recently, which led to me cleaning the place up: not so much in the hopes of finding the tool but because the level of junk had gotten depressingly high.

Among the sundry items I came across in cleaning up my garage were two logs people gave me because they know I like to mill local and/or interesting pieces of wood. Usually I label logs as to species, year acquired, and who or where it came from--but these two pieces were unlabeled. I know not what they are nor who gave them to me. Both pieces had a lot of cracks and were potentially candidates for throwing away but I thought I'd at least saw through them to see how much (if any) unsplit, unrotten wood lay hidden in the interior.

One of the logs was too thick for the saws I have. I could perhaps split it, or just give it to someone who needs firewood. I could've chosen either of those two options several years ago.

The other log wasn't so thick and I ran it through the band saw. It had surprisingly nice wood inside with streaks of color uncharacteristic of any of the domestic species I'm familiar with. It'll be good for something, although what type of tree it came from will probably remain a mystery: a kind of mystery I can enjoy.

I never found the tool I went looking for at the start of this story. Its unknown whereabouts don't make for the kind of mystery I enjoy.

Later in the day, a friend called. She's around my age and told me she's discouraged by how much stuff she has in her shop, garage, and storage areas. Not only does she want more room in her shop, she also doesn't want to leave too much stuff for anyone to have to sort through after she's gone.

My dad had a ton of stuff in his house. It fell on my brother and me to deal with all of it. My dad gave us the house, which I felt was more than enough compensation for the work of emptying it out.
Ammospermophilus leucurus splooting this morning
Splooting.

There is, of course, a Language Log posting inquiring about the word's etymology.
microwave with spider
Lepus californicus
Ammospermophilus leucurus
Gambelia wislizenii
Leopard lizard in my driveway this morning.
A friend gave me a piece of wood recently that kinda looked like walnut but had unusual color variation. After working with it I was convinced it was walnut because I recognized the smell walnut has when you saw it. A dog would have been like, I coulda told you that before you sawed it.
this

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