11/30: nocturnal friend

Possums make me smile, and I was so happy to see one at the very bottom of our hill as I pulled up the driveway this evening.

11/29: meeting milestone

It's been a semester with a lot of committee meetings.  But after a faculty meeting last night and two committee meetings today (one first thing in the morning, the other the last thing before coming home), I can say that I'm done with them for the semester.  No more until January, knock on wood!

11/28: leaf love

One of the redbud trees outside our house said "take heart" this morning.

11/27: an abundance of sweets

Chris had to run some errands this afternoon, and on his way he passed by a good cookie bakery.  He went in and bought two of everything.  Yes, two of every cookie, brownie, or bar they sold!  We have good things galore now.

11/26: word studies

Over the past few days I've been reading and commenting on some of the upper-level Latin students' studies of particular words:  they each chose a Latin word they're interested in and then examined how it's used by different authors in different genres or time periods.  By doing so, they get a sense of the range of meanings of a word and its connotations.  I just finished reading the last draft, and I am so pleased with the students' work.  Not only did they take the assignment seriously, but they also each made it their own--their different personalities really come through in their analyses.  I think they will be encouraged when I hand the drafts back tomorrow, and I'll look forward to seeing their final copies at the end of the semester.

11/25: brother sun and sister moon

At the dock we watched the sun set and the moon rise.

A flock of birds framed themselves nicely in this picture pointed west:

And the moon's reflection rested on the rippling water to the east:

11/24: a gathering of things

Productive work of various kinds:  test-grading, article-reading, draft-commenting.

A long afternoon conversation with a friend at a coffee shop.

Postcard writing.  It's a habit I've fallen fairly out of over the past year, but during this long weekend I've written many Postcrossing postcards to people in more than a dozen different countries.

Seeing deer at sunset.

11/23: didn't feel like work

Truth be told, I did a bit of grading yesterday morning, so the day wasn't wholly a holiday.  When I logged on to post this evening, I thought I'd write that today I did actually take a holiday, doing no work.  But just a minute ago I realized:  I did do some school-related work late in the morning and in the early afternoon.  Still, it counts as a good thing--though of a different kind--that the work I did didn't feel like work.

11/22: sun and light

We enjoyed the mild weather this afternoon while visiting Cadron Settlement Park.  We've walked there during a fair number of Thanksgivings over the years.  These yellow leaves especially cheered me:  not only did the sun come through them, but they also seemed to cast a light of their own in the woods.

11/21: blues

Some blue-birds at the bird basin this morning.  I hadn't seen any in quite some time.

And brave little speedwells blooming on the ridge as if it were spring not late autumn.

11/20: time to regroup

The last 10 days have been difficult for a number of reasons, but we've reached a little respite:  no more classes for the rest of the week.  Chris and I are going to minimize holiday-ing and maximize resting.

11/19: a new dress

I'm glad I kept it waiting in the wings for a rainy day.

11/18: the reds of sumac

For weeks I've been enjoying the reds in the little row of sumac which we can see from our main room.    These colors will be gone soon, and I'll miss them.

11/14: a ribbon of color for wednesday

A band of peachy-pinky light seemed to stay near the horizon all day.  It lingered long after sunrise and was in the afternoon sky well before sunset.  (Was it there in the middle of the day?  I can't say for sure because I was inside, but I'd like to think it was.)

11/13: tuesday's tones

Today's mosaic comes from a picture I took this morning.  Standing on our deck, I was looking down into a frosty patch of grass and fallen leaves.

11/12: monday's mosaic

I think it's going to be a week of pixellated palettes.  The shades of autumn are so striking and shifting, and I'm glad to have an excuse to spend time with colors.  Today's mosaic comes from a picture I took this morning, looking west as the sun was striking some leaves on a neighbor's tree.

The yellows and yellow-oranges felt optimistic, a good thing for a Monday morning.

11/11: today's colors

Yesterday's colors came from a photo taken atop a mountain, looking down at the tops of trees with colored leaves below.  The haze and sun gave everything a soft cast.

Today's palette comes from a photo taken at home, looking east to the trees which mark the start of our little forest.  A grey and rainy day made things take on richer tones.

11/10: colors

All week I had been enjoying the autumn colors on my way to school.  Today Chris suggested that we take a drive to see more of them, so we went to the overlook on Petit Jean Mountain.  As is often the case there, it was too hazy for me to be satisfied with any of my photographs of the view, but here is a pixellated rendering of the leaves' colors at least:

11/9: two

Two deer grazing near our bedroom windows this morning.  I was especially glad to see them since I was worried that the coyotes' proximity would keep them away.  The sighting was also a happy consolation for having to get up earlier than usual.

11/8: bonding

I received a thank-you note (sent through the post, old school) from my sister today.  She was thanking me for letting her know what glues I like best for use in various art projects.  My familiarity with glue has been gained through lots of trial and error, and yet it is a topic so unlikely to arise that it was a delight to have her to ask about it and for me to have something to say.

11/7: fragment 31

This evening I'm at school preparing a presentation for tomorrow afternoon on Sappho's fragment 31.  It's a piece of poetry I've loved for years, and so it seemed like a natural choice for a campus talk--but then I worried that I would be rehashing my decades-old thoughts about it.  Of course, there will be some revisiting of ideas, but tonight I also found new things to notice and say, which has been fun (and a relief).

11/6: enjoying apuleius

It was a pleasure to prepare today's translation passage for the Apuleius class.  We were reading an excerpt from the tale of Cupid and Psyche in which Psyche is tasked by Venus, her angry mother-in-law, with sorting piles of mixed-up beans, grains, and seeds.  The ants muster to help her!  The language of the passage echoes moments in ancient epic, while the scenario looks forward to European fairy-tales--and all of it is funny and smart.  Oh thank goodness I chose Apuleius for one of my courses this semester!

11/5: music and hellos

I stayed on campus into the evening so that I could go to a concert of music by Haydn being played with historically accurate bows.  Just the sort of thing I would like.

Some students of mine were there, and two of them made a point of coming up to me at intermission to say hello.  I wouldn't have taken it amiss at all if they hadn't, but they really seemed like they wanted to say hello to me, and that felt sweet.

11/4: unexpected image

Last night we heard coyotes much closer than we ever have before.  They must have been in the woods right next to our house.  Really, just a few yards away.

This morning Chris did some research on habitats that coyotes favor.  It turns out that they like to be near a persimmon supply, and we certainly have that!  Our persimmon trees all produce fruit too chalky and bitter for humans to eat, but at least the coyotes can make a feast.  I can't quite wrap my mind around the image of coyotes eating persimmons in the middle of the night--it's so different from my past mental pictures of coyotes.  I'm glad to have this prompt to paint a new picture.

11/3: miss buncle

I'm enjoying Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson.  I downloaded the Persephone Books Kindle edition last night, so I didn't have to wait for a paper copy to arrive from the UK.  Once again, I have to thank Persephone Books for bringing a smile to my face.  I chose this book for sheer pleasure, but it turns out that it relates to my research.  I am always on the look-out for retellings of ancient myths which change the original genders of the mythological characters; it's a pretty rare phenomenon.  Although this novel isn't a full-blown retelling of a myth, Stevenson draws clear parallels between Miss Buncle and Pan--and perhaps you can't switch gender more than by having a middle-aged British lady become a stand-in for the pipe-playing Greek goat god!  I love it.

11/2: good-bye, hello

Watching the sunset to bid the week adieu and welcome the weekend.

11/1: another picture from the pier

Even if work today was a little odd, the view on the way to work was amazing.  Chris and I both took pictures.

The quality of the light, and the mixture of water with air, made me feel like I was inside a Turner painting.