The Great Blue Heron in my yard (briefly)

When we landscaped our back yard a few years back, we put in a little pond (I think I measured it at 8 feet wide by 13 feet long, and maybe 18-24 inches deep.  It’s not really deep enough for fish; mostly it’s there for the sound of the waterfall.  (We do have a few ceramic fish on the bottom–when we saw them in the Butchart Gardens gift shop, we got three to put in the pond to point out to people who ask where the fish are. )  But that doesn’t keep the fish-seeking wildlife from trying, apparently. 

We’ve seen a raccoon walk up to the pond in the middle of the day and get into it, presumably looking for fish.  And now this morning, as I opened the shades from a large window nearby, the movement flushed a great blue heron from the pond.  I don’t know how long it had stayed there, patiently waiting for a fish to swim by for its breakfast.  And I wish I had come upon it in such a way that it would not have been scared off, because the presence of such a large wild bird in a suburban backyard charms and awes me, and also because I would have loved to get a picture of it.  But if it was truly hungry, I surely did it a favor, since it was going to wait a long time for its breakfast here.

So I’ll have to settle for posting a picture of the pond with some mallard ducks that show up from time to time to swim and mate in the pond, to sleep at its edge, and then to waddle over to the area under the birdfeeder, vaccuuming up the spilled seed from the ground with their great bills, and drinking from the birdbath. (The picture gives a good idea of just how small this pond is, and why it’s so incongruous for either ducks or herons to take it seriously).


Pictures from Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps

It’s my goal to write a little about my adventure in Baxter State Park this month, but in the meantime, I have uploaded several albums of pictures to my Facebook site.

A good one to start with is of my second full day there, when I stayed near the camp itself:

My first full day I went on a hike with guide Holly Hamilton.  We climbed South Taylor Mountain, a short but steep climb up the mountain next to Mount Katahdin, visible from the camp:

I took a few pictures on the three-mile hike from the camp back to my car:

To learn more about the camp, see their website at 

Charlayne Woodard: The Night Watcher

This past Sunday we stacked up two plays in our Seattle Repertory Theatre subscription, to make the most of a time when we would both be here to see them.  The Three Musketeers was a piece of swashbuckling silliness that I may have been a bit too tired to appreciate at the end of a long day, so I won’t talk about it.  But Charlayne Woodard’s The Night Watcher, the second one-woman show that we had seen in two weeks (following Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy),  was a delightful two hours. (more…)

Clueless Boomer unknowingly witnesses Mrs. Tom Cruise’s Broadway Debut (in preview, at least)

A week ago, I was in New York City, anticipating an afternoon and evening given over to two emotionally intense Broadway revivals.  In the case of Equus  I knew full well that I would be seeing the youthful star of the Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe, in his Broadway debut opposite the veteran British actor Richard Griffiths, an actor whom I had previously appreciated in the London production of Tom Stoppard’s translation Heroes, as well as in the film of The History Boys, not to mention, of course, the Harry Potter movies, where he plays Harry’s heartless Uncle Vernon.  But I had committed our afternoon to the revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons in the ignorant belief that it was notable mainly as a play by an iconic American playwright, performed by some fine veteran actors led by John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest.  (more…)

Anna Deavere Smith in Let Me Down Easy

On Friday evening we walked to Harvard Square, had a pleasant dinner at Henrietta’s Table at the Charles Hotel, and joined the audience for that evening’s performance at the American Repertory Theatre, in this case, a one-person show by the uniquely talented Anna Deaveare Smith.  This is entitled Let Me Down Easy , subtitled “a play in evolution”, and indeed, when I look at the New York Times review of a January production of the same show in New Haven, it is clear that much has changed since then. (more…)