Saturday, November 30, 2013

Icy curves

The ice forming around a small tributary to Bassett Creek developed into interesting patterns.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Retail Turkey of the Year award

Once again I'm giving the Retail Turkey of the Year award to Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center.  They standout from all the other stores for a couple of reasons...

First, on Thanksgiving Day they were headlining a special for a semi-automatic assault style rifle, ammunition and semi-automatic Luger pistols. Catering to people's fears they carry such shotguns as the Winchester "Defender" and the H&R "Protector Pump Action."  And for those who want to be even more proactive with their firearms they were promoting in their Thanksgiving Day flier the Bushmaster, "Patrolman 223 Rem", proudly made in the USA, which is much like soldiers carry in war or well armed law enforcement might use.

Secondly, Gander Mtn. decided to be open from 8 am Thanksgiving Day until 2 am the following morning.  So, in addition to promoting gun sales of the sort that have caused thousands of deaths across this country, they're also family unfriendly for their employees.

Gobble, Gobble.  Gander Mtn. represents the dark belly of the USA.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How about taking a big serving of empathy this Thanksgiving?

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s remember that the difference between being surrounded by a loving family or being homeless on the street is determined not just by our own level of virtue or self-discipline, but also by an inextricable mix of luck, biography, brain chemistry and genetics.  

-Nicholas Kristof, Where is the love?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ice fishing?

A lone bobber stood frozen in the solid ice on the pond at Bassett Creek Park.  Though the pond is rather shallow, it still manages to harbor sunfish, bass, crappies, bullheads and lots of very large carp.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nature's icy artistry

Kinda cool to see the various layers of bubbles captured under the newly formed ice.  With the sudden cool temperatures it appeared that the ice was already a few inches thick.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The benefit of mulching leaves

An article in the New York Times, "Rake the leaves? Some towns say mow them", did a great job of communicating the benefits of mulching, rather than gathering yard leaves.  I've been mowing and mulching for many years, and can heartily endorse the practice.

Hoar frost bejewels leaves

Hoar frost from the cold weather we've been having provided an amazing enhancement for the leaves left on the pond at Bassett Creek Park.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Morning rays by the pond

The morning sun provided back lighting to the weeds and cattails growing along the pond shores in Bassett Creek Park.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Full moon over the pond

We recently enjoyed a full moon.  I snapped this shot by the pond's edge at Bassett Creek Park. I utilized the camera's flash to highlight the plant.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Geese on the pond

With a melting of the ice on the pond the Canada Geese returned again to their old haunts at Bassett Creek Park.  From the weather report it may well be that the ice will be returning, and may be around for a good many months!

It is interesting to not how they all lined up, with their faces into the cool wind out of the Northwest.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sunrise over Bassett Creek Park

With a light layer of ice, the morning sun reflected brightly over the pond at Bassett Creek Park this past Monday morning.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tech waste

Recently I had the help of a friend to bring a 36" color analog television to our local thrift store.  I tried to find a friend through work or Facebook that might want it, but none seemed interested. It seems amazing that this television which I had recently inherited from a friend, who's value would have been perhaps $1,000 just ten years ago, seemingly had no value today.

Following are some disturbing points of information about electronics recycling from a local nonprofit, TechDump.

Fact #1: Each year around 80% of all electronic devices (cell phones, tablets and computers) are thrown out in the trash. That means they end up in landfills or incinerators, releasing countless numbers of toxins into the air.
Fact #2: While e-waste only makes up about 2% of all trash in our nation’s landfills, it actually makes up about 70% of all types of toxic waste. The materials in your discarded electronics can cause serious problems for the central nervous system. They can also severely affect your kidneys.
Fact #3: Right now, less than 13% of e-waste is recycled properly. Inlight of the information in Fact #2, we believe this is just scary.
Fact #4: In the United States, if we were to recycle one million laptop computers in the course of a year, that would save the same amount of electricity that’s used to power almost 3,700 homes in a year.
Fact #5: According to an article on the website, “It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.” Just one. Incredible, isn’t it?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall floating downstream

Yesterday I snapped this picture of a maple leaf and seed floating down Bassett Creek, on their way to the Mississippi River.  Who knows, if they continue on they might even make it to the Gulf Coast of Mexico!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pair of mallards

It is no wonder this is duck hunting season, waterfowl are on the move this time of year.  These mallards are flying safely over Medicine Lake.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Graziella Maiden Grass

My neighbor's grasses were showing off in the sunlight. The formal name for these grasses is Miscanthus sinensis aka 'Graziella'.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bald Eagle having Canada Goose for Breakfast

Bald Eagle and Canada Goose
Soaring Bald Eagle

I discovered an American Bald Eagle feasting on a Canada Goose that had died at the Pond at Bassett Creek Park yesterday.

Plastic bottle in the pond

A plastic water bottle spoiled nature's beautiful arrangement of leaves floating on the pond.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ice comes to the pond

Canada Geese overnight on the frozen pond at Bassett Creek Park.  Guess that Goose down works pretty well for them!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

One of the reasons I love mornings

One of the reasons I love mornings is the beautiful sunrise that begins the promise of a new day.

More Canada Geese ...

Three Canada Geese left their overnight accommodations in the pond at Bassett Creek to find fields for grazing in throughout the daytime hours.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

First snow

An overnight snow graced the golden colored tamarack trees and neighboring weeping willow.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Autumn is a second spring

Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower - Albert Camus
Rest in Peace Aunt Helen

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Once again... more guns are not the answer to problems with our government

A rabid anti government sentiment, fueled via social media, paired with easy access to assault weapons and ammunition equals events like just happened this past Friday when a young man with two assault rifles, and a hundred rounds of ammunition, killed a TSA security guard at the LA airport and wounded a few other people. Perhaps this young man felt he was utilizing his "constitutional right to bear arms" to take on the government as a one person militia member? Yet another very sad day for our country. 

I hope that those that are fueling this fire take notice and refrain from their vitriolic messaging and aggrandizement of more guns and ammunition as a solution to their fears and paranoias.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Leaves and grating

It was interesting to see the fall leaves with the shadows of grating.  These pictures are from an area of the park where the holding pond drains under the road to Bassett Creek.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hooded mergansers

Hooded mergansers were visiting Bassett Creek Park.  The one on the right is a juvenile male, and theo other, to the left, is an adult female.