A friend of mine lives on a ranch, and was able to share a beautiful moment with her grandchild soon after Panda gave birth to a calf. Precious memories in the making.
I saw this today and thought it looked like a pretty good representation of today’s world, at least in the USA.
You can’t say what you really feel today without threat of cancel culture, and the media shames you if you don’t cowtow to the issue du jour of the social justice warriors, regardless of the idiocy of the demand. Take Henry Winkler, for example. People lost their freaking minds when he posted this a few days ago.
Somehow, in this twisted, brainwashed land where tolerance is demanded but yet everything is offensive, Winkler’s statement was perceived by some idiots as horrifying. Nature is horrifying? Fishing is horrifying? Some vilified him for “traumatizing the fish.” Do these same people vilify fishermen? Is it okay to fish if you’re not a professional fisherman? What are the rules these days? Where do people think FOOD comes from? What about Native Americans? Let’s cancel them. I’m pretty sure they spent all day hunting and fishing. God, what if your grandpa fished? Think about it. What if he didn’t catch and release like Fonzi? Then what? What if he ACTUALLY KILLED IT AND ATE IT? Murderer!
Guess what? You must pay for the sins of your fathers! Take your burnt offering to the wood nymphs and offer reparations for their deeds. Just think, your very lineage, your great-great grandparents who could have simply gone to the General Store and purchased couscous and tofu burgers, chose instead to learn a skill and go fish in nature, where humans have dominion over beasts.
We have a nation of snowflakes, poised to find offense at every turn, and he who screams and cries the loudest with the biggest toddler fit is rewarded by every media outlet in the system. America has lost its might, its reasoning skills, its spine, its balls. For God’s sake, let the man fish. It’s not like he smoked Parmesan cheese or sniffed children.
Oh, Henry, you warm, loving human being. God bless you for enjoying nature and sharing your enthusiasm. Bless you for not looting and rioting and burning cities down like so many others right now. God bless you for not sitting on your ass, collecting unemployment checks while restaurants fold because of lack of servers. God bless you for your smile and your kindness. Let the harsh words of the misinformed fools roll of your back. Fish, Henry. Fish your bippy off.
That’s a song I learned in the 70s as a child, watching Sesame Street. All the counting songs are forever imbedded in my brain, often hitting the needle at 3am as I awaken, and playing in my head as I do what middle-aged folks do at least twice each early morning.
Everybody likes ladybugs, no? They don’t sting. Their shape and color are pleasing, and they can eat thousands of insects in their lifetimes, so more power to them. Plus, they are polka dotted like a jaunty spring umbrella! This one seemed to enjoy our oak tree just fine. Sadly, the ice storm in February killed many of our trees, and this one was felled by a chainsaw last week, ne’er more to be walked upon by ladybug legs.
During WWII, Australia, like many countries, forced citizens to ration supplies. While fuel was rationed, wood was not, so these Australians used all manner of buggy to tote mallee root home. Never heard of mallee root? Well, it’s the rootstock of a mallee tree, of the genus Eucalyptus, which we’ve all heard of, because we picture koalas snug in their branches. And you probably have zero where you live. But Down Under, it was used to burn, like charcoal. Not a pretty sight, but functional.
Four springs ago, a competition was held for biggest mallee root, and this entry from Tooleybuc (a glorious name) was just shy of winning. However, it was more photogenic than the winner, so please enjoy what appears to be a sports bra hanging from its upper root.
But mallee isn’t just for drying skivvies. No indeed. At the mallee root festival in Ouyen, guests witness root tossing competitions. Whoever throws a 9 kilo (nearly 20 lb) stump the furthest, wins. I suppose when they’re done, they can simply set fire to all the mallee and be done with it.
And if you were lucky enough to win the event’s root lotto, you could later enjoy the evening in the honeymoon suite at the Patchewollock Pub. Who knew pubs had suites? Well, this one even has murals.
Their Facebook site reads like another language:
The Dry and Flynn Gurry this Saturday night… Fairy floss and snacks available. Enter paddock next to the pub via Federation Street near the truck stage.”
Blah. Everything tastes like cardboard, which is to say, almost nothing. The unfortunate thing is that sometimes, you’ll get an inkling of salt or of sour, but without context of other flavors, it’s just a nasty taste on your tongue. So you look like mopey Barbara here, a four-year-old hybrid gibbon, back in September of 1948, when this National Geographic image came out.
You might hate on zoos, but Barbara’s mother decided she wasn’t too keen on her offspring and refused to feed her. So without the keeper to spoon feed her, she would have certainly perished. Like a human, she sucked her thumb and played with a rattle. And I imagine she took that bottle there as well.
Ever since last month’s ice storm, the surviving birds have been in search of food. Normally at this time of year, trees would be budding, flowers blooming in the sea of verdant spring to which we are accustomed. Not this year. Everything is dead or brown. Or both. Our palm tree lost all its dozen fronds. Our oaks remain frozen in time, covered in ugly brown leaves that will not fall. The earth itself doesn’t know what season it is. It’s the ugliest I’ve ever seen Texas in my life because it was the coldest and the iciest it had ever been.
However, the cottonwood tree has begun putting out these yellow pods, for which the birds have gone crazy.
I’ve never seen so many birds on the branches of our cottonwood before. They stay for several minutes, then fly off, just as another drove comes to feast.
I do hope things will soon return to normal, in every sense of the word.
Curator of fishes, the vested Dr. Leonard Schultz, takes measurements of a parrotfish from Bikini Atoll in 1948. Bikini Atoll is a coral reef in the Marshall Islands, whose inhabitants were relocated in 1946, after which the islands and lagoon were the site of 23 nuclear tests by the United States until 1958. Before and after the Navy’s blasts, 70,000 marine life specimens were collected for testing, some of which you see in jars behind the good doctor. At this point, they had determined that surviving fish showed no anatomical changes, but they were concerned about future sterility and abnormal growths caused by radiation. The article states that “eventually, with the passage of time, the fish population will return to normal.”
While fish returned, the Atoll’s residents did not. In March 1946, the residents gathered their personal belongings and were transported 125 miles eastward to the uninhabited Rongerik Atoll, one-sixth the size of Bikini Atoll. A deep-rooted traditional belief that the island was haunted by the Demon Girls of Ujae, as well as inadequate food and water (and fish that made their legs go numb), made the move a complete failure. Families were moved to other islands and moved again.
In 1970, three families were resettled on Bikini island, totaling about 100 residents. But scientists found dangerously high levels of strontium-90 in well water, and the residents were carrying abnormally high concentrations of caesium-137 in their bodies. Even coconut crabs retained high levels of radioactivity and could not be eaten. Women noticed genetic abnormalities in their children. They were evacuated in 1980.
At this point, the atoll is occupied by a handful of caretakers. Marine life, despite being radioactive and sharks perhaps missing dorsal fins, seem to have thrived in the absence of humans.
Seems a bit steep for a cagwang (flying lemur), but let’s recognize that these prices are in Filipino money. A four foot sawa (python) could run you $1.50 in US money, up to $37.50 for a 28 foot specimen. Here we see two Filipino men holding a reticulated python and a crested serpent eagle.