Musings

Greats, and more

We can call this a great river, at least within its region. It’s the Huron, in southeastern Michigan.

And this is two Great Lakes cleaved by a great bridge…Michigan on the left and Huron on the right, and we’re on the Mackinac Bridge. There’s no Mackinac Lake that I recall.

Snow is drifting across our road. For us, it’s a great road, but you’d probably think it’s just an almost two lane gravel road. We have a lake, over the hill in the distance, and it’s big, and grand, but not—technically—great.

In mow-shun

Sun-up, and we got on the road.

We drove and drove and drove. Then, the sun was dropping against a layer of thin clouds.

And we saw another celestial orb, not to be mistaken for a nosy Chinese balloon.

After dark, we reached the snow zone. Note, however, that the road and sidewalk are totally dry. No problems here…and temps overnight are to hover at freezing; that’s warm for these parts.

Bowing bloom

I walked in the sunshine today, so very lucky. Felt good. There was a bit of a breeze, enough that leafless stick-branches waved. I’ve been futzing around inside too much lately, including spending too much time reading about ancient transitional times, mostly in the Levant.

Natural history

Murky, rainy day…so this photo is from one year ago, on a much sunnier day…although you can’t quite tell that. Trust me.

I just read a NYTimes article reporting that bears rub up against trees so that the tree-bark resin/sap gets in their fur and acts as a tick repellant. These bears are I’m not sure where, but it seems rather northern, like Poland, and the trees include beech trees.

I hypothesize this model doesn’t work for southern bears, as leaning against southern trees (e.g., pines) is a good way to get chiggers. Now chiggers are not ticks, but, personally, I’ll take neither…critter infestations of the skin are…ick, yuck, and no thanks.

Article: “Bears May Rub Against Trees for Protection From Parasites” by Rebecca Dzombak, dated 1 Feb 2023.

Of all things

The other night I had a dream that we went snorkeling from a boat, and they let us off to look around under a roof that provided shade. Very weird. I looked around the “reef” and discovered that it was molded concrete. It was not pretty, but there were critters scooting around that if they had been in the air would have been relatives of pill bugs and millipedes. For a while I was offended that they took us to a concrete formation that I thought the dive company was passing off as “real,” but then I got used to it.

Tech “love”

I ran upstairs to go out on the balcony to get a shot of the moon without glass or reflections marring nature. Upward bound, I turned the phone on and tilted it in readiness to make a fine horizontal shot. I opened the door and stepped out turning and raising my phone, framed the photo and clicked.

And the phone, in all its Tim-Apple wisdom, activated the flash. And, no surprise, the image was smudgy crap.

I quickly turned the flash off and tilted the phone up to get the elusive moon through the cloud cover. My luck was gone gone gone. With the moon. As you can see.

All about scale

I went down a deep rabbit hole for most of the afternoon in locating Pottery Neolithic archaeological sites on the southern Sinai peninsula. Archaeological sites can be notoriously difficult to locate (or not), so that’s not surprising…in general. Fieldwork on several of the sites was decades ago, then repeatedly mentioned in later articles and comparative reports, so you’d think the locations would be…not so mysterious. Not.

In the process of this “digging” (forgive me), I came across Saint Catherine’s Monastery. Before the monastery and Saint Catherine, this is where, some say, Moses saw the/a burning bush. Of course, digging deeper, there are several proposed locations for the Moses/burning bush event.

Now, the Catherine is Catherine of Alexandria, who had the misfortune to be born before Romans accepted Christianity but in their territory, and, not surprisingly, she was tortured for her faith. She died about AD 30, or so the story goes. Although she seems to have remained in the Alexandria area (western Nile delta), somehow the Sinai location perhaps 600 km to the SE had Saint Catherine relics, as, they say, her body was found in a nearby cave. Wow; lots to swallow there.

Look how much I learned without ever finding the exact location of Ujrat el-Mehed (the PN site), although I did figure out the general area. Heh. And in the process found (on GooEarth) the ruins of Gebel Abbas Basha, dating to, as I recall, the late 1700s.

See: rabbit hole. Or, perhaps more truthfully, a whole darned burrow complex.

Diversity maintained

IMHO, four small apartments with rehabbed interiors and exteriors are still four small apartments. Someone is rehabbing the buildings in this complex very slowly, one building at a time. I do not know why they decided to keep the building footprints just as they are.

However, I am glad these units (which must have relatively modest rents compared to nearby single family homes) are in the neighborhood.

Does this make sense

Every once in a while I try what I think of as a short vertical pano. It is a vertical pano, and I don’t shoot for very long (ie, the span is brief—it’s chunky not elongated). Here’s one that’s cropped to the aspect ratio that fits this space (16:9).

I think in some cases the distortion in a cropped short vertical pano is “better” (meaning, somehow more aesthetic) than a “regular” shot. With my current iPhone lenses.

Vernal benchmark

Well, now, that looks like spring. Early spring. And it is. Plus, sunset was after 6pm.