Coudal Partners/Field Notes: The ‘anti-time-lapse’ stars and their courses.
6+ hours of dark sky, for those who may not have the luxury. Wonderful.
365/2: 117. Less dusty than yesterday ...
… but still a misery. The winds are ridiculous, even yet. Tomorrow’s trash pickup day; no doubt, with all the bins that’ll be knocked over, I’ll be picking garbage out of the cacti tomorrow. Well, it’ll give me a chance to finish some other yardwork, I suppose ...
ThinkProgress: U.S. Wildfire Season Comes On Hot As Two Blazes Rage In New Jersey.
As if fire is a surprise in the Barrens. I grew up in NJ - the Pine Barrens were burning regularly and spectacularly for hundreds of years. Fire in the Pine Barrens, more than any other forested area I know, is vital to the lifecycle of the area. When the trees get beyond tall scrub size (a bit over your head), you’re ripe for a burn.
The fires got more and more attention after developers dropped retirement homes deep in the wooded areas by the dozen in the ‘80’s - that’s when more significant prevention started allowing trees to overgrow their natural life cycle. And the Barrens have been encroached further as Philly and NYC commuters look for cheap, affordable housing. Long as you pick a spot that’s not bog, it’s hot, humid, immersed in biting black flies, but livable if you use lots of electric modern conveniences (A/C, bug zappers, etc.). You’d better have fire insurance - and I’m sure it’s pricey. Everyone’s running ATVs, motorcycles, chainsaws … all firestarters of the best (worst) kind.
I don’t mean to minimize the actual danger to property and people … but to a born Jerseyan, it’s just how the Barrens roll. The closest common cultural opinion I can offer is that mythical piece of Florida real estate. Basically, “If you built a house in the Barrens, you’re an idiot.” If anyone’s surprised, their ears must rub together behind their heads.
DM! on Soundcloud: Baby bluebirds, getting fed.
[Man, that default SC widget is huge. Shrank it down manually. Ah, they have more than one embed style. This is the horizontal one.]
Guardian.UK: Big riders mean bigger horses on US’s western trails.
“Ranches are turning to draft horses – the ‘diesels’ of the horse world – to accommodate flood of overweight tourists.” Much as I love draft horses, they have feet the size of buckets. They cut quite a swath … and everyone wants to trot or gallop a draft horse. It does indeed feel like you’re making the Earth move in its orbit.
SciAm: Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding—But Why?
A world without boobies? Say it ain’t so! Not yet, anyway. Sardine populations have crashed, for ‘unknown reasons’.
MeFi: The Moral Question Of Our Time - Can We Share The Planet?
A kick-ass FPP.
SciAm: Pine Beetle Outbreaks Increase Groundwater Supply in Rockies.
Rocky Mountain marshes?
365/2: 111. Storms hovering around this afternoon.
SciAm: Mega-Heatwaves Mechanism Pinpointed.
“The study shows that soil drying is the key link in the intensification of mega-heatwaves …” Oh yeah. Anyone who lives in the southwest can tell you this.
PS Mag: Smokey Can’t Save Us - Wildfires Are Out of Control.
The chart isn’t using a consistent scale (on the left). Adjust in your mind as you view.
365/2: 108. Lady Grey feeding her young’uns.
Old Nikon 75-300 mounted on my 50D; terrible quality, sorry. Worth the shot, though.
AP: Portland plans reservoir flush after teen cited.
WHAT?!! Do you know how much we could use that post-pee water? Seriously, I’m surprised frackers haven’t made competing bids yet.
Patrice Ayme’s Thoughts: Terminal Greenhouse Crisis.
SciAm: Ohio Links Fracking to Earthquakes, Announces Tougher Rules.
“In the strongest wording yet from the state linking energy drilling and quakes, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said that injecting sand, water and chemicals deep underground to help release oil and gas may have produced tremors in Poland Township last month.”
365/2: 099. From death, life.
Pretty severe crop, but worth it, IMHO.
Mother Jones: Why This Year’s El Niño Could Grow Into a Monster.
“The warm water just below the ocean’s surface is on par with that of the biggest El Niño ever recorded, in 1997-98. That event caused $35 billion in damages and was blamed for around 23,000 deaths worldwide, according to the University of New South Wales.” I’d better caulk the roof.
Guardian.UK: Relics thrown to the surface by long-dead rabbits.
You don’t need fancy excavation tools; just train some rabbits?
DiscoverMag: Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? Riddle Finally Solved.
“It turns out that flies find stretches of water to mate and lay their eggs in by looking for the horizontally polarized light it reflects. Zebra stripes, however, are vertical and reflect polarized light differently, which makes them unappealing to horseflies.” Dated April 2, so I’m assuming legit.
ThinkProgress: Drilling Co. Could Force PA Landowners To Allow Fracking Under Their Land.
“Oil and gas company Hilcorp is trying to use a 1961 Pennsylvania law that would allow the company to bundle properties of people who don’t sign drilling leases with their neighbors who do, meaning that even landowners who don’t sign leases will be forced to allow drilling under their land if enough of their neighbors sign leases.”
SciAm: No Pause in Global Sea-Level Rise.
“When the scientists corrected for this La Niña effect on rain patterns in the past decade, they found that the slowdown in sea-level rise disappeared and fell in line with the 1994-2002 pace, coming to about 3.3 millimeters a year. The results call for re-examination of long-term sea-level records to detect the true warming signal ...”
NM Fishing. Don’t these numbers make you sad?
# of fish you can eat monthly from NM’s lakes and streams. Mercury, DDT and PCB contamination.
Vimeo: A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout.
A bit maudlin, but instructive. Would’ve liked to have seen that tower in a thunderstorm (isn’t that what we all wonder?).
365/2: 082. Quaking Aspen flowers.