National Science Foundation:
Yellowstone’s Ancient Supervolcano: Only Lukewarm? Molten plume of material beneath Yellowstone cooler than expected.
NY Times Business:
Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits. The grid infrastructure’s old, and needs updating. But who wants more power lines strung across their counties?
Woods Hole is creating a replacement for “Alvin.”
On the theory of avian appreciation of sunset aesthetics.
I only notice it around this time of year. I’ll go out to water between 7 and 8 o’clock, and all the trees are populated with birds. Not flitting about, as you might imagine, calling to each other and busily making baby birds. No, they’re sitting perched on the tops of the highest trees. Sitting still. Every one of them facing west, watching the sunset. I only see them doing this on days when there’s a middling to spectacular sunset. They never sit there for the cloudy, dull ones. Nor the completely clear ones.
Every so often, they’re accompanied by a rabbit or three. Facing the same direction. Never chewing grass or leaves. Just sitting, watching.
Now a scientist will probably tell me the birds are resting before nailing a few mouthfuls of insects after the sun sets (because nocturnal insects probably rise after sunset). The rabbits are probably on the lookout for coyotes before they head for their dens.
I like to think the birds and rabbits simply enjoy a good sunset performance.
You’re not going to convince me otherwise.
SF New Mexican:
Suit claims global warming threatens mammal. “More than a third of the documented pika populations in Nevada and Oregon have disappeared, and elsewhere they are moving upslope to avoid rising temperatures ...” The Rockies wouldn’t be the same without the chirps of pikas.
SF New Mexican:
Apparently, we had tornadoes over the weekend. I did notice that at one point, my silver lace vine had been partially stripped of leaves, and the pillows in the various backyard seating areas had been whipped across the courtyard ... indications of unusually high winds. 60mph won’t do that ... we get those windspeeds in the springtime ... had to be higher.
“Toxic chemicals from thousands of idols of Hindu gods immersed in rivers and lakes across India are causing pollution which is killing fish and contaminating food crops ...” And there are a lot of Hindu deities, something like 300,000 of ‘em.
Tent caterpillars in my beloved aspen.
Hate ‘em. Went out and bought me a big ole lopper.
[Named it “Cyndi”.]
Strange weather we’re having this morning.
Dawn was pretty clear, but just after, rolling sheet clouds moved in. Cold, even. Harbinger of coming autumn, too soon.
NY Times Editorial Page Guest Columnist:
Judson, Optimism in Evolution. Scientific skepticism has been portrayed with an awful cynicism and pessimism in the media, whereas the process of making mistakes should be portrayed in a more optimistic manner. The late Carl Sagan used to be able to illuminate such nuances in ways that general audiences could fathom.
NY Times US:
Navy Agrees to Sonar System Restriction. A step in the right direction.
Iconic stone arch collapses in southern Utah park. You’ll recognize the pic ... it’s the same arch I have in the B&W featured gallery on this site. The Devil’s Garden walkway winds almost directly underneath, a very narrow space ... lucky it didn’t hurt anyone.
Later: CNN has a photo of the remains.
Big dark clouds forming overhead. Looks like it’s raining over in west/southwest Santa Fe.
Three views of a Western Juniper. I think I like the first one the best.
NY Times Asia/Pacific:
Rescuers Wait to Reach K2 Survivor. If you aren’t familiar with mountaineering, K2’s a climber’s mountain. Greater cojones required. No guides taking pudgy bourgeoisie up K2.
Playing fetch with an 8 ft. wingspan sea eagle. Okay, now that looks like serious fun.
NY Times Escapes:
Island Hopping by Kayak at America’s Ceiling in Wisconsin. Sounds cold, but fun. I feel anyone posting stories about camping near water need to mention bugs. Yes/no, how bad, what season. Bears I can deal with. Bugs can make an outing un ... wait for it ... bearable.
The spinosad, sadly, didn’t work. Gave a few hours reprieve, that’s it. Cinnamon scares ‘em off quick, but delivering it in liquid form is the problem. I’m considering my options ... perhaps the soap-and-oil routine.
NY Times Frugal Traveler:
Dodging Witches and Wild Boar in Germany. “... in the tricky light of evening, I saw the black haunches of what looked like a hefty wild boar bounding into the woods. Witches I could handle; wild animals, not so much.” If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. I once walked, at night, into a large pack of javelina. [If you leave your flashlights turned off, you encounter more animals.] They apparently couldn’t directly see me, but they could smell that there was a human in their midst. I was grazed by a half-dozen tusks as they darted around trying to find the danger. They shortly dashed off into the brush. No harm done.
The spinosad worked. Beetles, bye-bye.
Damned little beetles.
I’ve got these little black buggers with white patches on their wings by the hundreds. They swoop down on lilies, sunflowers, and other flowers, gathering near the center of the blossom, and start chomping. You can hear them from a couple of feet away! A lily that blooms in the morning will be a forlorn, drooping, sad little blossom by evening, covered in gobs of beetles. Even worse, when flying around, if they land on you, they give a nasty bite. I just tried spinosad on them, but they didn’t seem to be bothered. I’ll wait and see what the result is in the morning. If I see no change, then the next step will be copious amounts of godawful industrial-strength melt-your-fingernails and shrivel-your-testicles pesticide ... hate using that stuff.
One killed, hundreds stranded by New Mexico flood. Southwest and southcentral NM got clobbered by Dolly.
SF New Mexican:
Santa Fe River flows as officials release water from Nichols Reservoir. Hello, Dolly. Preparing for the precip from the hurricane. My plants are very happy right now, even if buyers at Spanish Market are chagrined.
SF New Mexican:
Buried treasure: One-of-a-kind formation found in N.M. cave. A “snowy river.”