Thursday, February 22, 2007

So. Central Pain

I'm sorry to be absent lately. My back improves, but then gets worse. Not after big, incredibly stupid things, but following little, surprisingly innocent things.

Also, we will be at the Cottontails Village craft show the first weekend in March. So it's taking a little longer to prepare, trying to baby myself (more than usual).

One news item: Jasmine's new favorite pastime is cramming her large self into the tight, tiny crawlspace under a shed, and making Hubby have to use a floor jack to rescue her.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Let me know if I get in your way

I don't think cats understand reading.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Black Fungi

I took a couple of exceedingly bad photos of a small black fungus growing in the grass.

It's possibly Craterellus fallax, or Black Trumpet, a type of Chanterelle.

A black jelly fungus:

Looks like the same type that's in many Chinese soups.

I'm not sure enough about either ID to try to eat them, though.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Game cam in action again

The previous location for the game cam was getting zero pictures, so we moved it. The new location is not exactly Grand Game Central, but we did manage two shots.

Doe trio. The leftmost deer seems smaller -- I wonder if she was just born this past spring?

Teenager turkeys!


Rather fight than switch...?
I did fight it, but this morning I was forced to switch to new blogger. I'd been holding out due to all the problems I'd seen on other blogs (mainly the inaccessibility of archives). Please let me know if you have any problems.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Puffed sky

Puffed sky

Sorry for not being here. I still can't sit for long periods of time without my back letting me know (via little shooting pains down my right leg) that I shouldn't.

Not much has happened. The night of a thousand sleep interruptions was followed by the morning of entirely too much caffeine. Complete with hand tremors! (I hummed TMBG's Lie Still Little Bottle all day long.)

I had finally gone to the doctor, and came home with three little orange bottles. (I was reminded that I am really and truly an adult when I can say things like, "Please give me a shot.") I'd thought muscle relaxers always enduced drowsiness, but the original brand of horse pills he prescribed put such a hair trigger on my sleep that I had to call and beg for something else. Near-total deprivation of REM sleep might not necessarily turn me into a serial killer, but I wasn't willing to experiment. The new ones are tiny, and leave me a bit loopy, so if none of this makes any sense, that's why.

Canada Geese have seemed restless, honking their way across the property several times a day, and even at night, which was new for me. Maybe I just slept through it all before.

Puffed sky at sunset with river of grackles (click to enlighten)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sun dog

When I was researching heiligenschein recently, I also read about Sun dogs a.k.a. parhelia or false suns. I'd heard the term but had never seen the phenomenon, although it's apparently not rare.

OK, so if sundogs are fairly common, I should start seeing them once I started looking for them, right?


Sun dog!


It looked much brighter in person. There are usually two, spaced evenly on either side, about 22ยบ away and at the same altitude as the sun. I couldn't see the twin on the other side, even when I moved to a vantage point without trees. The clouds on that side looked different. Thicker.

When I first saw it, I thought it was a rainbow, or rather cloudbow. It looked like the lower arc in this picture, with the addition of a bright white spot just to the left. We were almost home from the grocery store, but by the time I rushed in to grab the camera, the long "bow" portion of the parhelic arc had vanished, and never returned. The sun dog got brighter and dimmer as the clouds shifted.

I was a happy camper.


Parhelia are formed by light passing through horizontal hexagonal plate ice crystals in the clouds. Certain types of clouds produce them more often, and they are most often seen when the sun is low. (See here.)

Another good site for atmospheric optics: