Wednesday, December 31, 2008

resolve 2009

A new year starts tomorrow. My resolutions are ready:

1. DRAW: I am going to draw more, doodle, goof off, keep up with a sketch book, not worry so much about what or why I am drawing. Just draw.

2. RUN: I started running this year and next year, as far as exercise goes, I think this will be my first year of running. I have gotten over that hump where running is just too hard and am looking forward to going further and faster. Maybe doing some races and just enjoying a simple exercise that I can do anywhere at anytime.

3. READ: 2008 was an enormous goal of reading 100 books. I didn't make it. I read 45. This year all I am resolving to do is read one more than last year.

4. PLAY!

5. LEARN: Last year I had a lot of fun taking pictures and playing with my camera. This year I am going to buckle down and actually learn the ins and outs of my camera the different things it can do and that I can do with it so that I will improve my photography.

That's it. I decided it is a year of improving. I tend to take on new things, try new things, learn new things which is fun but it means I don't spend a lot of time on one thing and do that thing well. So here's to doing things well in 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

drip. drip. drip.

For Christmas Steve gave me a cold. I'm tired of it. My head if full of snot and it likes to drip, drip, drip out my nose.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Christmas Eve. Steve built a little camp fire in our fire circle and we sat under the dark sky and chatted about the year to come. I sipped peppermint tea and poked the fire with pugs snoozing in my lap.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

life list

Today Dad helped me construct a bird feeding shelf outside my big upstairs window. I'm really happy about it. I think it's going to be so much fun to see who comes to the window feeder. I put out all kinds of goodies. Then on top of my fabu bird feeder I got an early Christmas pressie from Gina. It was this field guide to birds. I am starting my life list today. Here are my first birdies:
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • American Goldfinch
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Black Vulture
Not an impressive start, but I got the book late in the day and it's raining.


I look back at last year's posts and realize that I like this. I like having my little memories and ideas and moments trapped here so that I can look back. Remember. Smile. Frown. Laugh. See that time has passed but not as quickly at it sometimes seems.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


If you still aren't sure who to vote for may I make a suggestion....


If you haven't yet, go vote. It's important. And you can get free coffee.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flickr Fun

Here's how to play: Type your answer to each of the questions (the questions and my answers are below) into Flickr's search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker.

What is your first name? Jessica : What is your favorite food? peanut butter : What high school did you attend? Huntsville High School : What is your favorite color? green today, blue tomorrow : Who is your celebrity crush? Adrian Brody : Favorite drink? tea : Dream vacation? Sequoia National Park : Favorite dessert? apple pie a la mode : What do you want to be when you grow up? alive! : What do you love most in life? happy moments : One word to describe you? restless : Your Flickr name? jayembee

photo credits:

1. Jessica Got Kissed, 2. Breakfast 7.11.07 (breakfast meets bento), 3. Joe's Graduation-24, 4. 133: SOTTS will make you jump!, 5. TIFF08-5162, 6. coffee & the city, 7. Alpine Mist, 8. Day 72/365: There just ain't no better way..., 9. Young At Heart, 10. Call of the Raven (formerly Nature's Special Effects), 11. THE OLD BOG ROAD (NO 3) (Mar 21, 2008 #424 EXPLORE) KILKENNY, IRELAND., 12. NYC Trip Day Two - 107 Jayembee at Grimaldi's Pizza.jpg

Sunday, August 31, 2008

baby copperhead

I caught this little guy yesterday (don't worry, I didn't catch him with my bare hands) a tiny copperhead. I thought the little yellow tail was interesting so I looked it up, it's a newborn baby copperhead. Yes, they are poisonous but so pretty and so interesting to look at close up.

Copperheads are pit vipers so I got to get a close look at the heat sensing "pits" on the front of its head and its tell-tell elliptical pupils.

electric sky

Images captured from a night-time lightning storm over Guadalupe River State Park.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

simple life

Can i get up in the morning, put the kettle on.
Make us some coffee. Say "hey" to the sun.
Is it enough to write a song and sing it to the birds?
They'd hear just the tune, not understand my love for words.
But you would hear me and know:
I want only this, I want to live a simple life.
- The Weepies

Sunday, August 10, 2008

still walking

Me and my camera and my dogs are still going for our walks. I have stopped posting my pictures on 300 walks, but I think the spirit of the idea still exists. I will admit that I may not make it to 300 and the summer heat has slowed me down, but there isn't a week that goes by without us plummeting into the the thick stand of pines behind the house, my camera in hand with my three pups leading the way. My newest experiment involves me carrying a large white piece of foam core board along too. I need to perfect the process. It is hard to hold the board up behind whatever I want to isolate with one hand and take the picture with the other. If I need to make any adjustments to the camera settings I have to put everything down, fiddle with the camera and then reframe. By then the dogs have gotten bored with me and wondered off.

kayakin' around

Went kayaking with a new friend at the state park today. It was such quiet, easy fun. We checked out the birds, spotted an alligator gar in a little pool, found a giant turtle shell. The older I get the harder it is for me to make new friends. I'm not sure if it is simple and I make it complicated, or if it is complicated and I just wish it was simple. I'm over thinking it - I think.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

luna moth

Torn. Broken. Still magic.

that's us.

We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
- Carl Sagan

Sunday, August 3, 2008


New snake. I think I have it identified. It's an Eastern Yellowbelly Racer, a juvenile. Coluber constrictor flaviventris. He was so pretty, but feisty, bit me twice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Made a Wordle of this blog. It takes all the words and then makes a bubble with your most used words the largest. I just say just a little too much I guess. See it bigger here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

summer nights

Summer nights. Porch lights. Improvised pine cone tripods.
Long exposures. Self-timers. Puppy shadows.
My little house snuggled in the pine trees. Glowing a warm hello.

Friday, July 25, 2008

blanco river

Last weekend Steve and I went on the Outdoor Rec tubing trip, although it was cut short by a semi-serious, but well-managed tubing injury, we had a lot of fun. Here are all the peeps (not at the hospital) hanging out in the Blanco River after a fun day drifting down the San Marcos. Flickr set here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


There are some moments in life that are like pivots around which your existence turns -- small intuitive flashes, when you know you have done something correct for a change, when you think you are on the right track. I watched a pale dawn streak the cliffs with Day-glo and realized this was one of them. It was a moment of pure, uncomplicated confidence -- and it lasted about ten seconds.
- Robyn Davidson, Tracks

Sunday, June 1, 2008

clever flowers

Yesterday I went for a hike at Huntsville State Park. On the dam two of my favorite wildflowers were blooming. Bee balm and passionflower, I love them for their beautiful strangeness. Pollinators were busy buzzing away gathering food, what I enjoy more then watching them work is watching the flowers work. Such clever flowers.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I got to meet a baby screech owl this morning.

P.S. If anyone would like to know, I've identified my beetle,
Humpback Dung Beetle - Deltochilum gibbosum.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

poop beetle

Sometimes if you sit still the most interesting things come to you. I caught these dung beetles rolling their gross little hairy ball across my garden path while I was sitting on my porch. I was trying to get good pictures of birds, these are more interesting.

I used some white paper to isolate them I think it came out pretty cool. I'm thinking about building some sort of white box so I can isolate more bugs and get their photos. The only problem was that by the time I was through taking their pictures they were rather desperate to get out of my paper lined box, when I let them go they went their separate ways leaving their little poop ball behind. I felt like I broke up the little family.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

carolina wren

Here is a little Carolina Wren that got knocked out of it's nest during a storm. The students at the press found it on the lawn of the quad and came to get me. Here he is all wrapped up in my winter hat. I held him close to keep him warm until my local TWRC wildlife rehabilitator came to pick him up. He has already grown up and been released.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


We went to New Student Orientation and got the whole campus tour thing. Steve is all signed up for Summer and Fall classes. His classes start Tuesday, I'm so excited for him but wonder if he will start making weird whooping noises soon.

metro parks and goodbyes

Last day, we all met up at the Metro Park and went for a walk by the river. Metro Parks are these great little nature parks that are all over Ohio. There were really nice wide hiking and biking trails. Beautiful and peaceful.

Brunch at Panera. Here is Sarah, she was an excellent Ohio organizer and new friend!

Saying goodbye to Shendo at the airport. "Next time you see him he will be pixels."

Soon after we said goodbye to Shendo I realized I was missing my little Cybershot camera. I was pretty sure it fell out of my pocket at the Metro Park while I was bending down to look closer at the flowers. I thought it was lost forever, but before we went to the airport we went back to the Metro Park. Lauren, Sarah, Dan, Steve, and I embarked on the camera quest. I found the camera right where I figured I had dropped it. The success of the camera quest led to this short but exuberant celebration:

Goodbye Ohio, but we are not done. Straight from the airport to Bryan/College Station for Steve's New Student Orientation.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

science center and coventry

Day three in Ohio we went into Cleveland to the Science Center.

Lauren, Dan and Shendo!

This (I am told) is what a pigeon looks like in Ohio. LOL.

After the Science Center we went to Tommy's which is a really cool veggie restaurant in Coventry Village (it's the artsy hippie part of Cleveland). Tommy's was delicious I had the Quinn, which was a toasted cheese sandwich with homemade peanut butter and veggies on pita, and a giant yogurt banana shake. YUM. Then we looked in all the little shops in the area.

french song

After Cedar Point we went to a restaurant called Quaker Steak and Lube. After one margarita Lauren treated everyone to the famous French song.

Cedar Point

Cedar Point is a 364 acre amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio, on a narrow peninsula jutting into Lake Erie. It currently holds the world record for most roller coasters with 17, one of them being the world's second tallest and second fastest roller coaster, Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches speeds of 120 mph and a height of 420 feet. Cedar Point is also the only amusement park with four roller coasters that are taller than 200 feet (61 m). As of 2008 Cedar Point will be the only park in the world with 76 rides, becoming the park with the most rides.

YAY! Rollercoasters!

Steve shaking our bucket on the sky ride.

Yum. Taffy.

It was a fun day. I won Cedar Point! I didn't sit out a single ride.

Cleveland Zoo

We got off the plane and met Lauren, Shendo, Sarah, and Dan for the first time. It was kind of weird meeting people who you have talked to, but never seen in real life. We headed for the Cleveland Zoo which was a fun ice breaker, we got to walk around and talk and look at the animals. I love the zoo. I think I could spend days there taking pictures of all the different animals and their mannerisms.

I love the primates. I know I'm not supposed to anthropomorphize these guys, but you can hardly help it, they have such human expressions. When I see them I am almost sure they share our feelings.

There are such unique shapes and forms in the ocean. Makes me want to learn to scuba dive.

Baby Koala, how cute can you get?!

Chameleons are one of my favorite lizards. They have those crazy eyes and three toed feet, and bounce when they walk like they have some sort of tribal drum beat in their head.


We are off to Ohio!

Steve is my hero!

Steve graduated with his AA from Montgomery! Now he is off to A&M.His parents came down to join the celebration. I was super proud of Steve, he worked his butt off.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

i <3 mom

My mom is the best mom in the universe. Happy Mother's Day! I love you.

P.S. Sorry I put you on the internet again :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

lazy sunday

Taking it easy this weekend. Clean. Read. Laundry. Movie. Nap. Walk. Read. Sweep. Bask. Nap. Heal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

home alone

Being sick at home is so much more pleasant than being sick at work. I am enjoying the quiet of this day home alone even if I am drowning in boogers.