Idle Distractions

A little randomness for Idle musings:


The Sherman Tree


The Hall of Bright Carvings

“Gormenghast, that is the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls. They sprawled over the sloping earth, each one half way over its neighbour until, held back by the castle ramparts, the innermost of these hovels laid hold on the great walls, clamping themselves thereto like limpets to a rock. These dwellings, by ancient law, were granted this chill intimacy with the stronghold that loomed above them. Over their irregular roofs would fall throughout the seasons, the shadows of time eaten buttresses, of broken and lofty turrets, and, most enormous of all, the shadow of the Tower of Flints. This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night, owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”

~ Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake


Ankerwycke Yew


“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery party of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

~ Moby Dick, Herman Melville


Migaloo, the albino humpback whale

More on Migaloo:

Rare white whale Migaloo and another white whale migrate north … |

18 foot, 300 pound oarfish dragged from the ocean shallows


“It was a long time ago that the eagles shrieked,

the sacred waters poured down from Himinfell;

then Helgi, the man of great spirit,

was born to Borghild in Braland.


Night fell on the place, the norns came,

those who were to shape fate for the prince;

they said the prince should be most famous

and that he’d be thought the best of warriors.


They twisted very strongly the strand of fate,

…in Bralund;

they prepared the golden thread

and fastened it in the middle of the moon’s hall.”


~ The First Poem of Helgi Hundingsbani, Poetic Edda


Aurora Borealis over Godafoss (Waterfall of the Gods), Iceland; Hodur Finnbogason, photographer


Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens

~Jimi Hendrix



Your fall 2013 night sky guide to eclipses, comets and more


Ice Cave; Granite Falls, Washington

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3 thoughts on “Idle Distractions

  1. PJ,
    It is the spirit of those who have recorded such magnificent things for humanity which gives me hope that God will not allow us to default on our duty to posterity.

    1. Me too, Z. National Geographic’s photographers never cease to amaze me, both in what they capture and the feats they must endure to capture their images. I wasn’t aware of these ice caves in Washington state until I stumbled upon this image. Apparently there are at least four of them. Incredible! 🙂

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