Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Pestalotiopsis microspora

Pestalotiopsis is a genus of fungus that seems to be found, ya’ know, everywhere. As fungus is. Blights caused by varying species of this fungus are exacerbated by climate change.


For example, Pestalotiopsis microspora causes a wide range of symptoms on cedars and other conifers. It begins in the low dense shady area of the canopy in the warm parts of summer then will spread upward through the tree over a few years. Leaves and stems die. Trees are less vigorous. In addition, Pestalotiopsis microspora discovered in rubber plantations the early 1900s has recently reached epidemic proportions. Leaves get spots. Trees are less juicy and vigorous. No one likes a fungal infection.


Well, that’s not true. Pestalotiopsis microspora also eats polyurethane. That’s nice, isn’t it? In honor of its plastic-digesting prowess, I named the monster I sewed Akiva for his birthday after it. Akiva just calls him Pest.


Saturday, May 1st, 2021



Minnie the Giant Rabbit’s first litter of bun-buns was born on April 10th.

There were eight. Iris does not pick favorites:

she puts them all into the doll sling and takes them out for a walk.




Fortunately, rabbits like snuggling.




Later, we take a walk without the rabbits. We go to the little creek that flows from the old Val-Esterie property past the water treatment plant and into the Coaticook River. Two Little People mamas come with us. For some reason, they have twine around their necks. I think they were going to go swimming. Standing at the edge of the creek, Akiva holds the end of one piece of twine and twirls the mama round and round as one would twirl a sling with a rock in it. Like a rock shot from a sling, the toy flies through the air, never to be seen again. At least not by us. Somewhere down by there creek there is a little blue Little People mama with blonde hair waiting to be found. Akiva is distraught.




On the way home we stop at the school playground.

Akiva swings high like a rock in a sling.

And like a rock shot from a sling, he flies high over the trees, through the clouds, back home.


Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Little People in the Sandbox

The best thing about vintage Fisher Price Little People is all the people and the accessories.

We got rid of most everything else.




In this case, I am not exactly certain what is going onβ€”

something involving some goats and some people in blue police-style hats. They might be farmers.




There are a lot of other people, tooβ€” tho none of them seem to lively at the momentβ€”

and an up-turned television, currently being used as a trough.




The fields are well groomed.




The machines are well maintained.




It looks pretty peaceful. I will try to remember it that way.


Saturday, April 24th, 2021

At the Car Cemetery

We went to the Car(r) Cemetery. Whole car(r) families are buried there.




We found Father and Mother Car(r)β€”




Their ancestor, Parker Car(r), who seems to have lived a very sedentary lifestyleβ€”




And Parker’s wife, Sarahβ€”





And Ernest A. Car(r), who was always serviced by the most honest of mechanicsβ€”




We also found Mary, whoever she wasβ€” a wagon, perhaps.




Many people doubt that cars have funerals, but I have proof.

Here, for example, is the funeral of a maroon 2005 Prius, as documented by my brother, Dan Shanahan.


click here for more drawings by Dan



Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

Pont Drouin Covered Bridge, Compton, Quebec, Canada

Monday, April 5th, 2021

Iris’s 9th Birthday

For Iris’s birthday, she decided she wanted to eat carrot cake on top of Mount Ham. So we did. If mount Ham was good enough for me, then it was good enough for her. Carrot cake was what the rabbits voted for, but we didn’t bring rabbits. At the last minute, Iris also decided to bring a friend. Fortunately, there was a very good one available for last-minute birthday parties on mountain summits.




Hymie and Napua came with us for the purpose of taking photos. Hymie is all fixed up so he could attend the doll party in good form. The biggest difference, aside from the fact that his fabric is now perfect, is that his mouth is about 1/8th of an inch narrower. It’s quite noticeable if you know him! Napua is Megan reincarnated. She includes all of Megan’s stuffing plus some, and her head is configured over Megan’s old head. But really, nothing is the same aside from the fact that Iris still has three dolls instead of four. You wouldn’t recognize her in any way shape or form, but they say that reincarnation is like that.




While AmaΓ«lle took time to finish her cake (she is especially good at savoring), Martin hiked to the other high point on the peak. Once Akiva saw that his papa was all alone, he wanted to go, too! Do you see that tiny blue spot to the left of the slightly larger red spot, just to the right of what appears to be a ham radio tower on the peak?** That’s Akiva! He went all the way over there all by himself.




**It is not actually a ham radio tower: it is the profile of the enormous crucifix where they tortured the last of the wild mountain giants.

Friday, April 2nd, 2021

How we ended up behind Isabelle’s houseβ€”

We went looking for a shortcut,

We went looking east and west,

But we did not find a shortcutβ€”




We decided long was best.

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Paper Block Man

Setting: Moderately messy playroom.

Children seem to be distracted from play due to the presence of their father.




The father is focused on his workβ€” a block sculptureβ€” and appears to take little notice of the children.




Because he did not play with blocks enough as a child, he has trouble getting them to balance.




Fortunately, that does not deter him.




Determined to make up for lost time, he begins again each time they fall.




Finally we have it: a French-man with a full belly.




Egg, orange, peach, banana. Toast, fish, strawberry, apple.

The children return to their play.


Friday, March 26th, 2021

Frog on Ice (Johnville Bog & Forest Park)

Where the sun shines most, the snow was mostly melted.




Unfortunately for this ambitious amphibian, many paths were still coated in ice.


Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Akiva & TabΓ©a estimate the distance to the ground.