I don’t like technology … oh no, I love it!

It’s true. Or as they say down here, ”s’trues Bob” … or something like this.

And yet when it comes to technology I am the slow kid. The one  no body will sit next to in class because he’s … well… slow.

I always have been. Last to embrace a cellphone, last to say yes to a laptop, CDs,DVDs, flash drives  and numerous other things which I now wholeheartedly embrace and fiercely guard as ‘mine”! Much to the amusement and annoyance of le Famille Ark.

Nevertheless I love technology. I adore the fact I can press a button and talk … and more importantly <em> see </em> whom I am talking to half way round the globe.

I love the fact that I might be sitting at breakfast mulling over a problem, irrespective what it is, and ten minutes later I have the answer –  or even a choice of answers, either in text, image or video. And there is nothing, and I mean nothing that someone else has not thought of.  Thank you Search Engines!

I love the fact that I can listen to all the records I ever owned on YouTube. I am amazed at this as some of the music I used to listen was generally considered a bit left field. But type it in the search bar … and up it pops!

I have yet to stump YouTube with an artist or piece of music to date.

Brilliant.

And I especially enjoy the fact I can nip out to the garden, run off twenty shots on a digital camera just for the fun of experimenting and discard them ten minutes later without having to wait a few hours or a day or two until the shop develops them. Now all is revealed in minutes and I have no guilt feelings about the time and money spent/wasted on a whim.

I went to the edge of our spot with the camera, turned off the flash and pointed the camera across the valley towards the suburb of Kensington and pressed the  button, held the camera as still as possible and waited. This was came out after a three second exposure.

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How about some jazz?  Here are the band Landscape.

I saw them as a youngster at a place called the Art Club. A small venue in Chester on one of their first UK Tours. I bought this ep at the gig.

 

Leading you up the garden Path

Did a five minute circuit of the garden this afternoon; starting at the pond . And this is a random selection of what I came across.

First stop – quick peek at the Citrus Swallowtail caterpillar I featured yesterday. Munching away happily, I am pleased to report.

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These two were having fun! They seem to  mate throughout summer.

Mating damse flies

Just hanging around – don’t mind me.

Upside down fly

It’s heartening to see  the lemon trees gearing up to bear fruit again.

They are full!

lemon

 

As I was about to go back inside I thought about picking a few tomatoes and something caught my eye.

A tiny Crab Spider minding his own business on a Marigold

Crab spider on Marigold

This shot I took yesterday. Beautiful colours.

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Leading you up the Garden Path

Blogpal, Tish Farrell  posts photos of her allotment from time to time where she claims she gets all dressed up , including Wellington Boots, and goes digging and growing veggies. She has never shown us a pic of herself in such rural ‘high fashion’ and as she is a writer of fiction I am inclined to doubt her word, for what women wants to be seen plodding around in the mud in her wellies?

Be that as it may –   Tish posted a few photographs of marigolds which are not only colourful plants to have around the garden they are self-seeding. They also pong a bit and are supposed to be good for discouraging bugs and what have you. They spring up all  over the place.   I love them.

But the photos of Marigolds at Tish’s spot look a bit different to the plants at our spot so I said I would post a few pics.

Sorry about the butterflies, I tried to shoo them away but they are such posers.

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commodor on marigold

maraigold and fly

This is a poor shot but I like it because the fly managed to gate-crash! 

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The Ark

 

Leading you up the Garden Path. Caterpillars

A short while back I featured a couple of photos of the citrus swallowtail caterpillar in its first form

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that I snapped on the lemon tree we have in a pot by the pond. I have been popping back to see how they are getting on and  two of the three are nowhere to be seen but one has entered into its next phase and is soon to pupate.

Here it is …

click on image for larger view

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And as I often do, here’s Santana, with Mirage  from the album Borboletta (Butterfly)

If atheists are so logical and rational and sensible…

Arkenaten:

truly, this is one of the funniest posts I have read in ages. Funnier still is the Christians commenting on it  write things like, ”Oh, we recognise the attempt at parody” blah blah,  but their ‘serious’ discussion suggests they don’t get the joke, but prefer to focus on the ”If they don’t believe why bother” argument.

I mean, this is so Monty Python, it is incredible – and it really happened!  You can’t get better than this.

I laughed so much I was nearly sick.

Shame , the poor bloke tries so hard. Please go tell him how marvelous his post is.  I did!

 

Originally posted on The Isaiah 53:5 Project:

…which is the key point of atheistic evangelism, of course — why are they behaving in counterproductive, emotional, cult-like ways?

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Because a local religious group had blessed a highway, the atheists came in with “unholy water” and scrubbed the highway to remove the blessing.

So, um, you fight what you believe is their pretend magic with your own pretend magic?

I understand the point here is parody or something, but this sure doesn’t jibe with the “logical, rational, sensible” claim made by the Church of Atheism. What it seems like is a lot of teenager-ish acting up, a lot of anger over hurts in the formative years, a seething need to get payback against faceless oppressors.

Oh yeah, one more thing: The other big evangelistic point of atheism is that it will “free your mind from hidebound thinking about gods and spirits, and free you from the shackles of organized…

View original 66 more words

My happiness is not contingent on a god.

Over the past four or five years since I became fascinated by religion, and Christianity in particular,  I have become struck by the impression given off by those who attach a religious label to themselves that they fall into two distinct camps; overriding indifference and overriding misery.

Those who live in the indifferent camp are what I always was with regards my religion. ‘Oh yeah, I’m Christian. Of course, what else? There’s Jesus, his dad …er what’s his name, again? God, yeah, and … er… Oh, look, football’s on, sssh!’

I would venture that the vast majority of religiously affiliated lean towards this form, which is more of a cultural affiliation
rather than any form of spiritual devotion.

I would also venture that the majority of such people if informed that Jesus and his dad and Moses were really fictitious they would respond with similar apoplexy, full of wailing and teeth gnashing. Not.

‘Oh, look, football’s on, sssh!’

Which is backed somewhat by the number of people leaving religion; hundreds of thousands if stats are to be believed ( including professional pastors. vicars and what have you) the empty pews and the number of people who list ‘None’ under religious affiliation on their ballot card,  library card renewal form and Reader’s Digest subscription.

Then we have the other camp – or the Dark Side as I like to think of them.

They seem to inhabit the internet; blogs, chat forums, conservative Facebook and Twitter groups and odd looking family gatherings  from the Southern States of America who might be inclined to wear ”I hate Burt Reynolds” T-shirts and are only holding hands with their cousin because they needed to jam up close for the photograph. Honest!

These lot always seem to be miserable. Especially on the internet.

Oh, they put on that Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam  face but this has all the hallmarks of a constipated grimace caused by a carrot up their backside.

Now, you would think that having found their god they would, be truly joyous. I mean, they have become enlightened through revelation. This is like perishing Christmas every day. Not if the blogs are an indication.

Almost all of them are waiting for Jesus’ return. Waiting for their saviour to obliterate every living soul except them. They become fanatical about the bible and can quote – and do –  reams and reams of scripture at the drop of a coin in the collection box.

They are invariably very conservative and  the more militant openly vilify homosexuality, feminism, abortion, liberal politics, socialism, the general school system, (tacitly) revile  every other denomination/sect of Christianity, consider the unemployed part of a failed political system, but appear to have little sympathy, are more prone to believe in conspiracy theories, think climate change is a liberal plot.

Oddly enough, on the Dark Side there is more divorce, more depression and associated mental illness, more misogyny more spousal abuse and the (US) prison population is almost exclusively Christian!

Hate is another thing they seem preoccupied with, have you noticed?

How often do you read: ”Why do atheists hate ‘God’?”

I don’t hate anything and have mentioned this innumerable times, but still they insist that one must hate christians and hate their god.

Because this is what atheists do, right?

I have never read a non-religious blogger that stated they hate any god or any religious person, but if one were to judge solely from certain Christians sites – and the fan mail Dawkins gets –  atheists and non-believers are the vilest people on the planet. And because we don’t believe in their god, every non-believer is going to Hell for eternity.

When I think of bloggers like IB22, Wally, Colorstorm,SOM, Isaiah53, Tribulous,CitizenTom, Naivethinker,unklee and similar what comes to mind is  ”miserable people”.

Truly. Everything is a trial. They are always fighting – demons, conscience, the devil, the cable company for cancelling their subscription to the porn channel  

When I think of JohnZ over in Brasil, walking his dog and leaving food and water for strays, Mak up in Kenya, designing homes and buildings and things for people, Roughseas over in Gibraltar giving chocolates to her neighbours and finding no mistakes in a piece of my writing,( okay that bit is fantasy) Tish in the UK down at her allotment growing veggies or sitting writing like me, Nate Owen playing with his kids and listening to Hendrix, Notestoponder up in Canada looking up at the stars almost wetting herself with excitement, Victoria looking at the image of a brain scan as if it were a Rembrandt and all the other blogpals I have and especially Arch who is probably laying out dog poo landmines and setting the timer on the garden sprinkler for when the Jehovah’s Witness’s walk up his path, I can only smile.

And I wander out on to my stoep, cup of tea in hand and hear the baby cuckoo meep,meep, meep all bloody afternoon outside my office … and I smile. I am content.

And … oh … football’s on , Sssh!

 

Leading you up the garden Path: A Sticky Tattoo’d lady

Yesterday, while I was trying to spy the cuckoo I stood next to the plum tree that grows close to the front gate.

As the colour of the leaves are … well … plum,  I guess, something like this tends to stand out somewhat!

It was on the underside of a leaf; I imagine trying to hide from potential predators.

With such vivid colouring it would stand out like a sore thumb on a plum tree so I wonder what it was doing there? Besides munching on leaves, of course.

I gently lifted it off the leaf so’s I could get a slightly better photograph and when I removed it from my thumb it felt like peeling away Velcro!

click on image for a larger view

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caterpillar green 41This is called a Stinging Slug Caterpillar. Something I only found out this morning when researching.  Ooops!

Maybe I was fortunate I did not get stung, as from what I read these spikes can hurt as bad as a wasp sting.

Ignorance is bliss?

The Ark

A tune  before dinner…

Here’s an artist that isn’t heard too often; the late,  but always marvelous, Rory Gallagher.

From the album, Tattoo.

Tatoo’d lady

 

Leading you up the garden path. ”Oi! I’m hungry!”

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Several years ago our spot was graced by a visit from a Diederik Cuckoo.

Unfortunately it was not an adult – although they must have visited at some point, obviously – but a chick.  Mummy had laid her egg in a sparrow’s nest and later one very hungry, and noisy youngster emerged.

For nearly a fortnight he/she sat upon one of the lower branches of the black wattle tree we have in the back garden and cried . Meep meep meep - all perishing day!

What began as something cute eventually became an incessant irritation. Goodness knows how the pair of poor house sparrows felt. Flown off their tiny wings feeding this voracious little monster!

Then, one day, it was ”All quiet on the Western Front” as baby cuckoo decided he/she was strong enough to take care of itself and scarpered. Kids eh?

And the silence was all the more loud! This bird had flown.We were all a bit miserable for a day or two.  Never realise what you’ve got until it’s gone and all that , right?

Anyhow, yesterday, I hear an excited yell from the kitchen. ”Ark, come quickly!”

We have another cuckoo!

This one is even younger and  it seems its adopted parents might be weavers, from the one shot I was able to get.

The chick was high up so I apologise for the quality of shot. I am really hoping it hangs around a while so I can get a few better photographs than these.

Even so, this bird is such a rare visitor it was a fantastic treat, and I am thrilled to have captured this species for the portfolio.

click on image for a larger view

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The ”adopted” parent is to the right of the cuckoo, further along the branch.

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Photos The Ark ©2015

Leading you up the garden Path. That butterfly! Chaos theory? Er … not quite

Humans are funny sometimes. Maybe that should be odd, rather than funny.

Take butterflies. Most of us love them. I certainly do, and am trying to build a photographic portfolio of every species that visits The Ark’s spot. To date, I have managed to record 15 species.  And there are two more, I am aware of, that I have sighted but  not captured  on camera – yet!

However, their ”predecessor”, the caterpillar is often given a bad ‘rap’, labelled a villain for munching on the leaves of veggies an other garden delectables it needs to grow and eventually become that beautiful butterfly we like to say ‘Wow’ at as it flutters around the garden.

The caterpillar has to be clever to outwit its ”enemies”, and like many creatures has developed natural camouflage to either make it look innocuous or threatening.

Wandering by the side of the pool yesterday I noticed this clever little thing munching on a fresh leaf of the lemon tree  we have in a pot.

I have never seen this caterpillar on any of the other lemon trees in the garden so this was a treat.

The first four photographs are of the Citrus Swallowtail species of caterpillar and motionless it looks just like  a bird dropping.  Clever!

I am in the dark regarding the other caterpillars, but I am quite happy to let them much away!

click on image for larger view

caterpillar 21

 

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citrus swallowtail on lemon

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Caterpillar on Alysm 3

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caterpilar

 

Fifty Shades Of Hypocrisy. Brought to you by, The Ark’s Review Corner

The  furore surrounding this mini-phenomenon   is making my little writer’s heart beat with resounding joy.

Not only has EL James’ work quickly become a best-selling  series ( of all time?) the movie seems to be attracting sell out crowds wherever it is shown.  Maybe they come back for a second view?

I have been meaning to take the time go watch but I always seem to be tied up. ( that line is especially for Arch)

Yet for all its incredible success, it has a shallow plot, Barbera Cartland style, one-dimensional characters, and seems to leave those who read the book or watch the movie in a state of  limbo like the unfeeling lover who asks, ”Are you finished?”

By the way, I haven’t read the book  and my impressions are based solely on the reviews  and articles that are springing up all over the internet like a brand new  STD.  I think the whole smorgasbord of cheesiness is enough to make one groan, ”Gorgonzola”.

If any of you lot have seen the film or/and read the book/s and your impression differs, then speak up!

Naturally, I am drawn to the views of many Christians who are only too keen to get their jollies off by writing long, heaving, palm sweaty reviews chastising this very unchaste  bit of  misogynist T& A.

I stumbled across this particular blog after catching an oblique reference to one of my comments that was deleted by another Christian blogger. They do so love to turf The Ark in the trash for some reason? Most odd.

So I click-clicked, and her current post, Fifty Shades of Personality Disordered has  a comment from one Christian reader who states:

I read the books out of curiosity (shh, don’t tell…)

My immediate thought was: Er … Books? Why did you need to read more than one if  you thought the first was trash and demeaning to women?

And the blog host then goes on to gleefully announce:

..and don’t worry, your secret on actually reading the books is safe with me. ;)

Because we are all grown up and simply being a little naughty – nothing wrong with this – even if we are Christian we are doing it with the best interests at heart and we also have a sense of humour and God will understand.

”Spank me, Christian, spank me.”

Good  for EL.  Go Mommy Porn! Love it!

Here’s the Stones, with , When the whip comes down. Fantastic song from the album Some Girls 

 

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