Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pond Hieroglyphics

I couldn't quite make out the meaning of these hieroglyphics I discovered while walking around the pond at Bassett Creek Park.  I know the pond level has been extremely low, perhaps it is a request to send more rain?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Riding rather than driving

I was inclined to drive a car yesterday to run a few errands.  We had temperatures in the 90's with high humidity.  Yet the drugstore and post office were only a few miles away.  I did the "ride thing" and enjoyed a reasonably fine bike ride, got my errands done and enjoyed the benefit fo exercise to boot.

It occurred to me that the warm weather and high humidity are compounded when more of us take to our cars and turn up our air conditioning. I'm sure glad the I chose to ride instead of drive yesterday.  Of course it helped my decision making considerably that we didn't have a car in the garage to drive anyway!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Green backed heron

Green Backed Herons (foreground and background)
The Green Backed Heron were visible in the drying pond at Bassett Creek Park.  Seems that the climate predictions of hotter and drier late summers and falls are coming true.  We're experiencing record heat, combined with sweltering humidity, and an absence of rain.  Many school sports are having to be called off, due to the dangerous conditions.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fraudulent "Prosperity Gospel"

A friend sent me a great link to an article, The false promise of the prosperity gospel: why I called out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.  Within the article was a link to an additional critique by John Piper, who speaks candidly of why he abominates the prosperity gospel.

I think it is valuable to see the prosperity gospel challenged. Just consider the 12 disciples of Jesus. They weren't exactly "prosperous", as most all of them went penniless and were martyred for their faith. Not exactly financially prosperous by anyone's measure.

It is hard/impossible to reconcile this prosperity gospel with the core messages of the Bible that warn about the dangers of gathering up riches... "Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."  Matthew 16:24

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Great Blue Heron and the Great Egret

The Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were close to each other while wading in the pond at Bassett Creek Park.  They didn't seem to mind one another's company, but were occasionally bothered by a Red-winged Blackbird.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rocks at Glacier Park

I was intrigued by the interesting rocks at Glacier Park.  This mountainous area contains rocks and fossils from an ancient sea bed.  It is hard to comprehend how dramatically nature works over the course of millions of years. Some of the oldest sedimentary rock in the entire Rocky Mountain chain resides here.... 1.6 billion years old.  More information is available on the National Park's Glacier Geology website.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Glacier National Park

It was a great experience to hike some of the trails by Logan Pass at Glacier National Park this past week.  Amazing beauty.  It was sad however to learn that the glaciers in the park are disappearing.  More information is available about this trend at the following website, Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Montana wildlife

Bighorn Sheep (female ewes)
On a recent trip to Montana I was privileged to see a lot of interesting wildlife.

Mule Deer (male buck)

Mountain Goat family

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Great Blue Heron and Purple Loosestrife

The morning sun highlighted this Great Blue Heron resting on a Wood Duck house with Purple Loosestrife.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

U.S. prison rates

Despite having only 5% of the world's population the United States boasts an impressive 25% of the world's prison population (Infographic: U.S. Incarceration Rates).

Seems when we are so actively engaging in conflicts around the globe our own national security is failing. When our nation's children are not provided with quality parenting, nutrition, education and vocational opportunities they too often become liabilities, rather than assets.

Sadly, prisons have also become a "growth industry", as they have been turned over to the private sector, and are now producing profits for their shareholders.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

The Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were enjoying the morning at the pond at Bassett Creek Park yesterday.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Future water conflicts?

An article in the StarTribune, Great Lakes positioned to be 'ground zero' in water conflicts, speaks to the possibilities of others around the nation needing to tap into this tremendous fresh water resource to meet their needs, as they draw down their aquifers.  Agricultural demands are rapidly drawing down of the Ogallala aquifer, that sits under Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Our world's ever increasing agricultural demands seem destine to collide with our limited water reserves.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rabbit in Black and White

When you look at this rabbit in black and white it blends in pretty well with its surroundings.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Duck and duckling

This duckling sure seems smaller than most of its peers at this time of year.  Let's hope it grows quickly enough to migrate south when that time comes!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The galaxy on the blossom of a plant

Seems to me that the galaxy is represented in the blossom of this plant that grows along the banks of the pond at Bassett Creek Park.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


How refreshing to read an article in the StarTribune on Ultimate, "Ultimate's fling is spirited", one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. In addition to being outstanding exercise for the athletes, it is also self officiated, encouraging the players to work through penalty calls themselves.  Being largely a club sport, Ultimate also has a wonderful vibe; it is highly competitive, yet laid back.  After competitions a "Spirit of the Game" award is both given to individuals and teams who exhibit great sportsmanship.

Interested in learning more, why not head up to the Nationals Sports Center to watch the USA Youth Club Championships?  Unlike our professional sports teams, there is no fee for admission, and you will see young people giving their all simply for the love of the game.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Great Blue Heron


I enjoyed watching the Great Blue Heron preening and "hanging loose" at Bassett Creek's pond.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Defending government funding of food support programs

Garden cabbage
“Justice comes before charity… Everyone has a right to eat, and therefore there is a governmental responsibility to ensure everyone’s capacity to eat. Love and care makes a difference, but the issues are so big there isn’t sufficient charitable dollars there.” - Sister Simone Campbell

To read further, or watch a video of Sister Simone Campbell's defense of government support programs to feed those in need, check out "Sister Simone Defends the Safety Net" c/o Moyers and Company.

Monday, August 5, 2013

West Bank School of Music

It was fun for all ages to listen to musicians from the West Bank School of Music perform at the Lake Harriet Band Shell this past Saturday night.  Beautiful clouds and sunset also complemented the sailboats moored on the lake.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Early morning geese on the pond

A photo from earlier this morning.  Cool morning temperatures have created some fog over the pond at Bassett Creek Park.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Climate scientist may have his day in court

Having faced considerable ridicule about his "hockey stick" graph, which indicated a rapid increase in climate change, climate scientist Michael Mann's defamation suit against National Review Online and the Competitive Enterprise Institute is going forward. ("Climate scientist wins an early victory against a long-running smear campaign")

The art of smearing others has risen to new levels, given the ease of communication made available through the internet and social media.  Let's hope a damper can be put on mistruths that are so rapidly propagated on the web.