Losing sleep over Harry Potter

I wonder if this snake speaks Parseltongue?*

I arrived late to the Harry Potter party.  I read the first book or two when they first came out.  M the Younger (aka Youngest Son) “outgrew” the books at that point, and since he gave up on them, so did I.  I’m not quite sure why as I’ve never been one to refrain from reading a book simply because it was meant for children.  Some of my favorite books are meant for children.  The Secret Garden.  The Phantom Tollbooth.  The Graveyard Book (the one book review I’ve done here at Ye Olde Blogge, but stay tuned — another one is coming up soon).

*If you’re unfamiliar with Harry Potter, find out more about Parseltongue here.  The snake, by the way, is a black rat snake we saw on one of the trails at the Holden Arboretum during our hike yesterday.  Isn’t he beautiful?

Last year, at Merdi’s (M the Younger’s wife) instigation, M the Younger decided to read the Harry Potter books from start to finish.  It seemed as good an excuse as any for me to read them too.  Not that I needed an excuse.  When the last few movies came out, I decided I wanted to read them.

I finished the books early this year.  M and I started watching the movies a couple of weeks ago, spacing them out a bit because I am pretty sure M really doesn’t have much interest in them.  It’s just not his thing.  Originally the plan was to watch the movies in a weekend marathon session with M the Younger and Merdi.  They had already seen the movies, but wanted to see them again when M the Younger finished reading the books.  However, life happened (thank goodness!) and they are once again living and working and out on their own, far enough away that a weekend marathon session of movie watching isn’t practical.  Not that it’s practical in the first place, mind you.  It’s fun, is what it is.

Rhododendron in the sunlight

The problem with watching the movies now is that is doesn’t get dark until nearly 9:00pm.  The movies themselves are somewhat visually dark which means it is difficult to see the images if it’s still light outside, even with the blinds closed.  So we have had to wait until 9:00pm or so to watch them.  (Note:  One of M’s indulgences after we moved here was to put in an entertainment area of sorts in the basement.  We have a projector so we’re able to watch movies on a large screen — or wall painted to be a screen.  Because we have a walk-out basement with a large picture window, it’s not very cave-like and even closing the blinds doesn’t shut out all the light during the late spring and summer months.)

The movies are over two hours long.  That means we don’t finish until nearly 11:30pm.  I realize this is not terribly late for most people, but when your internal alarm clock wakes you up at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning, 11:30pm starts to feel pretty late if you’ve gotten so excited about the last few movies that you decide to watch them three or four nights in a row.

All of this is my way of saying I am tired today.  Pooped.  And I still have the last half of the last movie to watch.  We got a late start last night, and decided the second half would have to wait until tonight.  (I would have stayed up and watched it all, but M has to go to work and it didn’t seem fair to finish without him since he was kind enough to watch the whole series with me.)

Remember this scene from last November? I’ll leave you a link to it at the bottom of the post.

As with all movies that were books, I could find lots to criticize in terms of what was left out, but I learned a long time ago to sever the link between book and film.  First of all, I’d be up all night watching them if they included everything in the books.  Second of all, it’s kind of nice to see something almost new, knowing the background well enough to fill in any possible blanks, and having that element of surprise when they change something completely.

Snapping turtle from the pond at the arboretum

We are experiencing another hot, August-like day here in the Bogs.  Yes, I know it’s May, but it feels like August.  There’s a slight chance of rain.  I’ve been doing my rain dance today in hopes of increasing our odds.  We need the rain.  The garden needs the rain.  The tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, chards, and broccoli need the rain.  The newly planted trees need the rain.  Desperately.

Do you suppose snapping turtles have their own form of Parseltongue?

No turtles were harmed in the taking of the last two photos.  Two guys (the Turtle Guys) who work for the arboretum were going around pulling turtles out of the ponds to check up on them, and make sure they’re doing okay.  This particular turtle got the bad end of a fight.  His nose has been bitten off.  Normally it would jut out to a point, almost hook-like.  The Turtle Guys seemed pretty positive that it was not a mutation.  I should also mention that the Turtle Guys are much braver than I am.  I would never grab a snapper with my bare hands.  Or gloved hands, for that matter.  I wasn’t even brave enough to step up close to take pictures.

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  Thank you for visiting.  Stay cool.  And do a little rain dance for the trees and garden, will ya?  I know they would be grateful.

Today’s view of the pond. Clouds have moved in since this was taken, clouds that I’m hoping will eventually produce rain.

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35 Comments on “Losing sleep over Harry Potter”

  1. I read all of the HP books too, but it’s been quite a while since I finished them (I read the last few books right when they were first released). I remember when I got to the 6th book, there was actually a part of the story that made me want to throw the book across the room – they were THAT good! The movies definitely do get “darker” as you go through them, but they did a good job!

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a turtle with it’s mouth wide-open like that, how cool!

    • Robin says:

      I’ve never seen a turtle with his mouth open like that either, Holly. The guys that were checking on the turtles saw my camera and asked if I’d like to get a picture of him. Nice guys. 🙂

      I had to laugh about you wanting to throw the book across the room. I think it was the same book that had me feeling the same way. I really wanted to punch Dolores Umbridge. lol!

  2. And I thought I picked up the HP series late! 🙂

    My youngest and I read them together. We finished the last book before the final 3 movies were released. Then the first movie from that last book was released, we saw it and then I went home and literally read that final book cover to cover AGAIN. When the last movie came out, we saw it twice and I just soaked in it. Loved every frame. Cried, smiled and felt completely satisfied.

    I feel like the movie adaptations of this entire series were probably the best I’ve seen. Their overall quality given how many there are is really quite amazing. They secure the cast from start to finish, matched them up perfectly, created set designs and special effects that were almost exactly as I had imagined them when I read the book – so well done. The scenes of places like Hogwarths inside and out and the battles and the dementors and oh – everything! The books have so much in them there is no way they could be exact as you say – but if you ONLY watch the movies I think you still get the bulk of the story.

    I am in utter awe of JK Rowling’s mind. All of that LIVED IN THERE? HOW?! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I agree with you, Christina. Mostly. The movie adaptations are, as you mentioned, quite amazing. They match how I imagined most things too. I thought they could have made Dolores Umbridge more toad-like and obnoxious, but even there, they did a good job. There were some things about the books, too, especially the last one, that I thought might have been rushed, but I love how J. K. Rowling connected things from earlier books.

      M and I were just discussing last night how incredible it is that J. K. Rowling came up with all of that, inventing a whole world of magic and wizardry. That’s why I hesitate to criticize at all. I could never do that. And you’re right about the movies being satisfying. As adaptations go, the whole series was well done. I’ve ended up explaining a few things to M. He’s found a few holes in the story that don’t make sense to him (he has not read any of the books and is unlikely to do so — again, not his thing).

  3. dadirri7 says:

    I read all the books too, but long ago it seems, and i have seen a few of the movies which i quite enjoyed … an amazing fictional world with some brilliant creative ideas and plenty of dark issues for young minds to grapple with … and i am sure turtles would have their own dialect in parseltongue!

  4. Love the title of this post. Though I’ve not read all of the books yet, I’ve enjoyed the ones I have. And about bedtimes–I think 11 or 11:30 is very late!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  5. Coming East says:

    I read and loved all the Harry Potter books and was terribly sad when I finished them. I’ve read some of them twice. The movies were good, too, but the books were terrific. Loved your pictures, Robin, and would gladly give you our rain if that were possible. And I’d love to have some of your warm weather. You would think here in Virginia we’d have experienced some warm days, but that hasn’t been so. I’m wearing a sweatshirt right now.

  6. Joanne says:

    My daughter (who has read the HP books five times!) keeps on telling me that I just HAVE to read them, but I have so many more books that are ahead in the cue! And, I fall asleep when I try to watch the movies!! Maybe I’m just not into HP that much, although I do find JK Rowling to be a very intersting person (she was featured on “Who do you think you are”.

    Every photo today is stunning, and of course, we’ve all been hnaging out to see a turtle’s tonsils! Lol…I wouldn’t get that close to a snapping turtle, even to take a photo, either!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Joanne. 🙂

      M kept falling asleep during the movies, too. I appreciate the fact that he tried. I would have watched them on my own, but he wanted to see what all the hoopla was about.

  7. Anna Surface says:

    Oh, I just love all the photos you posted here. I really like how you give the dreamy effect with them. Look at that snapping turtle! Yikes! I like turtles… even snapping turtles. Great capture with the mouth open ‘take a bite out of you’.

    I love children’s books and used to read them. It has been awhile. I have some favorites too.

    Enjoyed this post!

  8. Kathy says:

    Smiling thinking of your Harry Potter fun, Robin. The kids at the school read all the Harry Potter books, so I joined in, too. Have watched every movie. I can hardly imagine staying up to 11 or 11:30, though! How can you survive the day? P.S. Love those turtle pics!

  9. mobius faith says:

    Huge snapper of course he’s really saying, “just try and get a little closer and I’ll show you ‘parseltongue’. Mmmmm tasty.” Of course you could just ask him if he heard of turtle soup and that would probably shut him up. I’m proud to say that I used to work in a book store and never read a Harry Potter book. 🙂 I also hope we get a nice soaking rain soon. These 80 degree days we’ve had have done a nice job of drying things out. I was walking along the towpath and was thinking that the Cuyahoga is flowing lower than normal. Of course I’d rather have this at this point that the chilly record rains of last spring. 🙂

  10. Love your turtle pictures and those green leafy plants!

    I’m one of those who can’t seem to get into Harry Potter no matter how much I try. Fantasy in general is not my cup of tea…. with one exception: Lord of the Rings. Funny how we become entranced by certain things. That’s what makes life interesting… 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Cathy. 🙂

      Lord of the Rings, book and movies, seem to be the exception for a lot of people who generally don’t like fantasy. That’s how good they are. 😀

  11. ladyfi says:

    What a great post with fabulous shots! Is that snake dangerous? And wow – mesmerizing close up of the turtle.

    I’m a big HP fan.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, LadyFi. 🙂

      The snake is not dangerous as long as you’re not a small animal. Black snakes are not venomous. They kill by constriction.

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    Nothing against them, but I can honestly say that I’ve never read a HP book or seen a HP movie. Great close shot of the turtle who didn’t seem to be a happy camper.

  13. Harry Potter, love the books, love the movies. My mother, now in her late 80’s, gave me all of her HP books when she was downsizing, so I got lucky! I still love the first movie the best – who can forget the wall into Diagon Alley opening up like a Chinese puzzle box? John Williams wrote a truly magical music score, I still use it as a composition example with my students 🙂 I miss the big turtles – so beautiful in their own way.

  14. Sallyann says:

    I have to admit I don’t “do” books, I find reading hard work, but I borrowed a set of the Harry Potter books on cd and had them read to me by Stephen Fry … He really was amazing !
    The girls told me the stories as they read the books when each one was released and I watched the films as they arrived too. I eventually bought the films on dvd so now I get to watch them as often as I like. 😀

    • Robin says:

      I’m thinking about getting the films on DVD too, Sallyann. I’d love to watch them again someday, maybe with my granddaughters when they get older. 🙂

  15. Dana says:

    I’ll get on the HP wagon one of these days… Just haven’t made the time in my schedule to hop aboard those thousands of pages quite yet.

    I would kill to go to bed at 11 or 11:30 pm each night! As it stands, I’m usually a 12:30 or 1 am kind of girl (not by choice), but getting to bed before or around 11 sounds heavenly. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I would imagine your schedule is pretty hectic these days, Dana. I used to be a night owl, but something happened when I hit my mid-30’s and I turned into a morning person. 🙂

  16. milkayphoto says:

    I still haven’t seen all the HP movies but I did enjoy the ones I have seen and LOVEd the books! So funny that you are pooped today because of HP!

    The rhodie blossom image is lovely!


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