Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kill the Burning Bush!

Jess Ruegg recently educated me on the invasive nature of the common landscape shrub, Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus). Though it turns a beautiful red in autumn, it really is bad news for our native plants. Further research has convinced me that these intruders must go.  Today, I dug this one up by the Community Garden, and now it is on its way to being dead.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ice Station

On my way to Clingman's Peak to get the rainwater sample on Tuesday, April 17.

This is the road, near the top of Clingman's.

And here are the radio towers at the top, entirely encased in ice.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

From our correspondents

Ben sent this visual report on an the results of a windy night a couple weeks ago. These are the mailboxes that sit between the Health Center and the Community Center. Face down--bummer.

And Miika sent this from Gretna, Louisiana, just across the river from New Orleans. Note that Dixie Beer is 100% pure and certified premium--certified! Also note that this is a "stag bar." Who, I wonder, would want to go to a stag bar?

The sign, however, is 100% awesome.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Leonardo Arches

On Saturday a bunch of people got together above the soccer field to make some self-supporting arches out of bamboo. They are based on a Leonardo da Vinci design for a temporary bridge. We saw some versions online, mostly made from milled lumber, but Jeff thought it would be fun to use our local bamboo.

Leo's drawing.

We bundled the bamboo for strength and to create flat surfaces. We had to incorporate some notches to keep the cross members from slipping. The arches were unstable, but they held themselves up with no fasteners.

Paige, Billy, and Mike making bundles of bamboo.

Here are the four arches we made. The one in front and the one in the back are bamboo. The one on the left is made from lumber, and in the middle Jeff and friends are assembling another from lumber. Click on it to see more detail.

Olga Ronay also sent over a few pictures from the afternoon:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Grindstaff Road Baldy

In forty years I've never seen a bald eagle around here. But last week, at about 6:30 PM, I found this one was happily pulling the guts out of a dead racoon in the middle of Grindstaff Road. I saw it again in the same place the next morning.

That's right, the keen-eyed predator that is the symbol of our nation, EATS ROADKILL!

Also of interest, Randy reports that he and a number of other bicyclists have seen a pair of bald eagles along the North Toe and along Cane River near where it empties into the Toe (Huntdale).

They are strikingly beautiful. (It's worth clicking on these pictures to see them bigger.)

Back-up camera

Luca and I recommend an automobile back-up camera for selfies.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Crazy atmospherics

Just before sunset, near Clingman's Peak, mid-February.