Temperatures rising

The coming spring is warming, though barely unfrozen, like the pond the first time I try to go swimming after ice-out, when I know if I’d just jump in it would be fine for the rest of summer but not yet so I walk in slowly, and feel the blue slide up my legs.

One day, probably soon, I’ll just jump in all the way and be fine.

Not yet.

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Planet warning

My trusty navigator and I took a drive last weekend, to Cincinnati, my son and the Cincinnati Bengals. Our drive took us across miles of unseasonably barren farmland virtually devoid of snow.

I’ve been making the trip for decades. I don’t recall any year in mid-February when there was so much brown ground.

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Happy 2022 to our fellow space travelers

In the past three years, maybe four, I haven’t burned a tank of snowthrower gas. One of those years I never even took the thing out.

“You should feel lucky then, haha,” my nephew wrote in a chat.

Nope. He is young enough to think clearing snow is a chore. I used to love clearing our driveway late at night, just me and the machine’s headlight and a stream of snow.

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Trading future for profits

A few years ago we learned Exxon had been researching oil’s replacement at the same time the company was actively denying burning the stuff was bad for our planet. Exxon and other companies historically and currently spend tons of money convincing us to buy products they know are harmful to the continued well-being of humans and other earthly plants and critters.

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Vaccines and loaded trucks

Questioning authority has been a well-documented life-long pursuit of mine, so I do not fault folks for arguing with the way the government has handled this pandemic, or which government may have sourced it.

But we have bodies stacking up around the globe – more than 690,000 and piling in the U.S. alone. We know how to stop that.

We can argue the other points next, not first.

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Tell the tadpoles

Tuesday morning there was a serious rain event in my neighborhood, too late for the tadpoles I had been watching in a pool up in Michaux State Forest.

I started photographing them at the end of March, when they were newly hatched.

The First of June marked nine weeks I had been visiting and photographing them. It’d been about a week since I’d last seen them and they did not have legs. They should have grown legs soon, but the lack of rain has transformed the vernal pool into a vernal bed of rapidly drying leaves.

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Thoughts on unfreezing

No ice, just babies for Mrs Canada.We human mammals love water. We spend nine months in a balloon full of the stuff, presumedly plotting our escape, then spend much of our air-breathing lives trying to at least live next to it.

Those of us fortunate enough to gain housing close to a stream, lake or ocean often post signs around it announcing our success to neighbors who must settle for looking out their front windows at our back doors.

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PA needs a container deposit system

Hard to believe the bottle was heavier hauled out than hauled in.‘Tis the season, for bicycle riding for some of us. I’ve hauled mine down from its hook in the garage. The wheels still are round and seem to stay that way under the weight of Yours Truly. Now to put some miles on it, as my medical person has been recommending. I walk quite a bit, or maybe it just seems that way.

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Make room for Ellie

The last of Ellie's line died nearly 6,000 years ago Should we bring them back?When many of us think of the woolly mammoth, I’m guessing we think of Queen Latifah, or at least the voice she gave to Ellie the woolly mammoth in the “Ice Age” movie franchise. For the record, the ice age ended about 11,000 years ago, and so did Ellie and her mate, Manny.

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Hawks and people need green space and water

A Red-tailed Hawk sits patiently waiting for dinner to show itself.One of the many wonderful things about living where I live is I am not required to travel far from my home to see wonderful stuff. Like on the recent afternoon when I went driving with a fellow photographer along a nearby road and found four Red-tail hawks in the space of about a half mile.

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Mother nature’s sending a message

Orchardists begin to worry when the seasons skip the freezing winter.This spring was a record-breaking season for attendance at the annual Mount Hope Maple Madness, held at Camp Eder, on Mount Hope Road, Hamiltonban Township. The event was staged by Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, an environmental education facility a short distance from Camp Eder.

Folks from miles around showed up to learn about maple syrup making, and to enjoy some of the sweet, sticky nectar on hot pancakes.

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Changing seasons

A dozen wind turbines on a Fall colored horizon.The end is near, the calendar says, though physical evidence offers some argument. Summer inexorably withdraws southward, following the Canada geese to their winter abode, but the lawn still needs periodic cutting.

We returned from a two-week road trip to the sound of a cricket holding forth from among the stones. It was an unexpected sound for mid-October. Temperatures the past few days have been in the 80s that should be at least 20 degrees lower, breaking records for highs set in 1908. Marsh Creek is shallower than it should be this time of year. Rain near the end of September raised the creek some, but a friend reports a boulder that is usually submerged all winter is about 18 inches exposed.

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