Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Super Pup, part 1

Missy’s Beagle Lab cross is more the former than the latter. Scooter is fundamentally a pack dog. She’s been pack-less nearly all her life. That is not the best situation for a Beagle brain. It has her more nervous than she would be in her natural habitat. I am more attracted to dogs of substance. Size, muscle, but most of all, self confidence. I have surreptitiously been watching for a mastiff downline mixed with another medium sized breed. Mutt, but with some genetics that are known for peaceful self-confidence and strong intelligence. I also wanted a situation where the dog came to us without the baggage of a bad start in an ugly home. Most of all, I wanted […]

Stand aside, groundhog.

I just realized a much more reliable predictor that spring is here; winter is gone. Both the woodbox by the fireplace, the kindling supply, and firewood storage outside the utility door are stuffed with fireplace-ready logs. The woodpile is in healthy shape as well. Being this prepared for cold surely must preclude its arrival. Well, that, and it is really nice outside. Blue sky, lovely sunshine, upper 40-degree temperatures, mud replacing much of the snow covering, insects on the move, kingfishers and geese arriving. Nature is telling me the pruning season is ending real soon. Get to work!

minus 18

It is probably my fault. Yesterday some great friends helped me blow insulation into our attic. I still have not personally visited the attic, but it doesn’t take a certified HVAC engineer to ascertain the need. I observe the snow melting off our roof, the prodigious icicles hanging from the eves and the 90%-efficient gas central heater’s inability to heat this house without the woodstove’s help and know our ceiling insulation is way below adequate. While a licensed HVAC contractor could double the price, they could not significantly improve the result. Tiny-town supplier Darby Distribution includes free rental of the chopper-blower with purchase of insulation – two pallets worth in this case. Their price beats Home Depot while delivering […]

earned my keep

We had some snow to deal with this morning. Less than what I faced numerous times in Grangeville, Idaho, and certainly less than many parts of the country, but an unusually large amount for this part of the world. A) The Darby Library has an unbroken record of opening as scheduled regardless of weather. B) Missy and Mom were signed up to set the library up and open by 11:00 AM. A + B means we had to have the driveway cleared before 10:30 AM. JUST made it. The three of us worked the deck, rails, sidewalk, and driveway. My part was to run the snowblower for two hours. I left the details to the girls. I did another hour […]

I shot the moon

Cool Cosmos tells us that our moon is an average distance of 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers) away from Earth. That is about the width of 30 Earths. Because the Moon does not orbit Earth in a perfect circle, but instead travels in a slightly elliptical orbit, its distance from Earth varies between 225,700 miles (363,300 kilometers) and 252,000 miles (405,500 kilometers). One of the Yahoo Answers says The Moon is 238000 miles from Earth. The length of its orbit is 1,495,398 miles one orbit is 27.3 days=655.2 hours 1,495,398 ÷ 655.2 The Moon travels around the Earth at about 2282.4 mph Okay. Now we have established an approximate distance of 238,855 miles away, moving relative to where I am standing […]

billions of snowflakes

Teased with traces of snow until now. This morning we have real snow on the ground. That is real darn purty all right, but somebody has to deal with it. These machines are wonderful, but not magical. They are work. Experience will help, but even at 10-degrees outside, I ended up overdressed for the exertion. Knowing for quite some time that this day was coming, I had made significant effort to have the area I intended to maintain as smooth as possible. In spite of my repeated best efforts, the concrete is WAY EASIER to work with the snow blower. Uneven surfaces, bits of rock, undefined edges are all enemies of my Ariens or any other, for that matter. Montana […]

Happy New Year

This is it. Serious observers tell us today is the shortest one of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun which has been hiding from us for more and more of the day since the Summer Solstice is finally going to start staying up longer. The world has been saved from cold, frigid darkness once again. Time to celebrate the birth of a new year. Cultures have been doing this forever, calling it various names, but the theme is always the same. While it may get colder for a while, sunlight, warmth and nature’s rebirth is on the way.

scat

Yesterday I found a carcass just outside our fenced yard. Our neighborhood has large populations of deer, turkeys, lions and bears. The prior owners of our house scooted quickly back inside when the little old lady stepped into the breezeway to face a bear and her cub. I added a six-foot chain link fence to encourage predators to stay out of our yard, but I know it is only a deterrent. A mountain lion could jump that with a deer in its mouth. My carcass find yesterday was a reminder. Later in the day I found this big poop. I admit I don’t know scat. But this one seems quite large … larger than a mountain lion. Perhaps a […]