Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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and s-integrator

After the storm there is a spectacular winter sunset


A wind-lashed lake for the past two days, today we have calm again, the lake placid, carrying only a slight ripple and the sky overhead (where else?) spotted with broken clouds reflecting a rosy sunrise, somewhat obscured.

Ah, but the storm. Who can sleep with the conifers bent toward the ground and the wind whistling? Not me, not my Labs, who barked repeatedly all Thursday night at what they were convinced were intruders.

Intruders, I tried to convince them, would not be so noisy. And various items stored in the carport were distributed across the turnaround by the gusts.

Now, as January slides quietly into February, we have these few moments of calm. But the consortium of weather persons tells us a new storm is rolling in, along with more winds, and probably rain.

Already the local rivers are flooded.

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Bough of the Western Red Cedar


If you have salal growing in your yard, you are fortunate. If there is a Western red cedar or hemlock there as well, you are indeed blessed.

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Long journey, or short?


We are all riding on a cross-country bus. When we get on, it is very crowded, and for a long while we travel across rivers, along flatlands, upĀ hills and mountainsides, then down to the plains again, and nobody gets off, the bus doesn't stop, and days and nights, years and decades, pass seamlessly.

Then the bus begins to make stops in villages, at crossroads, several times in the same city. People get off, one by one. Soon the bus is nearly empty.

Now it is your turn, next mine. The bus never stops for long and when it is finally empty, or so we are told by the driver, it will begin to fill up again with even more people.

How young and varied they all are!

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Okay, so maybe I was unfair to Nicole yesterday, when I reflected on bloodlines of her and Tom, and how such beautiful people had proved unable to reproduce and had to resort to adoption—which in many ways is much easier than having children the normal, old-fashioned way, even if they were able to.

And is divorce any easier emotionally on an adopted child than on one born in a moment of—shall we call it—lust? I doubt it.

Nicole is one of the premier beauties of our time. In the movie "Dead Calm" the camera played lovingly on her face in a wide variety of carefully chosen lighting sittuations, all to her advantage, and to the movie (and Sam Neill's) disadvantage. And she is no doubt lovely, lovely to look at. And whether or not she can act is beside the point, when you look like that.

Nicole can act and chooses plainness and even studied ugliness in "The Hours," when she plays Virginia Woolf— a commanding role and demanding presence. Who would have recognized Nicole, if the program notes hadn't identified her? And who among us did not murmur, early into the flick, "Oh, come on. That can't be Nicole." To her venerable credit, never once did she betray the undeniable fact that she is . . . beautiful.

I only ask, Can an unattractive woman ever be cast in the role of a beautiful one? If so, how is it done? I know millions of women who would buy into the process.

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The camera sure loves her, Nicole Kidman. And her ex-hubby, Tom Cruise. A couple of cute kids. I sure wish they'd get back together and have more children.

Think of those genes!

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