Monday, April 23, 2007

Numbers, Numbers, Numbing Numbers

There is "eye candy" at the end of this post. Thank goodness for the natural beauty we need to see every day.

Hurray! It’s budget prep time for the State of NC! There’s some fooling here…I can’t stand numbers. Funds have been frozen on State accounts since March 30 and it’s a killer process. I have five large budgets to monitor and I’ve encumbered funds down to the least cents before the State sweeps it away. It’s not my money and I don’t really care about it. It’s just another job-related function I need to perform, another headache, and another pain in my a...

Budget prep for 2007-2008 began today in a 2-1/2 meeting at one of our campuses located very close to the Charlotte-Douglas airport. This is the type of meeting that causes my eyes to glaze over. I yawn. Oh, yes, I participate in the number crunching while I’m dreaming of those US Airways and Southwest planes flying by so close that you could count the number of windows on them. I arrived at the meeting twenty minutes early, with camera around my neck, and explored a beautiful campus. No birds. No flowers. What a waste. But they do have aircraft. After the first hour of the meeting, I wanted to call a break to put my camera to the window to see something in flight!

When we lived near the Dover Air Force Base a few years ago, I had the best view of the largest aircraft in the country – those C-5’s and C-19’s that were large enough to carry 15 eighteen-wheelers. When they flew low over our community, the sound was deafening but you could wave to the pilots (rookies in training…scary, yes!). My next door neighbor was a squadron commander and we waved the American flag to him when he trained pilots. That was cool.

I’m off course here. Perhaps my mind is blown away due to those dang numbers. Allocated budget, deficit, revenue, blah, blah, blah. I arrived home much later than usual. Chloe threw up outside because she knows by the time Oprah Winfrey is over, the local news starts at 5pm and I wasn’t home yet. Yes, I leave the TV on for them during the day. They see Good Morning America, Kelly and Regis, Dr. Phil, and various soap operas before Oprah. I should really switch to a radio instead.

Dorothy from PA calls my photos “eye candy”. I like that adjective. She’s been commenting frequently and she just started a blog of her own while battling the beginning Blogger woes.


When I arrived home after a ten-hour day, I found some eye candy. (Lizards? Eye candy? YES!) With my handbag still on my shoulder, I first noticed a new lizard to add to the other two species I have found at my house. So far we have Five Line Skinks and Eastern Fence Lizards. When I’m not so tired, I’ll try to identify this skittish, tiny creature.


Click to enlarge. It was very curious. See it peeking and holding on to the brick?


REAL eye candy. A butterfly. Something else I need to ID. Later…


I want to be a little closer. Please don’t move… The honey bees rule this patch of blue and purple.


Ahhhh. Just what I needed. I'm delirious and you are medicine for a tired soul.


Directly below the nesting place of the Barn Swallows, I found this. It matches a description of her egg. Did she come by to annoy me? Or, will she arrive again to build a new nest? Time will tell. My heart still aches.


Ruth said...

Beauty does balance out the day, especially ones with too many numbers. Gorgeous photos again, Mary.

Anonymous said...

I am just a little to far north for lizards! Without a doubt, eye candy for me are those swallowtails! Numbers, ugg!

Annie in Austin said...

The butterflies and the little lizard are some sort of consolation after the day full of numbers and noise, Mary. Your butterfly looks like a black swallowtail to me - I have some of the striped larvae chomping on my fennel plant right now.

What happens if Bella and Chloe learn how to change the channel? Or start ordering movies from Payperview?


Mary said...

Ruth, I need that "balance" after that grinding, mind-numbing meeting :o)

Mon@rch, Thank you. Tomorrow I will check on swallowtails!

Annie! LOL! My dogs have the notion to do anything they please...I'd better think about other options!

Q said...

Hi Mary,
Oh, I love the lizards!
I would say your butterfly is either the male, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail or the Black Swallowtail. The Tiger is larger than the Black. So beautiful!!
I think the birds and the butterflies, beautiful flowers or the stars in the night sky, save the day. Glad your camera was at the ready!

Susan Gets Native said...

Numbers suck. I am too left-brained to be able to make sense of them. (or is it right-brained? See? I can't even remember what side of my brain is which)
I LOVE the peeking lizard.
And BTW: Love you, too! You sweet thang.

LostRoses said...

Peaking lizards, crunching numbers, and broken eggs. Mary, it's only Monday!

Unknown said...

Fantastic eye candy. So sorry about the broken egg . . . what a shame. It will all work out! Promise!!!

KGMom said...

Oh yeah--budget time. I remember those days. One of the huge advantages I have (being mostly retired) is no more budget meetings!
A plane that can carry 15 18-wheelers! Yikes--that is HUGE.
I agree with those who love your photos. The little peekaboo lizard--most charming.

Cathy said...

You're amazing. I'm in Nature Woman's camp - right brain, left brain? hmmmm . . . let's see 2 + 2 ='s hmmmm . . ?

Your camera is your 'beauty' butterfly net. Your humor is your safety net. They create the warp and woof of this whimsical - always engaging blog. (Bella and Chloe provide a little 'woof', too:0) I love dropping in for your 'view' of things, Mary.

Dorothy said...

Oh Mary, what a day you had! I'm with you on the numbers thing..however did you make it through that meeting? I'd have been daydreaming bigtime as well!
Gosh I was able to recognize your butterfly..and those litte lizards...too cute, especially the one hanging on for dear life..(or is he hiding from you?) Such sweet photos you take.
Thank you so much for mentioning my sad little beginning blog.
Right now, it's so pitiful.. I keep wanting to take it back to fix it, but I have no clue as to how to do that once I hit the Publish button. Another thing to figure out.
One day when I grow up, I want to be able to blog as beautifully as you. Thank you for the inspiration you create....and that beautiful eye candy to sweeten my day.

thailandchani said...

As always, outstanding photos! I'll probably be by here daily, just to see them. :)

Numbers, meetings, ... EEEK!



Jayne said...

Spectacular shots Mary! What a very beautiful butterfly. I do hope your swallow returns.

Mary said...

Sherry, my camera is usually with me and ready unless I see a hawk land 10 feet away.

Susan, us creative folks are right-brained, I think.

Lost Roses, yes it's only Monday and two more budget meetings this week. Sigh...

Liza, I was shocked to see that egg. Very puzzling!

Donna, as much as I dislike budgets and numbers, it's surprising that most of my jobs in the past require a lot of it.

Cathy, I'm as right-brained as they come. I work hard at analyzing budgets. Glad you appreciate my slap-happy evenings!

Dorothy, the only way to get through a 2-1/2 hr. budget meeting is to drink caffeine. That's the only time I need it.

Chani, thanks for your compliment. I've grown very fond of my camera...

Jayne, me, too :o(

Julie Zickefoose said...

Science Chimp votes spicebush swallowtail, juv. eastern fence lizard, and American toad. Kamikaze ID's R us.
PS--the female tiger swallowtail has a black morph, but you can always see the shadowy tiger stripes shining through the forewing.

Julie Zickefoose said...

nuh-uhnn, Annie's right. It's a black swallowtail. Derr.

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