365/2: 138 outtake. A sunset, of course.
‘Twas very hazy today; however the winds died down and the sunset perked up just before the last slivers left the undersides of the clouds. Turned out to be the most pleasant aspect of the entire day.
Size difference, Bluebird egg vs. big old Robin egg.
Interestingly, when the babies reach fledging stage, the size difference isn’t this great. So bluebirds are a little more space-efficient.
Vox: Five horrifying maps of America’s massive drought.
Unless El Niño.
Guardian.UK: Rate of US honeybee deaths ‘too high for long-term survival’.
“Honeybees are dying off at too high a rate to guarantee their long-term survival, even though fewer were lost last winter, a US government report said on Thursday.” Based on the recent research - stop using neonicotinoids - immediately.
Later: Amazes me. Many supposedly non-thintelligent sources are titling their posts on this with the second part (‘fewer were lost’) as “good news”, and bloggers I admire are relinking them without a second’s consideration. Postmodern? Post-truth. This is not good news - this is a warning. “The ship’s not sinking as fast as it was previously.” Optimism at the cost of survival?
Guardian.UK: Sun’s activity triggers lightning strikes.
“Activity on the sun significantly increases the rate of lightning strikes on Earth, say researchers, making it feasible to predict when lightning strikes will become more frequent.” Some of what we consider ‘nature’ is … supernatural?
Mashable: Homes Destroyed, Emergency Declared as Fires Spread in California.
My California readers and friends, I am doing rain dances for you.
Youtube: Watch Tanker10 doing its thing over Lompoc, CA.
The video’s mislabeled, it’s a modified DC-10. But just look at how much retardant that baby can drop. Read more about the plane here. Check their video page for even more. (I’ve linked this before; probably at the start of each fire season.)
BBC: Deep-sea ‘graveyard’ reveals fate of dead ocean giants.
“There’s been lots of research on whale-falls, but we’ve never really found any of these other large marine animals on the sea bed.” Interesting bit that fills in with even more mystery.
365/2: 133. Snow’s exiting, stage right (east).
Can see the Sangre foothills, but not the mountain range yet.
SciAm: Bacteria Left a Methane Mess after Gulf Oil Spill.
“Research published today in Nature Geoscience finds that although these bacteria consumed much of the gas, they slowed down considerably after a few months. In fact, bacteria only consumed roughly half of the methane …” Poor little buggers got full!
Colossal: Fantastic Fungi - The Startling Visual Diversity of Mushrooms.
ReadWrite: Our Climate Is Changing, And NASA Has The Proof.
NM’s down at the #3 spot.
KRQE.com: Fire erupts in Gila National Forest.
And in case you haven’t heard, fire season is in full shred all of a sudden. Like, yesterday. The ‘Signal’ fire has already burned 3,000 acres. Looking at the map, it may burn towards already-torched areas (hope).
When these things start now, they end up being immediate monsters. The fact this one started two weeks earlier than usual, indicates how desperately dessicated we are.
365/2: 132. Blue flax, starting to close.
Early 365 today, because the subject is only open for a short time. Blue flax wraps up their blossoms by early afternoon. These are already starting to curl up. Enjoy.
National Geo: Man-Made Electromagnetic Noise Disrupts a Bird’s Compass.
“This has nothing to do with wi-fi, mobile phones, or power lines. By deliberately adding electromagnetic fields inside the grounded huts, the team showed that they were sensitive to frequencies between 2 kilohertz and 5 megahertz. With that range, the culprits are likely to be either AM radio signals or fields produced by electronic equipment in the university, although it’s hard to narrow the source down any further.” I figured I needed to add that italic emphasis for the foil hat crowd.
The spring of invisible mountains.
This truly has been a ‘spring of invisible mountains’. Our high winds continue to kick up so much dust, multiple mountain ranges and hills are completely obscured. Normally I can see the Ortiz Mtns, Sandia Crest, Galisteo ‘wave’, Cerrillos Hills, Jemez Mountains, Sangre de Cristos, and the Sangre foothills. On extra clear days I can even see Mount Taylor to the west and the Manzanos to the south.
At the moment, all I can see is a handful of the closest foothills, darkling and obscured.
365/2 131. Lilacs in high winds.
A bit of creative motion blur, even *with* a flash.
CO Springs Gazette: Parts of some Plains states drier than Dust Bowl.
“While experts say the possibility of another Dust Bowl is unlikely because of modern irrigation and farming techniques enacted afterward that are aimed at holding soil in place, greater erosion in recent years has resulted in an increasing number of dust storms, including one last month that lasted three days in Lubbock, Texas.” As I’ve mentioned before, the recent winds have done a mighty fine job of picking up our dirt roads and dropping them over in Oklahoma and Texas. It’s terrifyingly dry.
365/2: 130. Mrs Robin did a great job!
Balanced on a shaky chair, one hand holding a mirror, the other hand holding a DSLR ... sorry for the focus. But aren’t they perfect?
Later: I went for a bit of a walk downtown, and took some shots. Rather than link ‘em all, I’ll just send you to my stream on Flickr. The last ten or so images are the latest.
Guardian.UK: Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds.
“The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.” Convincing enough to me. If any of the stuff in your garage contains imidacloprid or cothianidin, dispose of it safely and find something else to use. You’ll ‘bee’ thanked.
NY Times: A Sherpa’s Final Moments.
Vox: El Niño could be the biggest weather story of 2014.
The Archaeology News Network: Long-snouted T. rex unearthed in China.
“It has the familiar toothy grin of T. rex, but its snout was much longer and it had a row of horns on its nose. It might have looked a little comical, but it would have been as deadly as any other tyrannosaur, and maybe even a little faster and stealthier.”
The Archaeology News Network: Long-standing climate paradox resolved.
“Based on this relationship of the variations in the earth’s orbit and Nevada’s climate, Lachniet and his team suggest that the region won’t see the re-appearance of these pluvial lakes for at least another 55,000 years. They also see evidence that the Great Basin climate has been warming for the past 1,600 years, which may indicate a human-control of regional climate because it departs from the orbital climate control …” Read the whole thing.
Guardian.UK: More than 400 dams planned for the Amazon and headwaters.
Yikes. Dams, then extraction companies. Death of the Amazon. And a much hotter planet.