Been growing some mustard greens throughout the winter for my bearded dragon. I transplanted 4 of them late fall then some creature nibbled most of the leaves away; however, 2 plants came back. And now one has decided to send out the flower heads. Reminds me of broccoli. Maybe because they are in the same genus: mustard greens aka Brassica juncea and broccoli aka Brassica oleracea Italica Group.
Mustard greens forming flower heads.
The following 3 pictures were all taken exactly the same, except I changed the f-stop. I was wanting to capture the single branch in the foreground, and had to blur out the branches in the background for this subject to work.
The f/4 picture has the right field of depth – the subject is clearly distinguishable from the background. With a wider aperture, more light entered the lens. I should have increased the shutter speed to account for this. But since I only changed the aperture, this sequence of photographs makes for an excellent visual example on the effects of f-stop settings.
Ever so slowly I have been adding new plants to the flower bed in front of my house since August. Being winter, it currently looks like a flower graveyard: bright yellow tags describing what those crumbling brown twigs should be.
Looks rather tacky to me, but I like to know what plants I have and I want the land lord/next renter to know what is planted where.
So I gathered some rocks and painted some markets that are much easier on the eyes. I might paint the date of planting on the underside even though I will probably be moving within the year. I love how my flower bed looks now.
An easy way to reduce your environmental impact is to say no to all junk mail, including those pesky email subscriptions that you never read.
I have a catch-all email account that I give out whenever something asks for an email. I’ve had it for years. In that time I have signed up for many subscriptions, purposefully and otherwise.
I check the email account daily, opening only a couple of the several dozen I have received. And then I sign out.
I now have 16,000+ unread emails in my inbox. That is ALL junk mail. Mostly from sites that I think I want a subscription to as I am very good at unsubscribing myself from unsolicited emails.
While to me those emails seem nonexistent, they are in fact stored physically somewhere. Physical resources are required to send, receive, and store email. Just as we must say no to paper copies of unwanted material, we must say no to unwanted emails. And for the email we do want, we must decide whether it is worth storing or not. Sure I’ll keep that funny holiday letter from my mom, but I don’t need an archive and every Groupon daily deal.
Now I have the fun task of sorting and deleting 16,000+ emails! How many junk emails do you have to delete? Let’s get our inboxes clean and work to keep them that way.
Saturday was beautiful so my cats and I went outside for some fresh air.
While outside, I decided to check on the fungi that I had photographed 20 days earlier. I didn’t expect most of them to still be there. But they were, and I took a few more shots of them.
I have a fairly large obsession with photographing fungi. Oddly enough, I seemed to have not shared any of this obsession with y’all – when I searched for “fungi” on my site, no posts popped up!
Well, let’s change that.
It has been fairly wet this winter. A few weekends ago I noticed some bright orange fungi in my backyard and had to take pictures of it. My kid neighbors thought I was a fool and I don’t care. Macro photographers have to look like fools – “uh, that person is taking a picture of the ground! What a weirdo!”
No, come look closer and you can see the amazing detail of texture, patterns, and color. I love macro photography – it’s where my photography creativity flourishes.
Without further ado, here are some snapshots of the cool fungi in my yard. I really wish I was a mycologist – it is so hard to identify fungi via the internet. My extremely amateur guess is that the following is Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica). I could be completely wrong. The other possibility was Orange Jelly. I chose Witch’s Butter because it resembles a raisin when dried, of which I also have pictures. But don’t take my word on any of this! The internet lies! If you know otherwise, please correct me!
All these pictures were taken on the same day, so it is not the same specimen but dried a few days later. Regardless, I think it is the same species because a google image search says so!
And some other macro shots taken during that session:
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Will Congress Finally Deal With The Health Emergency of Mountaintop Removal? | Common Dreams.
Finally this issue is getting the attention it deserves. I really hope it passes.
Here is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to my congressman in 2011 regarding my views on mountain top removal and the coal industry:
“Mountains are useless when they are leveled for a temporary mining operation. Instead, the mountain could accommodate a wind farm that provides a sustainable source of clean energy. Wind energy ensures safe jobs indefinitely into the future; whereas coal mining is hazardous to the employees, who risk illness, injury, and even death (49 days is the longest period the American coal mining industry has gone without a fatality. In 2007, 69 people DIED while 12 THOUSAND were injured, and that excludes how many people suffer every year from coal-related illnesses like black lung and asthma). Also, coal mining is becoming more mechanized and requiring fewer workers every year (705,000 miners in 1923; 140,000 in 1970; 70,000 in 2003). Jobs are already being lost. Another terrible side effect of mountain top removal is the filling in of headwater streams and rivers with rubble and sediments that are technically toxic waste. This has drastic repercussions on the health of the watershed, which is an invaluable natural resource to both the environment and people everywhere, including those employed by industry and government alike. Local water treatment facilities also assume the burden (cost) of treating the polluted water. As we know mountain top removal is essentially an unregulated business: a prime example that industries cannot be allowed to regulate themselves as they only serve their own interests, which is primarily short-term profit. The true costs are externalized to us. Yet another example that industry cannot be trusted to self-regulate. We all know that a mountain can never be restored to its original state after it has been blown to smithereens. Mountain top removal operations are legally supposed to restore the site after the operation has ceased, but the vast majority does not. Even if they do, the result is not a highly diverse temperate forest resembling what once stood, but a flat, open field hiding an ugly truth. Our mountains and our environment belong to the people; thus we should be the ones profiting from our resources, not some business.”
I think it is time for me to write another letter to my current congressmen expressing my support for this act. The people of Appalachia need the support of the entire nation to overcome the power of Big Coal. I encourage you to also a write a letter to your congressman.