Archive for March, 2009

Bald, close up & QQQ on NPR


You might be wondering what the rock strata of that bald looked like close up…. Maybe. I just changed my desktop image to rock closeups from yesterday’s hike, including this one…. It resonates for me….

So that’s today’s science comment, and here’s one about the arts. Billy’s sister was on NPR this morning. She’s in the quartet QQQ. Listen to clips and the story here; I really enjoyed their music, and now I know what a hardingfele is, although I’m not sure I can pronounce the word properly!

Balds and slicks


Played hooky today and hiked a short section of the AT, east from Neels Gap. We had perfect weather for taking this ridge-running route, which gave us glorious views down into the piedmont, across the mountains into NC, and of several balds, or rock outcrops like this. The plants are just beginning to waken from the grey of winter. The sun was brilliant and we finished the hike rosy-cheeked.

Slicks are stands of mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia); we saw a few, but didn’t have to pick through any, thankfully.

Floral poetry


Unforced forsythias. Brilliant yellow glory. Sunshine as petals.

Dissected creeks


This creek drains the Little Park*, and it’s already delivered most of the rainfall from earlier this week downstream. The streambed is dissected, or deep below the adjacent ground surface. This is the result of sediment deposition in the valley, as well as downcutting by the drainage after the forests were removed in the catchment area. So, the pattern you see here is very historic, and relatively recent. The piedmont sure looks a lot different now than it did 500 years ago.

* my term

Looking down off the bridge


I had a great view from the bridge above the construction site. And what are they building? A bigger fenced area for people to run their dogs off-leash in Piedmont Park. Not that many people around here actually seem to believe that our leash law applies to them—and their widdo Fido.

If I were the KW, I’d do a better job of describing this little one-act play that happenstance brought to my viewshed. Unlike many of the KW driving stories, this one doesn’t involve a SUV or a soccer mom. This time it’s a couple of construction guys, an almost flat grassy spot in the park, and the first sunny day after two-and-a-half days of rain.

Fortunately, the lummox in the pickup truck was able to flag his buddy in the little trackhoe to motor on over and give him a push. Otherwise, the lummox’d still be spinning his wheels and digging slick little trenches in the grass. I’m sure.

Over by the library


Recipe: take one ornamental pear tree just past full bloom when the leaves are beginning to emerge. Add at least two days of drizzle. Examine the ground below.

Enjoy the pattern of still-fresh petals.

Spring report


Forsythia: half aging blooms, half new leaves a’comin’.

Ornamental fruit trees: full bloom.

Daffodils: still vibrant, but almost ready to begin fading.

Redbud: almost out to full out.

Rainy walk today, but fun, ’cause it wasn’t that warm, so pleasant to stroll bundled against the precip.

Postmodern I can stomach?


The more I think about it, the more I think I’d better go back and get a sample of the one on the left: the post modern* classic pale ale (product of Scotland).

It just plain sounds interesting.

Regarding the one on the right, do you really want to drink a physic for fun? For a whole evening? It sure might make you a whole lot more than laid back!

BTW, speaking of sounds right, I realized today that if I had the barest smidgeon (and a bit more) of musical talent, I’d think about starting a band just so I could call it Uktena.

* Postmodernism is not one of my favorites….

Collaboration unveiled


The spouse and I have been working on a collaboration. Actually, we’ve taken the extensive work already accomplished*, and built anew the website of the Society for Georgia Archaeology. BTW, JCB this morning discussed the technical angles on the technological heavy lifting he’s done.

* …with the previous version of the content, and the articles in The Profile, mostly….

New think(s)


I have never seen raisins (uvas secas in Spanish) sold on the vine. Why would you buy ’em this way? Do some people consider them “fresher” on the vine (haha, dried fruit fresh, haha)? Or cook with them on the vine? Sold in an international market….

Instead of giving you my thoughts, here’re links to some internet places I’ve been recently.

New Think for Old Publishers“—about how participatory culture* and the online world interact with old-fashioned, traditional book publishing. So they say.

Data scraping methods and advice; this is a powerful data import feature Google offers. If you can find a use for it.

Open knowledge and CKAN—the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network. Hmm.

I think that’s enough….

* Or, the opposite of consumer culture, in which participants are also producers, and thus participate, instead of just consuming—so the Wikipedia says. Me, I think consumers must also produce and participate or they wouldn’t be consumers for long. But maybe I took a hypercritical cynic pill today by mistake.