Josey Ranch Pocket Prairie – July 2019

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The Josey Ranch Pocket Prairie has gotten taller since I visited back in April. At first glance the dominant colors are greens and browns. It takes a closer look to notice the wild flowers that are still in bloom and the seed pods that many are already beginning to form. I thought about what it would be like to walk through a larger prairie – that continued for as far as the eye could see – it would not be an easy stroll. The plants are intertwined and densely packed. They are at least waist high. And there would be no shade from the heat. Streams large enough to support trees would be precious.

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The flowers are like jewels in the greens and browns. I used the zoom to get flower pictures and stayed on the path. It was still early enough in the day that the temperature was cool, and I was the only one in the pocket prairie even though the morning commuter traffic was just yards away. I was alone but not too alone.

Kudos to the crew that established and maintain the Josey Ranch Pocket Prairie!

Springfield Botanical Garden

My daughter and I took a break from unpacking into her new home for  a short walk around the Springfield (Missouri) Botanical Gardens. We parked near the area that the Master Gardeners created and maintain. There were a lot of things in bloom…and veggies growing too.

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The morning was heating up and we realized we should have come earlier in the morning for our walk. We made our way through several other garden areas. The Hosta area looked inviting (very shady and probably cooler that much of the garden) but we decided to make a loop and come back sometime when it was cooler.

I knew they had a native butterfly exhibit that I wanted to see. It is in a mesh tent. The butterfly that was new to me was the zebra swallowtail – evidently more common in Missouri than it is in Maryland. Maybe they have more paw paw trees (the host plant for the caterpillar) than we do.

As we walked back to the parking lot (the Botanical Center building was not open during the time we were there), we saw the Monarch Butterfly life cycle sculpture/play area. Very clever. Next time I am in the garden maybe there will be children playing on it.

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Fawn in the Backyard

Back in mid-June not long after I moved into a new home office that doesn’t get as much afternoon sun (and get hot) during the summer, a fawn moved through the backyard and stopped log enough for me to get a picture. I didn’t see any other deer around but maybe the doe was just out of my field of view.

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The fawn still had lots of spots but was sure footed enough to not still be in the ‘hiding’ stage of its life. A few days before I had seen a doe move through the yard with a large belly that seemed to move a lot; I wondered if she was in labor and hoped she made it back into the forest before giving birth.

Our area has a significant overpopulation of deer that is impacting our forests and yards; we are plagued by deer tick borne Lyme disease. For those reasons, I am in favor of the deer control measures the state and county governments are implementing…but I enjoy watching them move through our yard from my office window and have resigned myself so never having the day lily buds fully bloom.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 13, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

We organized a conference for 570 people without using plastic. Here’s how it went – It’s hard to do anything without plastic….but we’ll find ways eventually. I am focused on the ‘single use’ items first but when I can I choose materials other than plastic even for more durable items.

Arches National Park Recognized As "Dark Sky" Park – Now for my husband to find a way to get there with his telescope….

Timber Rattlesnakes: Cool Facts and an Uncertain Future – This snake is found in western Maryland….not in the county where I live. But we always mention it to students interested in snakes. This article provided some additional ‘cool facts’ to pass along.

Macro Photos of Water Droplets Reveal the Overlooked Beauty of Nature – Beautiful images in water droplets - And the artist included some pictures of the set up he uses to get the pictures!

In an Era of Extreme Weather, Concerns Grow Over Dam Safety – There have been dams in the news in recent years (like the Oroville Dam spillway failure in 2017). In our area, some small dams have been removed. But there are 91,000 dams in the US that are aging and need repairs. It’s going to be expensive…and the extreme weather we’ve been having probably makes it more urgent…but the funding is just not forthcoming so far.

Chiggers are the worst – Agreed.

Photo of the Week – July 5, 2019 – Milkweed in bloom. This is a blog post from The Prairie Ecologist…showing some bugs too. No Monarch butterflies though.

8 ways wild animals beat the heat – The mucous that hippos secrete was new to me…it’s acts as sunscreen, antibiotic, moisturizer, and water repellant. Now that we’ve learned that the sunscreen we’ve been using may be toxic to corals (and maybe to us too), perhaps we could develop an alternative by learning more about the hippo mucous.

Winter Bee Declines Greatest in 13 Years: Survey – Habitat loss, pesticides, Varroa mites….it adds up. Evidently in recent years the strategies that beekeepers have been using to deter mites have not worked as well. Some crops rely more on commercial beekeepers than others. Almonds, cherries, and blueberries are mentioned as examples.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Flowers – Last but not least this week…..birds and flowers. Enjoy the photographs.

New South Wales and Joseph Henry Maiden

Joseph Henry Maiden was advised to take a long sea voyage for his health when he was 21 years old. He left London for New South Wales (on the east coast of Australia) and stayed there for the rest of his life making a career as a botanist studying Australian Floral; he died in 1925 at the age of 66. There are quite a few of his publications available on Internet Archive. I particularly enjoyed illustrations in The Forest Flora of New South Wales (available here). The forest plants of Australia are often very different from North America….even though there are some that have been brought to places in North America where they could thrive (eucalyptus, for example).

Shirley Hibberd

Shirley Hibberd was one of the most popular and successful gardening writers of the Victorian Era. The name caught my eye on a list of authors of botanical books from the 1800s that were supposedly ‘Women in Natural History.’ I quickly discovered (via Wikipedia) that the author was a man! It reminded me of a choir director I’d known in my teenage years – also a man named Shirley. Following the tangent thought about Shirley as a first name – I found that Charlotte Bronte is the one that transitioned the name from male to female with her novel (Shirley) published in 1849.

Back to Shirley Hibberd - there are quite a few books available by Hibberd on Internet Archive (list here); some I had looked at years ago and some I found in June. My favorite of the June books was New and rare beautiful leaved plants published in 1870 and available on Internet Archive here.

Lots of ideas of house plants in this book. I was impressed by the variety of shapes, textures and colors.

Journal of Botanical Research Institute of Texas

16 volumes (from 2007 to 2014) of the Journal of Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) are available from Internet Archive here. I browsed through all of them in late May and early June. It’s interesting to compare the botanical illustrations used for research papers today with those from the 1800s. There are still drawings that look very similar to botanical prints…but there are photographs too. The photographs have replaced the colored prints that were a cornerstone of the 1800s books (and made them collectable). I appreciated the drawings as I browsed these BRIT volumes. It is easier to see structures in the drawings than in the photographs (and it is easier to deconstruct drawings into Zentangle patterns)! The sample images from the volumes below show the wide range of illustration types. Click on an image to see an enlarged version.

I found this journal after I discovered Eula Whitehouse’s work back in March (see the blog post about her here). The organization she worked for eventually became BRIT.

July 4th Fireworks

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I was in Carrollton TX on the 4th of July. It was short walk from my parents’ house to a good viewing area for the city’s fireworks. Other people had the same idea so there was a community block party-like atmosphere. Somebody brought a boom box to provide music. My sister had popsicles to keep us hydrated and cool. Everyone was ready by 9:30 PM when the fireworks started. We had carried folding chairs with us…but I ended up not using mine because I was taking pictures. My camera was on a monopod and I used the ‘fireworks’ setting. It’s not a setting that can shoot in quick succession because it knits together several images in the camera. The result is pictures that show a lot of color. I also liked some of the pictures where I managed to ‘move’ during the time it was capturing the multiple images…the streaks and squiggles look like abstract art. The best pictures are included in this post.

The electrical wires are sometimes visible in the pictures – sometimes not. They were always there.

After the fireworks show was over…we walked back to the house….then heard fireworks again. Somehow the finale had been delayed. Aargh! No pictures.

Brookside Gardens – June 2019

The plants at Brookside Gardens are lush this time of year. I took pictures before every shift with the butterflies…and sometimes afterward as well.

The gardeners that maintain the north conservatory succeeded in getting a lotus to bloom in the pool there. When I photographed it, there was a tiny insect on the flower….a little pollinator?

Now for the outdoors - Some days it was raining and I focused on water on the plants; some days I worked with lighting to get the background dark; other days I was intent on filling the frame with a single flower or the unfurling of a single frond. Some plants are still in bud and others are already making seeds. I find myself being pleased with how many I can easily identify but even happier to just savor the shapes and colors…remember the smells. June is a great month for gardens here in Maryland.

Brookside Gardens – Butterflies and more

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Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit was one of the places I volunteered in June – one of my happy places. One of my shifts was so cloud-covered and rainy that butterflies were still roosting in the fiscus at mid-morning.

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There were more clearwing butterflies in the conservatory that earlier in the season – enough that I saw one or two during most of my shifts.

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There aren’t as many paper kite butterflies this year…but they are still one of my favorites.

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The overall favorite for most people is the blue morpho; it’s one of mine too although for more than the blue color…I like the orange markings on the underside and body too. I manage to get some quick pictures during times when there are very few or no visitors in the exhibit.

And there were many other kinds of butterflies that posed for a picture at handy times.

And then there is the caterpillar house. Most of the caterpillars that were in the house during June were Julia Longwing or Zebra Longwing; both use passion flower as the host plant for their caterpillars.

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Toward the end of the month the eggs of the Palamedes swallowtail hatched….and the very small caterpillars begin to make their visible mark on the leaves. When they get bigger, they’ll have ‘eye spots’ to keep the predators away.

There were butterflies outside in the gardens too – mostly tiger swallowtails and skippers.

The bees enjoy the flowers too.

Sometimes a dragonfly would sit for long enough to be photographed.

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Birds like the gardens. A goldfinch and cardinal were near the conservatory one morning before my shift. I also saw a catbird that same morning but it flew away before I could get a photograph.

But the high point of the animals at Brookside was a box turtle! I had just exited my car and saw it emerge from a bed at the side of the conservatory and walk across the concrete in front of the service door to the north conservatory.

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It continued until it was close to the seal between the two doors then looked up like it expected the door to open. I wondered if it had – sometime in its life – spent some time inside the conservatory.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 6, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Older forests resist change, climate change, that is -- ScienceDaily  - A study from the University of Vermont. But there are a lot of other changes in the forest too – the advent of non-native diseases like emerald ash borer and the explosion of deer populations so that there is a lot less understory in the forest (and few young trees). Is the net still that old forests resist change more effectively than younger ones?

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: June – National Geographic Society Newsroom – The always beautiful series of bird pictures.

Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries ScienceDaily – I’ve noticed the battery in my Prius Prime does not last for as many miles in the winter as it does in the summer. It’s one of the issues I want improved before I buy my next EV.

Chattanooga Becomes First U.S. Airport to Run Entirely on Solar – YaleEnvironment360 – Congrats to Chattanooga on this milestone. Evidently the first airport to do it was Cochin International in Kerala, India which went 100% solar powered in 2015. I’ve noticed a lot of US airports have fields of solar arrays…but maybe they haven’t also installed batteries to make the airport 100% solar powered.

You Can Now Tour the Tunnels Beneath Rome’s Baths of Caracalla – Smithsonian – A little Roman history linked to a place where tons of wood were burned per day to keep the fires going so that the caldarium would have hot water…where 18.5 gallons of water per second were consumed…copper tanks and lead pipes.

Timed release of turmeric stops cancer cell growth – ScienceDaily – Part of the search for gentler treatments for children with osteosarcoma.

A Tale of Contrasting Rift Valley Lakes – NASA Earth Observatory – Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa as viewed from NASA’s Aqua satellite.  Deep and shallow. Salty and fresh. Brown and Blue.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: Holding History in Your Hand – National Parks Traveler – I had to look up where Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located. It’s in the panhandle of Texas, north of Amarillo. I might go someday…on the way to somewhere else. The route would probably pass through the small western Oklahoma town where I was born.

Grand Canyon will soon be a dark sky park – Smithsonian – The park service has retrofitted lights to make it happen. This could be a good reason to camp in this national park!

What does the dust in your home mean for your health? – The Conversation – Thought provoking post. About one third of the ‘dust’ is created inside by ourselves and our pets, food debris, fibers from carpet/fabrics, particles from cooking plus chemicals like flame retardants. Are they toxic? There is ongoing research. Re outdoor sources – lead is the one of most concern.

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens – June 2019

The plants that are the main attractions during  the June and July at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens are the lotuses and the water lilies.

The lotuses were in full bloom in the later part of June when we visited but there weren’t many seed pods yet.

I also found a rolled-up lotus leaf that was interesting. The leaves are round, balancing on a central stem but they start out as a scroll like structure that unfolds. This one was still tightly coiled. I might use it as a prompt to create a Zentangle pattern.

 The water lilies did not seem as dense as they have in previous years and I wondered if the rains and cool temperatures earlier this summer impacted the water lily development.

The button bush was beginning to bloom; I didn’t notice any seed pods yet. There is a ways to go before all the flowers are pollinated…lots of bee activity.

Two trees stood out:

There was a group of developing pine codes high up in a pine near the entrance and

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Some shelf fungus growing around a knot (maybe where a branch had been). It looks a little like a bear face to me. I’d noticed it last year too. The shelf fungus look more cracked this year but they still have the orange underneath.

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I heard green frogs and searched the shallows from where the sound seemed to emanate….but never  saw the frog.

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A pearl crescent butterfly opened its wings as it sat in the grassy path and paused long enough for me to get a picture.

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We saw two different kinds of turtles (identified with the help of a reference from Maryland Department of Natural Resources): a small red-eared slider (not native to our area but invading) and

A large northern red-bellied cooter – which is native to our area. It was a large specimen. I wondered how long it had taken to get that big…about 12 inches.

Both ponds had a lot of algae and muck so the turtle shells looked grubby but the heads were vey distinctive…enough for the identification.

Overall – the field trip to Kenilworth was worthwhile and very enjoyable. We went in the morning before the day got too hot.

Dragonflies at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

The lotuses and water lilies are blooming at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens from late June into July. The wetlands are attractive to dragonflies too; I saw 5 different kinds when I went on a late June weekend. I found a good reference to help me identify them from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources.

The first one we saw – and the most numerous – were the blue dashers. They like to perch on the vegetation in the lotus and water lily ponds.

Along the boardwalk out into the Anacostia River wetlands, there were quiet a few autumn meadowhawks. They weren’t as good about staying put for a picture as the blue dashers.

Also on the boardwalk, there was a common whitetail with black bands on its wings.

There was a green eastern pondhawk on a sunny spot of the boardwalk as we were walking back along the boardwalk.

It wasn’t until I got home as was looking at my pictures that I realized I had photographed another type of dragonfly among the lotuses: a common baskettail. It was a pleasant surprise!

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Tomorrow I’ll post the other images from our walk around Kenilworth Gardens.

eBotanical Prints – June 2019

I added 29 new books to the collection this month bringing the total of botanical print books I’ve found to almost 1,700 - available free of charge on the Internet. The whole book list can be accessed here. The list for June 2019 is below the sample images. I’ll be posting about several of the books in more detail in subsequent blog posts.

There is quite a date range for the June books. The oldest is from 1553 – authored by Rembert Dodoens. The newest is the last volume available on Internet Archive of a botanical journal published in 2014.

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V2 no 2 2008 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2008

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V3 no 1 2009 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2009

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V3 no 2 2009 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2009

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V4 no 1 2010 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2010

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V4 no 2 2010 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2010

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 5 no 1 2011 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2011

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 5 no 2 2011 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2011

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 6 no 1 2012 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2012

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 6 no 2 2012 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2012

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 7 no 1 2013 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2013

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 7 no 2 2013 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2013

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 8 no 1 2014 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2014

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 8 no 2 2014 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2014

The florist : containing sixty plates of the most beautiful flowers  * Bowles, Carrington * sample image * 1770

Purgantium aliarumque eo facientium, tum et radicum, conuoluulorum ac deleteriarum herbarum historiae * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1574

Florum, coronariarum odoratarumque nonnullarum herbarum historia * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1568

Frumentorum, Leguminum, palustrium et aquatilium herbarum * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1566

Remberti Dodonaei ... trium priorum de stirpium historia commentariorum imagines ad viuum expressae * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1553

Alpine flora of the Canadian Rocky Mountains * Brown, Stewardson; Mrs. Charles Schaffer * sample image * 1907

The Fern Garden : how to make, keep, and enjoy it ; or, fern culture made easy * Hibberd, Shirley * sample image * 1872

New and rare beautiful-leaved plants * Hibberd, Shirley; Fawcett, Benjamin * sample image * 1870

Garden Favorites * Hibberd, Shirley * sample image * 1858

Australian Wild Flowers * Flockton, Margaret * sample image * 1912

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V1 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1904

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V2 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1907

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V3 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1908

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V4 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1911

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V5 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1913

The weeds of New South Wales, pt. I  * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1920

Fledglings through the Window

I moved my home office to a room that does not get as much direct sun on summer afternoons…and discovered I have a better view of our bird feeder through the window. One of the first birds I noticed on the feeder was a downy woodpecker that seemed to be coming very frequently.

And then came the explanation…the parent was showing the way to the feeder to a fledgling! It could have been more than one fledgling because these pictures were taken over several hours….and then I haven’t seen the birds again. Perhaps they are finding plenty of food in the trees behind our house. They are – after all – woodpeckers.

A few days later – I saw a titmouse that was very tentatively perched on our deck railing. It didn’t go to the feeder but succeed in fluttering off toward the maple tree…maybe back to the nest.

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Fast forward almost a week and I saw 2 types of fledglings: 1) There were parents and fledgling Carolina Chickadees at the bird feeder (there were several smaller and somewhat clumsy birds with the two adults)…moving too fast for me to get a picture. 2) A crabby fledgling on the deck railing in the rain. I think it was probably a Catbird fledgling. It didn’t go to the feeder but flew off to the sycamore.

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Overall, it’s been a busy month at our feeder. In some cases, it was probably the first meal away from the nest for the young birds…and certainly fun to watch from my summer office window. I enjoy these kinds of distractions!

Zentangle® - June 2019

I had a lot of tiles to choose from in June….it was the usual challenge to limit myself to 30 – June having only 30 days.

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I did a series of tiles with the phicops pattern for the whole tile – using it like a string for other patterns. All of these were physical tiles.

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And then there were all the others – the black tiles are digital (iPad)…which shows that about half my picks for June were digital…half physical.

I’ll be doing a several road trips in July. It will be an adventure in Zentangle-on-the-go. I anticipate that I’ll create tiles at the beginning or end of the day….unless there is a substantial storm and I stop to wait it out.

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Ten Little Celebrations – June 2019

There was a lot going on in June – the last of the spring field trip season with Howard County Conservancy, the Wings of Fancy shifts, helping my daughter move from Pennsylvania to Missouri….and there were a lot of little celebrations along the way.

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Springfield Art Museum – The first visit to a museum is always the best…because everything is new. This one was no exception….and it was free!

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Luna moth – Finding a Luna Moth at a rest stop in Missouri was the high point of a long day of driving toward home. I celebrated that it was there….and that it was a pleasant surprise in an unexpected place.

First week of CSA – I am always thrilled to get the fresh produce from the Gorman Farm Community Supported Agriculture. Every meal I prepare with the CSA veggies is a celebration.

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Frogs at Mt Pleasant – Finding the frogs in the small pond is like working a puzzle…you look carefully and finally see….and celebrate. I celebrated along with my hiking groups of elementary aged students too.

Perfect field trip weather at Belmont – I was braced for June field trips to be overly hot…but the weather for all of them at Belmont was near perfect. The pre-schoolers at Belmont celebrated being outdoors and I did too.

My summer office – I moved my home office to a room that doesn’t get direct sun in the afternoon (so doesn’t heat up) and celebrated that the new location provided a better vantage point to the bird feeder while I am working at my computer.

Kombucha – My new food find of the month was mint lemonade kombucha from Wegmans. I didn’t drink the whole bottle all at once…wanted to savor it so I had about 1/3 each day for 3 days. Yummy! I might not get it every week…maybe only for a celebration.

1st monarch butterfly and caterpillar sighting of the year – I celebrated a Monarch butterfly on some milkweed at Brookside Gardens and then a Monarch caterpillar on another milkweed nearby. It’s always a milestone for the butterflies to make it Maryland and start laying eggs. The milkweed is blooming and sweet…plenty of food for the caterpillars.

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1st Zentangle® class is history – I celebrated leading my first Zentangle class…and the tiles created by the students.

Fledglings – I celebrated seeing several fledglings come to our birdfeeder over the past few weeks: downy woodpecker, titmouse, Carolina chickadee, and catbird. Our maple tree seems to be a popular place for many of these birds….or maybe they just come through that tree from the forest and return to the forest the same way.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 29, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Porcupines | National Geographic – I was disappointed that they didn’t include more pictures of the North American Porcupine. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

BBC - Future - How to build something that lasts 10,000 years – Specifically – this post is about building a clock that will last for 10,000 years…in West Texas!

Researchers uncover indoor pollution hazards -- ScienceDaily – Some surprises: pollutants change with temperature inside the house….and time of day makes a difference. Formaldehyde seems to be particularly prevalent. These studies are scary for existing homes. We need work on mitigations that homeowners can implement…and new construction that reduces the source of pollutants.

Infographic: Immunity Isn't the Body's Only Defense System | The Scientist Magazine® - Symbiotic bacteria, metabolism and pathogen mutation examples overlay the immunity strategy. As we learn more, we realize that the human body is more complex that we realized.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Blue – National Geographic Society Newsroom – So many blue birds!

Tortoises rule on Aldabra Atoll – Tortoises making their way through the huts where people bunked! The tortoises sleep with head and legs stretched out…no predators to fear on the inhospitable atoll.

Past climate change pushed birds from the northern hemisphere to the tropics -- ScienceDaily – Thought provoking. I wondered if some of the birds that now migrate from North America to Central or South America for the winter….will not go as far or will shift their range northward.  I suppose it would work if their food sources shifted and the birds followed the food. The synchrony of plants blooming and seeds ripening….of horseshoe crabs laying eggs…all while birds are migrating or getting ready to produce young; it’s not a simple system.

Making STEM Education More Welcoming to Underrepresented Minorities | The Scientist Magazine® - Education doesn’t happen in a vacuum that has well defined boundaries. We must do more than just academic support…I’m glad there is more research and conversation on how to move forward in tangible ways to make STEM education and careers more open to everyone.

An Ancient Asteroid Crater May Be Hiding Off Scotland’s Coast | Smart News | Smithsonian – Some recent work that points to a crater of a asteroid from 1.2 billion years ago.

Three Studies Track People's Microbiomes Through Health and Disease | The Scientist Magazine® - Interesting…but they could just be expensive association studies (a quote from the end of the paper). At some point, maybe the findings will lead to something that benefits the patient.

3 Free eBooks – June 2019

There was quite a variety of books to pick from in my book list for this month…difficult to pick just three. I realized that I have started gleaning from my book list for other posts beyond this monthly one. I feature the botanical books in a separate post and I’ve started collecting images to use for Zentangle pattern prompts (i.e. images that are easily decomposed into patterns and used to create Zentangle tiles) which I will probably become blog posts occasionally too!

Pennell, Joseph; Pennell, Elizabeth Robbins. Two pilgrims’ progress; from fair Florence to the eternal city of Rome. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1899. Available on Internet Archive here. This husband and wife team travelled between Florence and Rome on an odd ‘bicycle built for two.’ He was the artist and she was the writer. I enjoyed their other books available online too.

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Jammes, Andre; Sobieszek, Robert A.; White, Minor. French Primitive Photography. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art. 1969. Available on Internet Archive here. A little history not only of photography but for the subjects of the photographers as well. There are quite a few images from Egypt in the mid-1800s of famous monuments before the sand was moved from the lower portions…or had just been removed.

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Perkins, Lucy Fitch. The Belgian Twins. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1917. Available on Internet Archive here. The author wrote a whole series of books about twins from around the world between 1911 and 1934. Evidently, she interviewed someone that had grown up in each country to gain understanding of children’s lives there. She also incorporated aspects of history; World War I was woven into this book about Belgium published in 1917 and the book about French twins published in 1918. Many of the books are available on Internet Archive. The sketch type illustrations are the aspect of these books I enjoyed the most.

Leading a Zentangle® Class

I applied what I learned at the Certified Zentangle Trainer class (taken back in April) with a group of summer camp counselors last week…a prelude to working with the summer campers in a few weeks. The counselors were in their pre-camp training session. Most of the camp with be outdoor activities but on very rainy or hot days….creating Zentangle tiles can be a great option.

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I prepared for the session by developing a method to project my work on a screen (iPad on a tripod, Camera app, connector to allow display of the iPad screen on any projector/screen via HDMI cable) and making folded paper ‘trays’ to keep the pencil and pen together (not rolling around the table).

I also made variations of the tile I would coach them to make during the first session.

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The session with the camp counselors took a little over 30 minutes in all….and look what they created! Now one took an after lunch nap…they were all too focused on creating the patterns on their tile.

I am always impressed by class mosaics…how every tile expresses the individuality of the person that created it.

After the session we had a feedback session and agreed that the apprentice tiles (4.5 inches square) should be used for the younger campers….that the smaller ones (3.5 inches square) might appeal to the older campers that want to create tiles with more detail. Allowing more than 30 minutes would be good too!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.