Showing posts from July, 2018

BEETLE FAN: the unidentified visitor

Problems my friends do not have: spending two hours in a fruitless attempt to correctly identify a damn bug. Brown click beetle with a pale, firefly-esqe abdomen?

I ran it up the flagpole on iNaturalist. Let's see if sage minds can do a better job at it.


Happy Independence Day from Toronto!  Our fireworks display was on 7 July this year rather than the 4th.  The whole town gets into the spirit.

Mike and Natalie stopped by with their sons. Mum stayed inside with Dante to keep him calm. Sadly, Dad is back in the hospital and missed out.


The day before my birthday, we discovered a Bronzed Grackle chick under the porch.  Sadly, he was discovered after I'd doused him with the hose.

Chilled to his core, he wouldn't have lasted the night. So to the deck table he went, and BH took a walk to the local gas station to purchase some live bait.

He did well with them, obediently opening his mouth and raising a ruckus once the chopped worm came into his view.  He also accepted some water droplets from my hand. Still, the chill remained despite his pushing into my palm for comfort.

I set him in a box with some old dishrags, then brought him indoors for the night.  A heating pad under the box soon made him comfy, and he slept well enough.  At dawn, I brought him back outdoors and set the box in the garden, close to where I found him.

He wasn't too sure of himself or his surroundings. I left him there and watched the early morning fog burn away.

Grackles do spend a few days on the ground after dropping from the nest.…

INDEPENDENCE DAY: the physics of the humble paddle ball

Excuse the ramblings!

Today we celebrate Independence Day, which has its roots in the American revolutionary war. It was a push for freedom and democracy - the desire to be independent from Great Britain - that allowed our nation to thrive.

"Push". It's an odd-sounding word with so many interpretations.

You can push something or someone away, such as bodyguards pushing paparazzi from a star.  You can push yourself away from something, like a reporter pushing off the wall move forward again. You can push forward, and in fact push or shove the bodyguard to the ground. And, of course, that bodyguard might be pushing his age thus he snaps his hip when he hits the pavement. You might want to push some narcotics on him at that point - or pray you haven't pushed the other bodyguards to emotional breaking point. In their frustration, they might push for the police to arrest your sorry ass, and that's when you'd be pushing your luck.

In physics, we speak of forces ap…


We finally have everything planted. It's late in the season, and the garden won't reach a full state this year, but next year should be glorious.