Quite a few moons ago (in 2013) I got a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS camera. It has a 50X optical zoom lens with Image Stabilizer. Some of the first photos I took were of the moon, of course! The montage above are just a few of the most interesting ones. (I have not enhanced the colours.)
The next two photos have been enhanced with various filters.
If you don’t have a camera with a zoom lens, you might want to look closer to home for ‘cosmic beauty’.
If you find yourself worrying, go outside, take three breaths, address a tree and quietly say, ‘Thank you.’ If you can’t find a tree, a dandelion will do… Nature is magic.
– Robert Bateman –
“A Dandelion.” Not millions of dandelions that blanket your yard and smother the grass and all other flowers…
A single plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds. The have a deep tap-root, up to 3 feet long (but usually 6-12”), which allows it to survive drought and competition with other weeds.
Photo on the left is one of our ‘dandelion fields’ (in 2011) when there was still more grass than dandelions. Today it is almost solid dandelions.
The ability of dandelions to tell the time is somewhat exaggerated, owing to the fact that there is always one seed that refuses to be blown off; the time usually turns out to be 37 o’clock.”
– Miles Kington –
Some people need flowers, some people need dandelions. It’s medicine, it’s what you need at that time in your life.
– Sandra Cisneros –
Some ideas, like dandelions in lawns, strike tenaciously: you may pull off the top but the root remains, drives down suckers and may even sprout again.”
– Elizabeth Bowen –
By the time we left college, I had become my own image: a dandelion in the flower bed of society. Kinda cute, but still a weed.
– Anne Fortier –
Don’t hover around lives that you are supposed to touch only for a brief while. If you don’t know how to drift away, ask a dandelion and it will show you the way!
– Indhumathi –
The next photos were altered with filters in the program Topaz Studio.
Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.
– Mark Twain –
Some of my friends claimed that they received a mail from the famous Prince of Nigeria and even I too got one from an Egyptian Pharaoh. Only I found out that this was all a part of the pyramid scheme.
– Author Unknown –
After discovering the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, the archaeologist opened it to find that the entire mummy was covered in chocolate. Later they named it the Pharaoh Roche.
– Author Unknown –
Deep within the Great Pyramid, Pharaoh Khufu gazed at the walls of what would eventually be his burial chamber, asking himself what he had been thinking in entrusting its adornment to the teenaged Prince and Princess, but comforting himself with the certainty that the younger generation would soon tire of these annoying “emoticons” and return to the rich thirty-character Egyptian alphabet.
– G. Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA –
(see my post Bulwer-Lytton Quotations for other suggested opening sentences for the worst possible novel that was never written.
Rounding out this post about Egypt: this is from my February post This and That:
The Amphibian Notes Name: Northern Leopard Frog Species:Lithobates pipiens Native to : Canada and the United States. Only isolated populations in the southern grass and wetlands of Alberta. The grandchildren used to find them in the creek and the golf course water hazards near where our cabin was. Hard to say where the frogs ended up after the area was flooded out in 2013. Date Seen: September 2009 Location: South Eastern Alberta near the Bow River
Notes: One of the largest frog species found in Alberta, they vary in size between 2 and 5 in (5-13 cm); green or brown in colour with numerous dark spots. Fairly easily caught by young boys – who release them a short time later.
Photos: Northern Leopard Frog in a bucket of water with photo filters applied in the program Topaz Studio:
What I saw: The neighbour up the road hired a Tree Trimmer/Remover for a job that was well beyond the capabilities of the crew at the ‘Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service’. The work was such that a man, with a chain saw, climbed a tall tree and then methodically removed branches. When that was done, he would then be able to take down a ‘skinny’ tree that wouldn’t damage the surrounding shrubbery nearly as much.
He had removed most of the branches when I walked by on the road. I stopped to watch, partly because it is quite interesting to see a man confidently using a chainsaw when he is about 25 feet up in the air… and partly because one of the Munching Moose was calmly eating the branches that the man had dropped to the ground.
In turn, the man was taking pictures of the Moose on his cell phone. (This is when I wished I carried a cell phone). I headed for home as fast as my little legs could carry me. Fifteen minutes later I was back at the scene with my camera, but by then the moose was gone and the man was back at work. I took a photo of the man in the tree.
What I was told: The next day I returned to the scene. The owner of the property was out front surveying some of the other work the tree trimmer had done. I told him that I had seen the ‘Treed’ man. The owner said the moose delayed the man’s descent for a while. The man kept throwing branches down towards the moose, hoping to scare it away. The moose just kept on eating. Eventually the man got low enough down the tree and the chain saw got noisy/menacing enough that the moose moved on.
From the perspective of a moose: As I was walking home, I spotted the moose in the aspen forest across the road from our place (about 150 meters (500 feet) from me.) There were at least four of them, possibly five.
I can just imagine the story that one of them told about the adventure the day before: “I tell you, it was raining branches yesterday! They just kept falling from the sky. I ate until I could hardly move!”
Photos of this group of Munching Moose. I’m making an assumption that the four moose we usually see (either in pairs or as a group of four) are always the same moose. One is a female with last springs calf. The other two are perhaps her calves from the previous year/years.
The newcomer to this group is a bull moose with antlers. It might be a younger male, since older males usually lose their antlers by now.
That’s it from the land of Munching Moose for this week!
Winter weather in Alberta is an exercise in relativity. When the temperature first dips to just below freezing (-1C or 30F), it feels cold – but it feels warm compared to the day when it gets down to -10C (-14F). Inevitably, the really COLD weather will arrive – which it did with a vengeance just a few days ago.
Anything below -20C is really cold. -20C, -27C, -34C. No more relativity – it is all just really, really cold. The forecast says it will warm up by this week-end, but do they really mean that? Watch the video below:
I took some photos when it was a balmy -10C.
If you are a regular reader, you will wonder why I’m still in Alberta and not soaking up the sun in Arizona. The answer to that is – some times one door closes but another ten open. On the closed door side, the ‘Rona virus and various levels of government made it much less appealing to travel – (though not impossible). On the open door side – at our Alberta house there is a ‘Never Ending Reno’ list, enough craft and hobby supplies to last a lifetime, family to visit as soon as this lock down is lifted and the always enticing prospect of an early start to gardening season! Yah!
Is it still winter where you are? What is the coldest temperature you saw this year? How accurate are the weather reports where you live?
Two more plants that grow prolifically in our woods are the Cotoneaster (it is such a temptation to call it a ‘Cotton Easter’ bush…) and the wild raspberry. Both arrived in our woods from bird droppings.
Plant Profile Common Name: Cotoneasters (pronounced ‘co_TONY-aster’) Scientific Name: Cotoneaster; family Rosaceae Growth: Full sun to partial shade; very adaptable to both dry and moist locations; hardy to zone 2A Blooms: Clusters of shell pink flowers along the branches in mid spring
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
-Albert Camus –
Plant Profile Common Name: Red Osier or Red Twig Dogwood Scientific Name: Cornus spp.
Dogwood, which can be native to Alberta parkland forest understories, is a relatively easy bush to grow. It has interesting flowers in the spring, nice berries in the summer, great fall colour, and beautiful bright stems for winter colour.
We have several on our property. They arrived via bird droppings. I think that is quite amazing, actually. Who knows how far away the bird was when it ate some seeds (berries) from a dogwood. The seeds had to have been at just the right stage of ripeness. Then the bird flew some distance and pooped on a piece of ground that was a receptive host. The dogwood seed had to germinate, put down roots, and out muscle the plants around it in order to survive.
This year the dogwood got big enough for me to see it. It is about 3 feet (1 meter) high. It is not too far from a path I walk regularly – not hard to miss when the leaves turned bright red.
In contrast, there is a red-berried elder on our property that grew to be four times that size before I finally discovered it. It was delivered by bird poop too, but not in a location that it can easily be seen.
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
-Author Unknown –
Plant Profile Common Name: Virginia Creeper Scientific Name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia
This vine is a prolific deciduous climber, reaching heights of 20–30 m (70–100 ft) in the wild. It climbs smooth surfaces using small forked tendrils tipped with tiny strongly adhesive pads 5 mm (3⁄16 in) in size.
We have Virginia Creeper growing, under strict supervision, in two locations. The one in the photo is in a large planter box. It has been growing there for 20 years or so. I shear it back a few times each year so that it doesn’t take off across the patio and out onto the driveway. If left to do what it does best, it would engulf a small car in just one growing season.
The other location is next to a quonset steel building where it (and six of its siblings) are supposed to climb up the side of the building. To date, the strong adhesive pads are not having much luck climbing the shiny metal. Maybe next year.