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Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

 

Shortly after dawn this morning I was walking Edie along the shoreline of the old naval air station, when I noticed a large, circling flock of dark birds overhead. (more…)

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It began when the missus and I went up to Mendocino for Thanksgiving. Our friends were staying in Little River, on the coast, and as we drove to the house they were renting we drove through a meadow full of robins.

Mrs. O exclaimed that she had never seen so many robins at one time in her life. Many dozens of them, more than we could count, flew up into the cypress trees along the road!

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Winter Orchids

In late November, at the beginning of this winter’s drought, I noticed that some old, half-forgotten orchids set back in our side yard were sending out floral spikes. Orchids respond beautifully to water-deprivation. During the summer I water our lawn, so the yard also gets frequent/ocasional splashes of water, but during the fall I water much less, so they had gone without for a while. Voilà!

I mentioned them to the missus, who moved them out from their reclusive nook to one of our raised beds, but as we were preparing to travel they didn’t get much attention. Except that, whenever I was out in our yard, I’d look over and admire them.

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And on Groundhog’s Day, too.  California is in the midst of an awful drought. Not so bad for the humans, so far, but very threatening to agriculture, which will affect us eventually, and far more serious for wildlife and the environment.

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There’s a vast continent-sized island of plastic debris floating in the Pacific. Meanwhile, the polar bears are drowning in the Arctic for lack of ice floes. I suppose it would be prohibitively expensive, but what if we could fuse a lot of that Pacific debris into plastic floes cast adrift in the Arctic for the desperate bears to clamber up on and catch their breath?

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I’ve had insomnia for years. Our old German Shepherd dog, Ernie, has perhaps learned this. He certainly monitors me closely enough.

He no longer merely approaches me during the early hours, between 2 and 4 a.m., but he has devised signals to roust me. Including scratching vigorously enough to rattle his collar. More recently, he has taken to smacking his lips.

I know, you wouldn’t think it would be that loud, would you? But just try and get back to sleep in the quiet, dead of night with a big dog going smack, smack, smack.

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Gardening 2013

A friend is suffering through the cold in the upper midwest, wanted to see some greenery, then sent a reminder this week that it would be nice to see the garden. so I took the camera out into the backyard yesterday and this morning, and spent some time cropping the picures so they don’t suck up too much space. (more…)

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