Weather outside is frightful or delightful

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Weather outside is frightful or delightful- your choice! We’re ‘enjoying’ freezing rain here in southern Maryland. Bundle up and watch your step!

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Mercury deserves more respect!

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Please watch the southwestern sky right after sunset tonight. You may be able to see 3 planets at once: Mercury, Venus and Mars. In the Washington, DC area people often rely on the Washington Post Metro section’s back page for info about the Solar system. But the list does not include all planets visible to the naked eye. Last year the Post decided to eliminate Mercury from its list to save room!!!!  See 12/16/16 list below. See how much room they saved by eliminating Mercury!

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Mercury rises at 8:49 AM and sets at 6:08 PM. Mercury is very faint and pretty close to the horizon. You’ll need a location that allows you a clear view from not too high above the horizon. Even if you can’t see Mercury, look for Venus which is higher and extremely bright. Mars is easy to identify because of its subtle red glow. If it’s cloudy, try another evening when the sky is clear. Remember planets rise and set at a slightly different time every day so Mercury won’t be visible for much longer.

Please help me choose a good name for my blog. I need a name that will help people find the blog. What about “Walk this way”?

 

THIS WORM DID NOT TURN…

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Per Wikileaks: Even a worm will turn is an expression used to convey the message that even the meekest or most docile of creatures will retaliate or get revenge if pushed too far. The phrase was first recorded in a 1546 collection of proverbs by John Heywood, in the form “Treade a worme on the tayle, and it must turne agayne.”

This particular worme was happily crossing the road when it was discovered by a couple 70-something-year-olds on a walk.

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It was stretching and scrunching its way over the scratchy blacktop, heading to the right.

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So we measured it.

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Because its length kept changing, we measured it again… and again, eagerly attempting to record its longest stretch.  Please note we did not bump into it nor did we ever step on its tayle.

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Provoked, the worme examined the 2.25″ measuring device.

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Then it changed direction and backtracked to the left. But it did not turne!  The tayle became the heade!

Gifts from the NORTH SIDE

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Yesterday afternoon I explored the magic world of the north side of neighborhood trees. All good scouts can find north in the woods because moss and lichens grow on the north side of trees.northside-1

Rough bark creates wonderful footholds for furry moss tendrils.northside-2

Hummingbirds cover their invisible nests with bits of lichen the color of celadon pottery.

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Sorry this photo is out of focus but the colors made me completely forget winter! On 12/15/16 the Washington Post reported that Pantone’s “Color of the Year 2017” is called Greenery, a zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.  It is the exact same color as the bright yellow-green lichen in the photo!!!

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And what to my wondering eyes did appear on the north side of one tree but a hearty chickweed plant growing in a moss garden. Speaking of moss gardens-

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You can make your own moss garden in a few minutes with moss collected on your walk, a disposable plastic container and a few spoonfuls of extra dirt. If the container has a cover you have a prepackaged gift! Spray regularly and watch the magic! Please send photos of your gardens!

 

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

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12/08/2016 On the strip of grass between our parked car and the highway.

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12/08/2016 One among a small orchard. Please imagine a gathering of 39 more similar trees, creating a cloud of golden leaves above silver trunks.

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Wonder why this tug is headed north on the Potomac this morning. Hope to see it heading south. “We need artists who are afraid of something other than their own failure…” per Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen Buddhist priest, in today’s NYT. What are you afraid of?

 

 

WHO EVER HEARD OF MOLLUSKS CROSSING THE ROAD IN DECEMBER?!

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It may be a leopard or great  grey slug. If so, it is native to Europe. It’s supposed to be longer but maybe the cold weather affects its length. If you look closely, you can see a bit of it’s slime trail.

Mollusk: an invertebrate of a large phylum that includes snails, slugs, mussels, and octopuses. They have a soft, unsegmented body and live in aquatic or damp habitats, and most kinds have an external calcareous shell.