Friday, May 23, 2014

Upper Bolton Lake, Vernon

A nest!
Yesterday, I had a Twitter exchange that is a classic example of how the denier camp (those that deny that humans are responsible for climate change) works.  First, notice that my wording is altered ever so slightly.   Secondly, he calls me an alarmist after he's changed my wording.  Finally, he rips apart the scientists by calling their work bull.  This is so typical of what I have seen.  Another thing I've noticed is that no matter how many research papers you may produce, they will pick them all apart, but they don't produce a single shred of their own evidence. 

My Tweet:
Up the CO2. Down goes zinc & iron. Less healthy food MAY be on its way.

Claim: As CO2 levels rise, some crop nutrients will fall

The soft colors, arched neck and glassy lake looked like a painting to me. 
Me:    Don't change my wording
Me:    I wrote MAY fall not WILL.
Him:   This is just alarmist
Me:    No, it's the results of a research study on what happens to crops when CO2 levels are raised.
Him:   Cereals have never been a major source od dietary iron. That’s why you’re supposed to eat your spinach.
Me:    I love spinach and salmon too and I don't care much for cereal.
Him:   There is an alleged slight drop in some minerals! #OMG
Him:   It is BULL SHIT
Me:   You have a foul mouth.

Knock, knock Mr. Beaver.
Some friends of mine are so kind, they invited me to go kayaking with them.  The day they picked started out pretty rainy, so I wore my fleece pants and Walt's hat.  It turns out the hat was waterproof.  Yes!  Anyhow, despite the gloomy day, I had the best time exploring Upper Bolton Lake.  We discovered several nests and a beaver lodge.  I maneuvered right up to that lodge entrance and peeked inside.  I wish I had a flashlight. 
Bird houses were attached to a number of trees.
It was a lot of fun paddling hard to bust through a beaver dam.  I got stuck and had to back up and try again several times.  In the distance there was a rare Atlantic white cedar forest.  When I got out of the kayak, I was pretty soaked, but it sure was fun. (Photos courtesy of Steve T) 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Painted turtles
This writing world is a strange one.  Ten years ago, I wrote an article.  On Monday, an editor called and asked for revisions to that antique.  I have no idea what prompted him to dig in the dust to find something I'd given up on ever seeing in print.  That piece is a great example of how writing evolves over time with the help of good (and exceptionally patient) editors.    

We kept the cars away and called some little girls over to take a look.
It turned out to be a Northern water snake.

It was a splendid day for a picnic lunch on the rocks.
We even saw horses and
a black-capped chickadee.
These photographs were taken at Shenipsit Lake in Ellington, CT.  It was a great day for wildlife sightings of all kinds.  Since the snake was on the gravel road, we kept the cars from running over it.  When it slithered in the water, it stayed near shore, so we got a great look.  I must have startled it when I climbed on a boulder, because it swam away real fast.      

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Laurel Marsh Trail, Manchester

Dewdrops clung to spider webs, glistening in the morning sun.
Canada goose
Today was such a great day of accomplishment.  I put the finishing touches on two separate pieces of writing, read them aloud, shoved my fist in the air and shouted, "YES! AWESOME!" twice in one day. 
Canadian geese flying off

Did you catch the CNN interview with Bill Nye and "Slow" Loris from the Heritage Foundation?  The guy from Heritage said sea ice was globally increasing.  Take a look at the graph of  Arctic sea ice on the National Snow and Ice Data Center website.  Clearly he is wrong.  How can he look himself in the mirror at the end of the day and think he's done a good job?
young grackle
The reality is....
1. Arctic sea ice is declining
2. The Heritage Foundation is linked to big oil (scroll down about halfway - They've received $$$ from the Koch Foundation and ExxonMobil)

3. Compared to other countries, Americans have a much lower concern about climate change

With such great efforts to misrepresent the facts, it is no wonder Americans are not as informed as other countries.

I took these photographs at the Laurel Marsh Trail in Manchester, Connecticut. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Laurel Marsh Trail, Manchester

Black-capped chickadee
I have been insanely busy in April trying to meet a too-short deadline.  There's nothing quite like chewing up half the month going in one direction, only to realize it's not the right direction.  Then came the frantic scramble to come up with something unique, something creative and something really exciting.  Done!  When someone asked, "what institution?"  Why is it that "mental" was the first word out of my mouth?   I thought it was funny, but there was no laughter on the other end.  LOL.
We watched a large crow polish off a mouse while it was atop a transmission tower.

We've started something new in our critique sessions.  We now deconstruct PB narratives by writing them up and analyzing them.  It's a bit time consuming, but it has been a really helpful exercise in many ways.

Downy woodpecker

LLBean held a free birding event at the Laurel Marsh Trail.  I would definitely do one of their walks again.  We spotted a number of birds and seeing them will help me identify them in the future.  I also downloaded, but have not yet used, Merlin, Cornell Lab's excellent bird ID iphone app.  The guy pointed out these spongy seed pods, but he didn't know what plant produced them.  I still have one in my coat pocket.  I did an image search and found this fascinating Pinterest board called textures and structures.  I have more birding photos, so I'll save them for next post.

Seed pods of a mystery plant? (a chestnut perhaps)