Category Archives: Nature

Sky Wonder

Although it peaked Sunday night, Aug. 12, the Perseid meteor shower sounds like something worth staying up for this week.. Found this piece on Space.com:

“According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year; and in 2018, they’ll be the best shower of the year. During the Perseids’ peak this weekend, spectators should see about 60-70 meteors per hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. The meteor shower’s peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, Cooke said, but he’s inclined this year to lean toward the night of Aug. 12-13 for the better show.”

We plan to go out Sunday or Monday night after 10:00, find a darkish spot in the country, and follow these guideline I heard at the above website:

– take a comfortable chair or sleeping bag for viewing

– New Moon will set before midnight, allowing for more darkness

– find a spot where you can take in as much sky as possible, with as few lights as possible

– wait ½ hour for your eyes to adjust to the dark (avoid looking at cell phone, as the bright display can prevent your eyes from adapting)

– if you need a light, use one with a relatively low intensity and a red filter

– the show starts around 10 p.m., with #s of meteors gradually increasing as dawn approaches

Have you ever gone out of your way to view an astronomical wonder, or an earthly one?

One Day You’ll Thank Me

YA and I went to Fawn-doe-Rosa on Saturday. Standing in front of us in line was a family of five – two parents and three teenagers.  It was clearly not a happy family outing with a lot of rolled eyes, big sighs and snappish comments.

What made you finally realize your parents were smarter than you thought?

Royal Flush

Today’s commentary comes to us from Ben.

It’s always fun to go into a new restaurant and see what the bathrooms are like. Some are very nice, some are small and rather “quaint” and some barely qualify as up to code.

I was in a hotel that had black mold on the shower tile and that one still qualifies as the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at.

There’s a business I get to a few times per year and the mens bathroom there has had a broken fluorescent light fixture leaning in the corner for several years and one urinal has had a bag over it just as long.  And I have no idea what the womens bathroom is like. Not even sure where it is to be honest; it’s not right next to the mens anyway. I keep thinking there must be a nicer bathroom for employees someplace. Or maybe that’s just a ploy by the owner to be sure no one spends too much time in there.

I had to take pictures.  Here are the signs on the four stalls:

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And the fun didn’t stop there:

Oh my….

Our townhall still has an outhouse. It’s insured for $500.00. Mens and womens side. Two hole-er on each! But no lights… plan accordingly.

What’s the worst bathroom you’ve used?

 

 

Faulty Logic

Today’s post comes from Reneeinnd.

Every Spring, Husband and I look around at our flower beds and say “We don’t need to buy any perennials this year.  Our beds are just fine.” Every year, we manage to find reasons to buy more perennials. This year we outdid ourselves and bought 31. We got 7 Bleeding Hearts, 6 Maidenhair Ferns, 6 Veronica Speedwell,  5 Lupines, 2 Helenium, 1 Missouri Primrose, 1 Rosemary, 1 Baptesia, 1 White Coneflower, and 1 Little Lamb Hydrangea.

The logic that went into the Speedwell purchase was pretty lame. We were at Menards looking for seeds to start our late season spinach, beets, lettuce, carrots, and parsley crops, and Husband found these Speedwells in need of transplant. He said “We just saved a lot of money buying things on sale at Herbergers, and these really need a home”, as though we were talking about kittens or something. Well, of course I said “let’s get them”.  We egg each other on in greenhouses and plant stores like alcoholics in a liquor warehouse. Husband says “These will help keep the weeds down. You know how much you hate weeds”.  I say “We are just increasing the value of our home as well as its curb appeal when we want to sell”.   I think this is all faulty logic, and gives us excuses to feed our plant habits.

How do you talk yourself into things? When do you use faulty logic?

 

Here Kitty, Kitty!

I mentioned to YA that I have a trip to Maui in a few months.  She told me I should “swing over” to Lana’i while I’m there to visit the Cat Sanctuary.

Lana’i isn’t that easy to “swing over” to but if it were just me, I’d head on over.

If money/space were no object, how many pets would YOU have?

 

 

Country Mouse, City Mouse

Today’s post comes from Reneeinnd.

We had four inches of rain the week leading up to July 4. That probably doesn’t sound like much to most Baboons, but out here it is really something.  The rain came perfectly, an inch at a time every other day or so.  The weather on July 4 was also perfect. It was a comfortable 75 degrees with a slight wind, just enough to keep the biting insects off.  My best friend was visiting from the Cities, and we decided to take a hike in Theodore Roosevelt National Park,  just a 40 minute drive.

We have lived here for 30 years, and I have never seen as many wild flowers and berries as I did on our hike. The rain led to perfect conditions for plants to show off their petals.  There were the usual wild roses, clematis, tiny bell flowers, flea bane, and sunflowers.  We missed the flowering prickly pear cactus by a couple of days. They had all set fruit.  It was amazing to see less common  flowers,  especially ones that have a counterpart in our garden in town.

There were tons of wild Monarda.

Here is our city counterpart.

We also found wild lupine.

Our city lupine is currently spent , with nothing but leaves.

Cone flowers are showy natives.

The City ones are somewhat over the top.

We found lots of buffalo berries and this old fellow all alone, without a herd. He seems to be ancient.

We don’t have buffalo berries in town, but we have red currants.

Some of the wild flowers stay where they are, like the country mouse. Others make the leap to be like the city mouse.

What kind of mouse are you?

 

Ode to Gardening

You all knew that you weren’t going to get through the summer without me waxing rhapsodic about my garden at least once. Wait no longer; today is the day.

The flowers are wild in the front… just about any color you can imagine but it’s my straw bales that are bringing me joy right now. Everything is flourishing beyond expectations.  The basil has exploded (pesto, here we come) and all the tomatoes are growing out of their tomato cages, with green tomatoes starting on all five plants.  Even the jalapeño is breaking all records for us.

And thanks to Linda, I have raspberry canes that are starting to pop. Today was the first day I picked enough to carry into the house (the last couple of days, raspberries went straight from cane to mouth).  Looks like there will be plenty of berries in the weeks to come.

As a city girl who never gardened growing up, all this generosity on the part of Mother Nature makes me absurdly happy. Every day I pinch the little flowers off the basil, pull the stray tomato stalks up through the tomato cage, water all the floral baskets, sigh deeply.  And then I think about Nathanial Hawthorne and his thoughts on gardening.

“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.”

~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse

What should I do with all my basil? Extra points if you can do it with a haiku.