Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So much more than a blue tarp

A good friend sent me this photo, taken in her yard this spring.
It took a birds to recycle a tattered tarp into a work of art.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the Last Snows Moon

The March full moon has a rather unfortunate name, it is called the Worm Moon. Anyway here in the frozen North the worms are much too cold to be out frolicking about, and if I remember my 10th grade biology correctly those little crawly fellows are out looking for some action, so I find the name Chaste moon a bit contradictory, or very apt, depending on where you live.

March: Worm Moon
Native Americans called this last full moon of winter the worm moon after the worm trails that would appear in the newly thawed ground. Other names include chaste moon, death moon, crust moon (a reference to snow that would become crusty as it thawed during the day and froze at night), and sap moon, after the tapping of the maple trees.-National Geographic

Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but them may-be not, I will be calling this moon the Last Snows Moon, it might be raining tonight, but if it is snow it will be one of the last for the season. A crocus crusher, onion or garlic snow, what ever you wish to call them, its time to call it melted and gone.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cadbury eggs

How many years ago, no it can't be over 30 years,that I was first introduced to this amazing candy, buy someone I have known for so long that I can't remember when we met. Sitting in the parking lot of a hardware store, I first sunk my teeth into a Cadbury egg. Ohing, and ahing at its gooy, syrupy, perfect, sugar buzz richness, I can still feel that explosive sweetness.
There I sat and relished the pleasure of my first Cadbury egg. the warming sun and the people walking past all faded away, I was,we were in candy heaven,
That sign of spring , joy wrapped in colored foil.
One year my Dad bought several boxes of the seasonal treat, on sale after Easter and enjoyed them until nearly Halloween. Of course they were carefully rationed, enjoyed as we sat on the swing and talked about the old days. In later years I watched with my father as my son enjoyed his first Cadbury egg.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Balancing eggs

Balancing eggs, how hard can it be? They are supposed to stand upright easily
at the exact time of the Equinox. 1:32PM. I have always wanted to try this, so off I went with my dozen eggs on this beautiful warm and sunny day. Well to be truthful I started a couple of minutes early, because I wanted a good picture, that is if were to succeed, after several ties and a few run away eggs one stood, then I decided to try my new skill again.

I was off to try balancing and egg on the rough wooden deck, that was almost easy. It worked several times and only one rolled away and crashed.
Now time to try a brick, this one should be easy, or so I foolishly thought. Egg after egg stood for a second then crashed to its death.

I thought for a moment looking at the old flagstones rescued from a pit in the woods. much too smooth to balance an egg. I was very wrong.

I am looking forward to tonight's sky show, provided there is no rain sleet snow or all of the above mentioned.

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Equinox Sky Show


March 19, 2010: When the sun sets on Saturday, March 20th, a special kind of night will fall across the Earth. It's an equal night.

Or as an astronomer would say, "it's an equinox." It's the date when the sun crosses the celestial equator heading north. Spring begins in one hemisphere, autumn in the other. The day and night are of approximately equal length.

To celebrate the occasion, Nature is providing a sky show.

see captionIt begins as soon as the sky grows dark. The Moon materializes first, a fat crescent hanging about a third of the way up the western sky. Wait until the twilight blue fades completely black and you will see that the Moon is not alone. The Pleiades are there as well.

The Moon and the Pleiades are having a close encounter of rare beauty. There's so little space between the two, the edge of the Moon will actually cover some of cluster's lesser stars. According to David Dunham of the International Occultation Timing Association, this is the best Moon-Pleiades meeting over the United States until the year 2023.

Right: A similar Moon-Pleiades conjunction photographed by Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland, in July 2009.

The Pleiades are a cluster of young stars some 440 light years from Earth. They formed from a collapsing cloud of interstellar gas about 100 million years ago. By the standards of astronomy, that's really young. The Earth under your feet is almost 50 times older. Dinosaurs were roaming our planet long before the Pleiades popped into being.

Only about seven of the Pleiades are visible to the unaided eye. The "Seven Sisters" are Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygete, Celaeno and Alcyone, named after daughters of the mythological Greek god Atlas. Together, they form the shape of a little dipper, which is why the Pleiades are often mistaken for the Little Dipper, an asterism of Ursa Minor.

Binoculars are highly recommended for this event.

First, scan the Moon. You'll see craters, mountains and lava seas. Note that you can see the entire Moon, not just the brightly-lit crescent. The Moon's dark terrain is illumined by a ghostly glow called "Earthshine." It is the light of our own blue planet shining down on the Moon.

Next, scan the sky around the Moon. The Pleiades come into sharp focus---and they are more than seven. Dozens of faint "sisters" can be seen through even modest optics.

This night doesn't sound equal. It sounds much better than that.

Experience the equinox!

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Reminder

I feel that the salvation of mankind is through tolerance, Peace is a lofty goal, hard for one person on a day to day basis to participate in. However, in our everyday lives we can practice tolerance.

A quote shared by a dear friend
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong - because someday you will have been all of these."
George Washington Carver
From "Dear Abby

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A fine Day

It started out a perfectly ordinary day,except that it wasn't snowing. In fact the sun was gleaming, I was positive I would get my taxes done today, but first I had to check my Email, then just waste a little time looking around, well it could be educational.
Then I saw a picture of Tibetan prayer flags, fluttering in the wind, not only beautiful colors, but beautiful prayers. My soul soared and I new that this was no day for anything but feeding my soul.
Winter was after all, only on break and certainly not over.

For years when my son was a little guy we built snowmen of all sizes, and I realised it had been awhile since I last built one. the sun was beautiful, I didn't need to wear a coat. but the snow was little more than slush and it was difficult to build a snowman, his coal eyes, nose and buttons kept dropping off, the snow didn't pack well,but talk about cute.

I grabbed my camera to take his photo, in the few moments it took to do that , his eyes, nose and mouth fell off, I replaced them as best I could. And then off I went to see what else I could find to photograph, like snowdrops.
Spring will be here, I know it will.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not quite the first snowdrops

Today as the icicles crash from the eves and the first bits of ground melt out of the snow, I was wondering when I would see the first snowdrops, this happens every year, and sometimes they will literally grow up through the snow, an amazing sight.
Then I read this pieces from the Telegraph UK.

Rare Buddhist flower found under nun's washing machine
A rarely seen Buddhist flower, which blossoms every 3,000 years, has been discovered under a nun's washing machine

Published: 1:33PM GMT 01 Mar 2010

Rarely seen Buddhist Udumbara flowers, which blossom every 3,000 years, was found under a washing machine in Lushan Mountain, Jiangxi province, China Photo: REX
The Udumbara flower was found in the home of a Chinese nun in Lushan Mountain, Jiangxi province, China.
The rare Youtan Poluo or Udumbara flower, which, according to Buddhist legend, only blooms every 3,000 years, measures just 1mm in diametre.

Miao Wei, 50, was cleaning when she discovered the cluster of white flowers under the washing machine.
At first she thought the barely-there stems were worm eggs, however, the next day she discovered that the stems had grown 18 white tiny flowers on top and smelled "fragrant".
Local temples believe the mini blooms are specimens of the miraculous Youtan Poluo flower - called "Udumbara" or "Udambara" in Sanskrit, meaning "an auspicious flower from heaven."

Being the kind of person with a questioning mind, I am filled with wonder and curiosity. And I wish they had included a picture of the washing machine. Please pardon my irreverance, but I do wonder.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My brain on the computer

There is a Monty Python sketch in which one of the "pepperpots" orders a new brain from Harrods. I was trying to explain said sketch one day when I was gifted with this cute, little pharma-advertisement brain. It has really come in handy because reading the thoughts of others,posted on various sites, makes me think. Sometimes I think to much.
I am not saying this is a bad thing, in fact it is the opposite. I find things to ponder, that are new perspectives, or just stuff that makes me laugh. Sometimes I just need to walk away and leave my brain behind.

Silent Sunday with animals