Sunday, September 24, 2017

Earth - Bare or Not Bare

I was just reading a post from the Middle-Sized Garden blog.  It was on creating a terrarium.  The workshop leader says there is no bare earth in nature.  It is all covered.  So one covers the bare earth in the terrarium.

Doing a little searching, I find this:

"There are really only two big patches of intact forest left on Earth, the Amazon and the Congo, and they shine out like eyes from the centre of the map," lead author Nick Haddad, a professor at North Carolina State University, told the New Yorker.  The article in the UK Independent examined the negative impact of roads in forests.

I haven't found anything on whether there is naturally occurring bare earth/dirt.  Instead the articles are on the notion of bare feet - bare earth - of 'grounding' - walking with bare feet in nature.  The article discussion is about the bioelectrical nature of our bodies and the role of the earth's energy in our well-being.  "Getting grounded - coming back into contact with the surface of the earth."

Here are two of Grimsby's pretty gardens - the first one seems like a doll's house - always decorated in pretty pinks with lush plantings, and the second a sophisticated romantic garden.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn Imminent

WAIT!  NOT YET!  Autumn starts today at 9/22/17 16:02 Eastern Time.

There is a first third of Autumn (10/22) , Mid-Autumn (11/6) and Second Third of Autumn 11/21) before we get to the Winter Solstice (12/21).  There are many flowers that bloom in Autumn, but the rich colours of the leaves brings our focus to Autumn trees and leaves: 

What did the tree say to autumn?
leaf me alone.

What did one autumn leaf say to another?
I'm falling for you.

How do you fix a broken pumpkin?
With a pumpkin patch

What's the ratio of a pumpkin's circumference to its diameter? Pumpkin Pi

What do you call a tree that doubts autumn?

What is a tree's least favorite month?

What do you call a large colorful pile of leaves?
The Great Barrier Leaf.

Did you hear about the tree that had to take time off of work in autumn?
It was on paid leaf.

These are from

We continue on our Dahlia journey today...

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Our picture today is the crew from the historical society ride on the Cumbres and Toltec line with the 315..

Q: What is the difference between a school teacher and a steam locomotive?
A: The school teacher tells you to spit out your gum, while the locomotive says "Choo Choo Choo!"

Q: Why can't the engineer be electrocuted?
A: Because he's not a conductor!

Q: Why can't a steam locomotive sit down?
A: Because it has a tender behind

Q: What do you call a train that eats toffee?
A: A chew, chew train.

Q: Why is the railroad angry?
A: Because people are always crossing it! 
Q: Why do you have to wait so long for a train on Halloween?
A: They only run a skeleton service.

Q: What do you get when you cross a Thomas Train and Shakespeare?
A: Toby or not toby, that is the question!

A man who had spent his whole life in the desert visited a friend. He’d never seen a train or the tracks they run on. While standing in the middle of the RR tracks, he heard a whistle, but didn’t know what it was. Predictably, he’s hit and is thrown to the side of the tracks, with some minor internal injuries, a few broken bones, and some bruises.
After weeks in the hospital recovering, he’s at his friend’s house attending a party. While in the kitchen, he suddenly hears the teakettle whistling. He grabs a baseball bat from the nearby closet and proceeds to batter and bash the teakettle into an unrecognizable lump of metal. His friend, hearing the ruckus, rushes into the kitchen, sees what’s happened and asks the desert man, “Why’d you ruin my good tea kettle?” The desert man replies, “Man, you gotta kill these things when they’re small.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Incoming Owl

Our last visit to the Owl Foundation in Vineland was 2 years ago.  We were there on Saturday and it was an amazing experience.  We learned that owls are very nervous and get stressed in the company of people.  Our first picture with the owl's straight up 'ears' and squinted eyes shows the expression of stress.  

The Owl Foundation was founded by Kay and Larry McKeever in the 1970's and they have received awards and honorary degrees for their work.  Its mission is to help owls that are injured, diseased or starving, to get back to a condition where they can survive once released.  They have a surrogate program for fostering chicks, so many of their permanent owls have parental duties every spring and summer. And while we were on tour there was an 'incoming owl' - a big box rushed to the Intensive Care Unit.

There is wire mesh and screening on all the cages.  The screen is protection from West Nile Disease, which is a serious threat to the birds from northern regions.  The point and shoot cameras with zoom lenses were far superior to my SLR.  They had excellent close-up pictures of the owls in their 'upper corner perches' - as far from sight as possible.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Don't Pinch the Salt

The headline today says 'tube' and we know that means London, England.  In Toronto and N.Y. we use 'subway'. British usage uses subway for an underground pedestrian road crossing. And we hear about the Paris or Washington metro - which can refer to any train system, not just subterranean.  

Here are some facts and fancies The station with the most escalators is Waterloo with 23.about the London system:

The busiest Tube station is Waterloo, which was used by around 95 million passengers in 2015. In 2014 Oxford Circus took top spot, in 2009 it was Victoria, and in 2005 it was King's Cross, 

Aldgate Station, on the Circle and Metropolitan Lines, is built on a massive plague pit, where more than 1,000 bodies are buried.

The TARDIS, (Dr Who’s transport) can be found outside Earl’s Court station. Or at least an old police call box can.

The station with the most escalators is Waterloo with 23.

The American talk show host Jerry Springer was born at East Finchley during the Second World War: his mother had taken shelter in the station from an air raid.

The inaugural journey of the first Central line train in 1900 had the Prince of Wales and Mark Twain on board.

Every week, Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world.

These come from the telegraph where there are many more.

Our pictures today were taken from the golf course patio in Durango.  Can you imagine this view every day?