Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 15

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 I think I may have accidentally published this one before its time.  If so, I apologize for the confusion.....



So many greens................  (Overbrightened by Google/Blogger, sigh!)



Dandelion.





Late afternoon clouds.


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Saturday, May 23, 2015

DNA of plants comprising ancient Roman pills sequenced

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Ok, this is a really cool article.

Ancient Roman pills (from 140-120 BCE) managed to survive a shipwreck in a tin container.  That's amazing.

The sunken ship was found, and archaeologists preserved the finds from the ship.  Cool, and amazing, really, but we're kinda used to it.

The pills were found with tools used by ancient physicians, which leads archaeologists to suspect they, too, were medical supplies.

Someone sequenced the DNA of the plants that the pills were made of.  The article says that these are the only remains of ancient medicines that are known, and that this is the first time ancient medicines have been analyzed via DNA sequencing, to find out what they were made of.  Cool, and amazing.

The pills were made of common garden plants, like carrots, radishes, celery, yarrow...............

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May 14

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Gorgeous sky.



Maple trees, nearly fully leafed out.



Pink and white.  Phlox.  Despite the number of six-petaled flowers in this pic, most of the flowers on the plant had five flowers, and the plant itself looked just like some nearby phlox whose flowers were the usual solid purple.



Tulips.  With violets, dandelions, grass, and a maple tree.



Ajuga.


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Friday, May 22, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

West Park

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I thought I was going to get clever and show you a view of West Park from the sky.

I guess I sort of can do that, but this image is about five or six years old.  This is before the pond existed..........

They were re-working the park, to put in a bunch of underground water-storage tanks, as well as putting in the pond.  They were trying to make the park hold a lot more rainwater runoff than it had done in the past.  (I think those white circles, in the upper left corner, are water tanks, waiting to be buried.)

All of the fuchsia lines are now paved paths into the park.  There are also two entrances from Huron, but I'm not sure where they are.  The park is lower than either Huron or Miller, so all of those entrances have significant staircases down from street level.

The chartreuse is the pond.  You can see -- compared to the area of the park, there's not very much pond.  And yet it can support multiple mama ducks and families, muskrats, hundreds of fish, thousands (and thousands) of tadpoles.  The water, and the wildlife, bring people into the park.

The band shell has been there for a long time.

For those of you who remember ice skating in the park, the ice rink was where the ball field is.

Ten years ago, I avoided walking through the park, because there were too many young men just sitting around, partaking of their favorite intoxicants.

Now the park is full of families and women and dog walkers.  People make a point of coming to see the fish, or the frogs, or the ducks.

Whoever it was that had the idea to put the pond here -- it was genius.  Adding the pond has made the park hospitable to all kinds of benign visitors.  Bird watchers.  Photographers.  Little kids. 

Hooray.

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rats help other rats

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Here's a blog post from the woman who taught the interesting and engaging Understanding the Brain class I took last year.

Her lab studied rats helping other rats, and that work has been replicated and extended by another lab.

Humans are not the only ones who will help a conspecific who is in trouble!

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fossilized human behavior.....

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Stone tools are fossilized human behavior. – Louis Leakey

The above quote is in an article in The Conversation about a new discovery of stone tools that are about 700,000 years older than the previous "oldest known stone tools."

So interesting -- there's no info as to who made them, or as to exactly how they were used, but we do know things about the environment in which they were made/used.  There are multiple (geologicial) ways to date things that are this old.......

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May 13

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When I first knew the man who would become my husband, we worked in the same place.  Our workplace sponsored a softball team.  West Park was even closer to my first house than to my present house.  I would take my (lovely and adorable) corgi puppy over to the park, to watch the team play.

The yellow stripe in the above image is padding on the top of the fence, to try to protect players from injury if they run into it while trying to catch a ball.  I think it is distracting, when I'm taking pics of the not-ballfield park, but here it seems to fit in.

The ballfield is impeccably maintained, but has been bereft of players, at least on Wednesdays, for as long as I've been going to yoga (since January 2012).  I'd only seen ballplayers here once, before the 13th.



I had the camera zoomed out, to take the above pic, and then I cropped it.  In reality, I was all the way over here.  See the yellow line marking the back of the outfield, at left?



I didn't see any activity in the pond.  Until I got to the east end of the park (at the far end of the pond in the photo above).

Look!  See all that blackness?


It's millions and billions of tadpoles!


I didn't count, but I bet there are 100 in this pic, which probably covers about a 4x6" area.


Can't you just hear Mama Nature's "more is better" hallelujah chorus?  "MORE is BETter!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  HalLE-e-luJAH!"


A little video of tadpoles..........

video



I actually stuck the lens of the camera through the fence for this shot.  That gazebo/pergola/thingie in the upper right is in the Miller entrance to the park.



The first yoga class after a 3-week break between sessions.  It was nice to see my long-time classmates.  Some of us older people are not keen on moving up to a higher level of class..........



Amazing sky after class............  You can't tell, but there were still ballplayers on the field (which is right under what you can see in this pic).  I don't suppose it was the same people, but maybe it was.  I hope they'll be using the field more, this summer, than they have for the last few years. 



Jet trail through (probably behind, really), the clouds.



Is this pond an excellent addition to the park, or what?  Wow.



Love the sky, and its reflection......



As you can tell from the fact that we are looking right at the setting sun, this is west.



Same as above, only a bit lower.  See the three little trees, lit by the sun, bottom, left, above, and top, left, below?

This gives you a good look at the boardwalk/bridge over the pond.





Jet trails, trailing off......



I like just the little bit of shore, curving across the top.



Another look at the board walk.  With chartreuse trees in the slanting evening sun.  (Note three little trees, upper right.)




Ripply reflections.



A closer look at the three little trees.



Now here's something interesting that I didn't think to take a pic of in situ.

There are crab apples in the park.  Their petals were thick on the (paved) path, and some combination of rain, and, I expect, being trampled, as turned them into paper!  I picked up a lot of pieces of petal paper, and carried them home.  (Took all of the "coming home" pics above with one hand full of delicate-but-bulky petal paper!)


I think it wants to be in collages..........................

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 12

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Trilliums.  These are large -- bigger than the wild ones you'd see in the woods.



Maybe 18" tall?  And the flowers were 4-5" across, I think.


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May 11

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The 11th was another rainy day.  It quit raining, late in the afternoon, and I set out for my walk.  These pics were taken with the phone.

Green, green, green, and purple, with strong late-afternoon sun.  That lilac on the right is the one we looked at, up close and personal, yesterday.



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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 10, part 2

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Tulip.




Lilac.





Crab apple petals, snowing down.




Another nice crab.  It's been a beautiful year for crab apples.



This is what you see when you look down at a bed of violets.



One flower is about 1.5" from top to bottom.



Maple seeds which didn't quite make the cut to become mature and able to grow new trees.



Mama Nature believes heavily in "more is better."



May 10th was a white and purple kind of day.  With violets.  This one was on my patio.


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