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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Spirit of the Woods Snowshoe Hike

 
Today was the monthly hike. With a lot of people signing up for the Hike 100 challenge on the NCT we had a good turnout. And we had a nice day and plenty of snow.

snowshoes

Over 20 people showed up! A surprising number of us had wooden snowshoes, mostly due to the fact that the Michigan state parks have been running programs for years whereby people can lace their own with neoprene.

snowshoes

We split into two groups so the people who wanted to get in five miles toward the challenge could do so, and another group did a shorter, possibly slower hike. (My total is now at 9 miles)

Anyway, ten of us made it from Udell Hills Road to the outer loop at Big M, and back. Five miles on snowshoes is a good solid walk.

snowshoes

Great day. I slept all afternoon, since I didn't sleep much after work. Headed back to bed soon. Good day.


See Feb 2011 Hike
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Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm Flying

 
Nope, I'm not Peter Pan.

Flying is a newspaper term. Actually, I wasn't able to find out the etymology of the word. Perhaps it's because it's the step where you move the papers through the air from one place to another, as opposed to running them through a machine. (definition "to move or be sent through the air")

So, at work, the papers come off the press in piles like you see here. They feed right to left at the bottom, are carried up the left side, and come out on the stainless table from left to right.

flying newspapers

Someone has to take those piles, straighten them better, and place them on carts to be taken to the inserting machine.

flying newspapers

Yesterday and today, I got to fly the papers! It's harder than you might imagine, and I only did a moderately good job. Hopefully, I'll get better. The stacks need to be really neat so they are pretty much ready to go in the inserter.

Learn something new, yeah!



See Paper and Ink
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

More of Sylvia's Neighbors

 
Although the lambs were the big hit of the walk Sylvia and I took on Monday, we were surely entertained by other neighbors of hers.

I'll present them in the order we met them. First, the very friendly goats who came right over and demanded grass from the other side of the fence. We complied.

goats

Next were the cows. They weren't all that interested in us, but the calf was a little curious.

calf

Oddly enough, the horse was also uninterested.

horse

The black sheep of this family sure didn't think of himself as an outcast.

sheep

And his little white goat buddy decided to walk with us till he ran out of pasture.

goat

The sky was blue and there was almost no snow that day. Chuck says they are now all white again. We sure are here! But who knew that I'd only have to go a few miles south of me to have a mini-spring vacation. It was great!

I got extra work hours tomorrow, so I'm going to bed early after I make a salad. We have a party tomorrow too.

See Lambs
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fasciated Evening Primrose

 
I know we are overdue for the January goal report, but there are much more fun things to discuss. I'll do that on a slow day.

The other day, as Sylvia and I were walking we saw a whole line of odd-looking plants.

facsiated evening primrose

They were along the edge of a farm field. I went over to take a closer look

facsiated evening primrose

Pretty bizarre, eh?

facsiated evening primrose

Stay tuned. The seed pods are easy to identify as the common evening primrose, Oenothera biennis.

facsiated evening primrose

But something pretty weird is going on with the stems and tips.

facsiated evening primrose

This is known as fasciation, and it occurs when there are mutations in the growth tips of a plant. Some plants are more susceptible than others. I was not aware that evening primrose is one that is commonly affected.

The condition can be caused by a permanent genetic change- this is how the cockscomb celosia came to be. It reproduces with the condition in each generation. Usually, the current generation is the only one affected. Insect or mite damage, radiation, or chemical exposure can cause the condition.

I'm thinking that because of the location at the edge of a field this might have been as a result of pesticide use.

You can see pictures of the same plant, still with leaves, fasciated by radiation exposure at Fukushima Diary

See some other plants with the condition at Wayne's World

facsiated evening primrose


see Evening Primrose in bloom
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Sound of Music

 
Don't even suggest that we should have made a video for you. This all comes under the heading of "make a joyful noise unto the Lord," rather than something of performance quality.

guitar and accordion

But, gosh! We had a good time. We sang and played until throats, fingertips, and arms were all done.

accordion

Chuck and Sylvia actually claim to enjoy listening to me fracture songs on the accordion. As difficult as this is to believe, they haven't thrown me out the door yet.

Meanwhile, Sylvia's secret pal gave her hyacinths. What a lovely whiff of springtime whenever we walked past the planter!

hyacinths

Now, I'm home again, and will head back to work in the morning, but much refreshed. Aren't friends great?

See Time For Friends
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