Friday, August 21, 2009

First javelina sighting...and so far, no more muffin tops...

Week número uno of the new school-year has come and gone.
(Finished it with une bonne bière irlandaise: yep, a Guinness, draft, at "The Firkin & Friar" down the road...)

So far I've been pretty good about keeping my Buenos Diases and Bonjours straight;
we'll see how long that lasts as my foray into multi-language teaching continues...

A few evenings ago, we had our first javelina sighting at our new place--literally right outside our front door! Our next-door neighbor spotted them and called us, and we looked out our respective doors at the critters snorting and foraging in the sycamore leaves by the fountain...
I had just enough time to grab the camera and manage this blur, before the javelinas ran off:
The biggest of the lot must have stood thigh-high...
So, as our friends next door have said, when we arrive home at night, and we get out of our car,
we should be, not afraid, but 'aware, just be aware.'

So, how many years ago was it that 'muffin-top' entered colloquial American English?
(here's a definition:
...generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging flesh when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirt in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing. This generally occurs when an obese or overweight person wears low-rise, hip-hugger pants, or midriff-baring tops that are too small. However, this phenomenon can be seen even on a slim person if his or her pants or shorts are poorly fitted.--courtesy of
At any rate, thankfully, high-school fashion this year, at least in Tucson, is not really including or encouraging that regrettable phenomenon. It's nice to not have to enforce that aspect of school-dress-code...Moving on...

Basil--looks like we're not going to have it here...
The local birds and lizards and squirrels and bunnies leave the verbena, lavender and rosemary alone;
Thai and Italian basil, though, are their preferred snack-leaves.
After two months of living in our new place, then, we realize our patio-herbs will be limited...

But the cactus-flowers abound. August is peak time for fishhook-barrel-cactus blooms. This is our third summer here, but we still find them spectacular, these flame-bursts in the midst of pineapple-esque fruits:

...and up close, almost otherworldly...a 'land anemone'...(?)


...I finally looked up the word "firkin:"

Pronunciation: \ˈfər-kən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, ultimately from Middle Dutch veerdel fourth, from veer four; akin to Old English fēower

Date: 14th century
1 : a small wooden vessel or cask
2 : any of various British units of capacity usually equal to 1⁄4 barrel --

Now I know.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures Joe... and we always enjoy your posting. I hope you will accept our belated thanks for the card you sent home with Amber for us (Longhorn Beetle on Jojoba leaf). We love it!
    Omar and Patty