Category Archives: Vazra

He never met a stranger

Everything is made to be broken.  Thus rings the loudest bell in life, the piercing sound of endings that follow all beginnings.  For in this universe that shelters us, nothing is eternal.
— Jason M Hogle, Some comfort here

Sometimes words fail me.  Not often, no, but sometimes.

Let me just say that Vazra will be missed.  And not just by me, but instead by everyone who ever met him.  Why?

Because he never met a stranger.  Just ask anyone who had the pleasure of being in his presence.

A close-up of Vazra (2008_12_27_003721)

August 1996 – December 2012

Loss is a funny thing: immeasurable, though we recognize the fullness of it and know when it diminishes; uncontainable, though we can carry it in a single lifetime; and insubstantial, yet we immediately feel its weight when it rests upon us.
— Jason M Hogle, Dreamdarkers

A sense of community

The spirit of every naturalist harbors a common interest in the world not made by man, the world built by nature upon the foundation of the cosmos.  Just as every atom and every molecule sees within itself the building blocks of the universe, and just as every living thing on this planet sees within itself traces of a single common ancestor from which we evolved, so too does every naturalist have within them a singular awe of nature’s abilities, a shared sense of passion for what nature provides, an inherent drive to discover and appreciate the handiwork of Earth, and an unfaltering will to protect what little of nature is left so future generations face something more than a lifeless, barren landscape.

For bloggers, this naturalist ribbon links one to the other and gives rise to community.  Part of that community lives in blog carnivals, regular celebrations of nature in its many forms.  Over the next several months I will host several of these carnivals, and I am working with Amber of Birder’s Lounge to launch a new blog carnival in an area of nature that we think deserves more attention.

Many moons ago I posted regular carnival roundups that linked to all the recent celebrations of nature.  I even participated in more than a few of them.  Then life fell on me, other obligations took center stage, and I stopped following them, let alone linking to them.  My growing desire to share nature with others has reversed that trend.

So beginning now I will return to my habit of posting a weekly summary of the blog carnivals I feel are worthy of mention.  Should there be none for a particular week, well, it seems obvious there will be no such post.  And to kick things off, here are the recent carnivals of interest:

More than worth your time, whether you’re only interested in eye candy or science or art or discovery or simply getting out of the house virtually by visiting places near and far and seeing through the eyes of others, these nature parties circle the globe and cover the world in ways you can scarcely imagine.

— — — — — — — — — —

I will be hosting I and the Bird on December 17.  (If you know why that date is important to me, please don’t say so publicly lest you spoil the theme of the carnival.)  Following that, I will host Festival of the Trees on January 1, 2010, The Moth and Me on March 15, 2010, and Circus of the Spineless on April 1, 2010.  Should our plans work the way we hope they do, Amber and I will conspire to launch a new blog carnival in January, after which I will host that one as well (perhaps in February or March), though the first edition will be a joint venture hosted at the carnival’s home site.

When I told The Kids we would host I and the Bird in a few weeks, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a common visage.


Though that shows only Vazra, that same look of intent interest is duplicated on five other feline faces, each of whom wants to welcome the incoming birds with open claws jaws paws.  But since they’re inside cats, they’ll have to be satisfied with looking at the pictures instead.

Eyes in the dark

All I want to do is change the lens on the camera.  I pull off the 400mm telephoto lens, set the camera body in my lap, retrieve the smallest lens and put it on the camera.

Meanwhile, Vazra has taken station in front of the fireplace where he sits atop a box of computer supplies I temporarily pulled from its hiding place.  He watches me closely waiting for me to notice him and give him what he wants: some attention.

So I slip the smaller lens onto the camera, twist it into the bayonet mount until it locks into place, set the camera back in my lap and pin it down with my hand while I put the telephoto lens in its carrying case.

That’s when the shutter snaps.  Oops, I left the camera turned on…

A close-up of Vazra sitting in front of the fireplace (2009_03_01_011617)

I can’t imagine ever capturing a better mistake.  That the camera was level is miracle enough, but that it focused on Vazra and had settings adequate to capture his visage in a dark room surprised the bejeesus out of me.

Maybe I should try this technique more often.

Lazy days

There are many days when I envy The Kids their worry free lives, their long naps, their want for nothing.  Mostly, I envy their lazy days that have no obligations save those they set for themselves.

Vazra and Loki lying on the bed (2009_03_01_011814)

As Vazra and Loki demonstrate, that usually entails ample time in the lounging position.

Six years?

A close-up of Vazra with wide eyes as Kako rests comfortably in the background (2008_12_27_003727)

Vazra was as surprised as I was when less than a week ago this blog reached six years of age.

We never saw that coming.

And Kako in the background never moved, never gave it a second thought.  In fact, she scoffed at the idea and spit upon the premise that anything might be more noteworthy than her needs.  But that’s how she is…