Friday, June 29, 2007

Photo Hunters: Sweet



Creamies, creamees, creemies . . . there are all sorts of spellings in Vermont for soft-serve ice cream. It is a huge occasion in the spring when the Barton Pharmacy opens their ice cream window. Here Wingnut (grandson) has his first creamie of the summer.

Here he is waiting for his "baby sized" creamie. We only order baby size because they are so big. They also cost only $1 (no tax). If hard ice cream, the baby size is two big scoops.

Wingnut waits for his change.

Here he poses near my car in front of the pharmacy.

The Barton Pharmacy is in the Pearce Block, one of the historic original buildings in Barton. They have a full service soda fountain (yes, just like back in the fifties) and the only pharmacy within 30 miles. Also in the Pearce Block is Catherine M.'s antique store.

Wingnut is enjoying his ice cream cone in the gazebo on the village green.

I bet a lot of Photo Hunters are going to have ice cream as a theme this weekend! Thank you for visiting.

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Looking Saturn in the Eye


from JPL Planetary Photojournal
Cassini stares deep into the swirling hurricane-like vortex at Saturn's south pole, where the vertical structure of the clouds is highlighted by shadows. Such a storm, with a well-developed eye ringed by towering clouds, is a phenomenon never before seen on another planet.

This 14-frame movie shows a swirling cloud mass centered on the south pole, around which winds blow at 550 kilometers (350 miles) per hour. The frames have been aligned to make the planet appear stationary, while the sun appears to revolve about the pole in a counterclockwise direction. The clouds inside the dark, inner circle are lower than the surrounding clouds, which cast a shadow that follows the sun. . .

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

White Admiral Revisited

From this . . .


Bugman50 in Calgary, Alberta took the above photo of the larva of a White Admiral butterfly.

Four years ago, I took a photo of the White Admiral here in Vermont where they are common. This week I posted an entry on this blog when I finally identified the butterfly I had photographed on bugguide.net.

Bugman50 graciously allowed me to use his photo so that I could record and share the tremendous changes this beautiful animal goes through in its life. I thank him for his generosity. Be sure to click on the photos to see them full size. Also, please look at Bugman50's photos because they are amazing.

To this . . .

Limenitis arthemis

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Blue Moon On Saturday? Not So Fast


blue moon waxing, originally uploaded by paul+photos=moody.

There will not be a blue moon on Saturday. Please read Blue Moon on Thursday? Not So Fast from NPR on May 2007. Here is an abstract of the show:

All Things Considered, May 30, 2007 · There is a prevailing myth about what a blue moon is. Thursday, May 31, will bring the second full moon of the month. But that does not constitute a blue moon, as is popularly believed.

Kelly Beatty, editor of Night Sky magazine and executive editor of Sky and Telescope, tells Robert Siegel that a blue moon actually refers to the phenomenon of having four full moons in a season, which ordinarily has three.

Beatty also acknowledged that his magazine had a hand in giving the misconception credence. Sky and Telescope magazine recently put out a press release explaining its role in perpetuating the myth. It read, in part:

Our 1946 writer, amateur astronomer James Hugh Pruett (1886-1955), made an incorrect assumption about how the term had been used in the Maine Farmers' Almanac, where it consistently referred to the third full moon in a three-month season containing four. (By this definition there is no blue moon in May or June 2007, and the next one happens in May 2008.)
You can listen to the whole show from a link on the NPR page.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mac v PC


Read the Mr. Mac Man article about Jerry Manock formerly of the Macintosh design team.

I used Skitch to grab the section of the page at 7Days.

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Wingnut Made A Video



This is Wingnut's first video. We had a small thunderstorm this evening (thank goodness! It was 88°F (31°C)). Apparantly people just to the east of us got the full brunt of the storm. There was a tornado watch to the south of us. The storm here was uneventful but it gave Wingnut his first oppportunity to make this video. I edited and produced!

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Cellar Spider


There is a cellar spider in the bathroom. Wingnut and I are keeping it alive for photographs. It is growing bigger every week. Here are three photos from last week of it lying in wait, coming up on its prey, and eating.


This spider was identified by John and Jane Balaban at bugguide.net who wrote: "one of the cellar spiders in the Pholcidae, images in the guide here".


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Flickers


There was a pair of flickers in the back door yard this week. I managed to get photographs of them, but only from behind! At least I got good color on the head. The two birds hung around all day but I never got another good shot.



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Andrew Went to Brooklyn (Long)

Last weekend, my son Andrew went to New York City as he usually does to see Dan on alternate weekends. This weekend he also visited Danielle (not our Danielle) in Brooklyn. She has a baby daughter, Amira, and is a social worker. Andrew introduced Danielle to her husband, Max, at the University of Maryland, College Park. In fact, Max and Danile's first kiss was in Andrew's apartment at UMD. They were on the balcony alone when everyone else was inside. Andrew takes credit for this match. The three were undergraduates there.

Max is from Africa but raised in America. His father is an ambassador from Mali. When the kids were in college, Max's father was in the United States. He was then transferred to Italy so he and his wife life in Rome now. Danielle goes to Italy at least two to three times a year and has even studied there for a semester. She has been to Tuscany often and has persuaded Andrew and Dan to go to Tuscany this October. She may ever accompany them.

I am haranguing Andrew about having a camera in Tuscany, opening a Flickr account and posting to Flickr daily. As young as he is, Andrew still is not facile with the web 2.0 applications!

This weekend in Brooklyn, they (Andrew, Danielle, Amira, and another friend) went to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Danielle had a digital camera and now I finally have recent photographs of my Andrew! As a new mother, Danielle is accustomed to taking photos and updating her family with them.


Andrew enjoyed the Japanese pond. The Koi (the huge goldfish) were kissing the turtle and the turtle didn't like it. The turtle took its "hand" and pushed the fish away from its face. Fish were also bothering the turtle by eating algae off of the turtle's back. Some fish jumped completely out of the water. After they left the Gardens, they had some very rich chocolate cake at a cafe. Dan met them there.

While in Brooklyn, Allison, Dan and Andrew went to dinner and then to a bar for cocktails. During the evening, Andrew ran into four people with whom he went to college. One person he had not spoken to since his freshman year. She came up to him and said, "You went to the University of Maryland! You were a piano major and you used to have long hair!" (Andrew was a double major: piano performance and psychology. He is now a psychologist.) This woman was in his freshman music theory class and was a piano major. However, she could not handle the pressure and soon switched majors. She is now a physician. Go figure.

The classmates that Andrew met this weekend are doctors, lawyers, and one (who also attended Tanglewood with Andrew) is a pianist. This pianist plays at the church across the street from Dan's apartment in Greenwich Village. Her church is Dan's view.

Andrew returned to Washington, DC on Monday morning on the bus. Everyone was asleep on the bus. There are a lot of people who live in NY and spend weekends in DC and vice versa. Three of the fifteen people at Andrew's office are in a NYC/DC commuting relationship. Andrew therefore sees a lot of the same people on the bus. There are a lot of couples kissing goodbye.

Andrew and Dan are coming here to Vermont in September for his birthday. All his sisters are also coming so we can celebrate his thirtieth birthday together. He is the youngest in the family so this will be a big occasion.

If you like, you can view all 18 of Danielle's photos in my Flickr set here.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Cats Tuesday: 'Tis The Season



This week I have used photos from another source (see below for credits).

It's finally summer and the body count is rising exponentially here. This past week I was able to observe and photograph Zorro while he hunted. I posted that here and here and at Flickr. Today I thought I would share with you the mammals that my cats catch in the meadows and woods of Vermont The cats catch, between all of them, only about one bird per summer. Birds are much more difficult to catch. Why catch a bird when the mammals are so plentiful and easy to get?

White-footed Mouse


Jumping Woods Mouse
Zorro caught a Meadow Jumping Mouse this evening. They are much larger and lighter in color.


Field Mouse

Vole

Vole


Shrew

Star-nosed Mole

Below: a Brown Bat like the one the cats wanted to catch two summers ago:


Most photos are from mammalwatching.com.

I hope you all have a delightful week. It's summertime!

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No Ping, No Authority

Technorati: Forums

As of this moment, 15 people have complained of the same thing as me: Technorati isn't giving authority, isn't indexing and no pings are getting through. 

Technorati has not responded yet.

Do you think Technorati is any longer important for our blogs?

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White Admiral Butterfly

Limenitis arthemis

These butterflies are common here in summer. I took these photos in the summer of 2003 but it was not until today that I identified them. I submitted them to bugguide.net for identification but before two people responded, I identified them myself! Please be sure to click on each photo to see it large size in a new window.

Limenitis arthemis

Limenitis arthemis

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Two Terrible Tales

Anna and Daisy on the porch of her new house in New Haven last October.

Anna (my oldest child) and I IM'd this morning for a long time. The language in the following conversation is (justifiably) bad. Anna lives in New Haven on Long Island Sound in a working class, heavily populated residential neighborhood. One of the following incidents was in her neighborhood and the other was in Hartford, Conn., where she works. I have let her tell these awful stories in her own words. I have added parenthetical comments to help understanding:

Anna: did u read about the accident (click to see the original newspaper report)
meeyauw: yeah that was awful. he was speeding; but i don't know your neighborhoods
Anna: they said 100 mph or more
meeyauw: god; near you?
Anna: the car went through a street sign, then a light pole, then BROKE through a 15 ft section of a telephone pole, THEN smashed into a tree where it finally stopped. he was my age. it makes no sense. it almost sounds like suicide]

meeyauw: makes sense if you are drunk; yeah but there are easier ways to kill self; but this way nobody KNOWS if you killed self
Anna: this neighborhood, there are always people walking and we had actually just got home less than an hour before and then walked daisy (Anna's chihuahua)
meeyauw: and it happened there?

Anna: it is only luck that he didnt kill anyone else; yes
meeyauw: thoughtless bastard
Anna: on howard avenue which is what my street is off of; it was just so strange. i cant stop thinking about it bc it makes no sense
meeyauw: too close to age to you
Anna: yeah, not a stupid little kid, you know?
meeyauw: it isn't going to happen to you
Anna: no, but just luck, you dont understand how he eassily couldve killed so many people u see how everyone walks the dogs here
meeyauw: well it's scared you for sure

Anna: i understand speeding but not that. minutes before he sped past the fire house they saw it; 11:55 AM; before that he was on another street and almost hit a cop; so it makes no sense – like he was out of his mind
meeyauw: with booze
Anna: to drive 100 and up on busy city streets for so long; they havent said yet (if drinking was involved)

Anna: and one day last week i was at work and heard a commotion outside looked out the window, saw a little little puppy and 2 teenage boys
meeyauw: ok; hartford now
Anna: then i saw one boy kick the puppy in the face and the puppy went flying; i opened the window and said "is that your dog?"
meeyauw: OHMY GOD; oh i feel sick now
Anna: bc if it wasnt i was going to run out and get it; thats how i felt; he said "yeah"; i said you cant fucking do that

meeyauw: good
Anna: and he started swearing and saying he can and he picked it up and threw it to make the point. no (it wasn't good that she said that to him) I dont know what it was (she doesn't know what kind of dog it was) bc it wasz such a baby it was a little smaller than daisy
meeyauw: he could've been arrested; what did you do; god i feel sick
Anna: i called the police and told them look, i know that you've got bigger things but this was really bad annd they are walking and you can get them
meeyauw: ok good
Anna: and the lady that anwered was reall nice and said she would and if i wanted a call back. i said yes
meeyauw: good

Anna: but, of course, its really up to the officer that it gets sent out to and nothing happened
meeyauw: well it would not have been safe for you to get the dog
Anna: and i got no call back
meeyauw: i'm sorry
Anna: and now i wish that after i asked if it was his dog (bc at that point he didnt even get that i was pissed_ i shouldve said "ohh can i see it!!" and run outside and gotten it from him and THEN called the police
meeyauw: aaahhhh

Anna: so now i know that the little fucking dog is still being tortured
meeyauw: well he was a dangerous person so I'm glad you didn't
Anna: it was awful
meeyauw: yes
Anna: he was like 16
meeyauw: somehow we have to keep perspective: there are thousands of tortured animals everywhere
Anna: but i could have saved the poor dog
meeyauw: but your Daisy is safe, and mine are safe, and millions of others are safe
Anna: yeah
meeyauw: you can't beat yourself up; YOU are safe from that man

Anna: but it was just soooooo awful to see that ;i mean the dog was tiny; and whimpering
meeyauw: i know; i feel sick just hearing about it
Anna: and just getting the shit beat out of it; and i couldve gotten it if i thought more strategically
meeyauw: how are you going to forget it? you have to put it behind you; ok listen; he WILL be walking by again (Hartford is a very small city so the same people hang in the same neighborhoods)
Anna: oh well, i guess
meeyauw: you can plan a strategy with help from people at work with that "oh what a cute dog" thing

Multiply these incidents by thousands all across the country.
What would you have done? People like this are dangerous and I am sure he would have attacked Anna if she had rescued the dog at that moment.

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A Beautiful Moth and An Awful Spider

Be sure to click on both photos to enjoy them fully. These are two of my best so far.

Blinded Sphinx Moth (Paonias excaecatus)

Wingnut pointed out this moth on the house this afternoon. It also looked like a dead leaf. It was quite a beauty. The moth was identified by J.D. Roberts at bugguide.net. The next photo is very scary. Be warned!


Barn Spider (male Araneus)

I was horrified when I enlarged this photo. I was less than six inches away from this monster when I took this shot. It was identified by Jeff Hollenbeck at bugguide.net. Details:

Big: 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) diameter body; 5 inch (12.7 cm) wide with legs not spread out.
So ugly it makes me shudder.
Black bristly hair all over its body.
Legs have green/black bands.
Perspective: you are seeing the top of the spider only.
Very common here in Vermont, always found outdoors (thank the Lord).

Wingnut and I finished networking the iBook and MacBook. The iBook required huge numbers of updates. The cats have nearly chewed through the power cord but it is working well.

We took these and other photos and then went to Sue's house to help out and have some great spaghetti and salad. We are home now: I am blogging and editing photos, he is gaming. Early bed (before midnight!) tonight. Wingnut slept till after noon and I didn't get up until 7 AM. But it is Sunday and summer vacation. We finally had beautiful weather.

Animals seen today: three horses racing wild in a field (missed photo/video) and a turkey.
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Two More Wildflowers Again

Both flowers are up back in my field. Taken at dusk tonight while walking with Zorro and Buddy.

Bladder Campion

Wild Chervil (I think).

My book (Wildflowers of Vermont, 2e by Kate Carter) says that wild chervil is a "noxious invasive weed newly arrived in Vermont." Parsley family.

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Flickr Stats

Statr for Flickr graph

Just click on it to get yours. I have put it on my flickr "home page": I can't get it to fit on my sidebar.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Photo Hunters: Shiny

Click on my beetle to see it all shiny, bright and large in a new window.


Here is a shiny beetle I found. It is a beetle, not a cockroach! I used iPhoto to enlarge it and ImageWell to make it fancy.

I have spent all morning trying to make gubbles on GIMP because they are shiny. But it didn't work. Now it is 1 PM, my grandson is coming for his summer-long visit at any moment, and I have not done anything to prepare! Thank goodness little boys don't notice dirt too much!

Thank you for stopping by. I am looking forward to everyone else's interpretation of "shiny." Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Marie Blythe

Spider web on a weed at the Reservoir

I finally finished Marie Blythe by Howard Frank Mosher. It haunts me. She is a strong character that I doubt will ever leave me. Mosher did well, missing only a few beats, writing a woman's point of view. Mosher told me a year ago that Marie was based on a real woman who lives (or lived) in Brownington. He is having another book signing on June 27, in Hardwick again, but I have class so cannot go.

I took many photos today. I even got recognizable photos of the blue flags that are blooming in the beaver meadows. But this photo is the one I have posted because of the web. It was like a bowl inside the dried branches of the weed. Click on it to see it full size.

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Zorro Kills A Mouse



This morning my loving and sweet Zorro turned into a monster.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Procrastination Can Be Good

Sometimes I get lucky, as in the photo above.

I was supposed to go into work to pack up my classroom and bring home curriculum materials I will need over the summer. But it is not a contractual day so I put it off. I watched the tapes of yesterday's soaps at 9 AM, showered at 11 AM, flickr'ed, blogged: in effect, I did everything I could think of to put it off.

Finally I began to close windows preparing to leave when a huge deer startled me across the road. I got my camera and crept out the door. But I had startled her, also, and she was hiding in the grass:


Finally she lept over the cattails to disappear into the woods. Another perfect shot that I missed. I turned and saw a robin hopping about at the edge of the yard and photographed her, getting the shot above.

I am going to leave now. I think the reason I am going to school is because I want lunch at Paddy's Snack Bar in Troy. A grumpy pair they are, but the pies are great. I also want more photos, especially of the mysterious purple flowers in the beaver meadow. They are probably lupine or loosestrife but they look iris-like in my zoom lens.

I have to get a move on: Wingnut is coming Saturday. So much work and no time left!

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