What’s Good with You?

I hope you’re finding good things in your life. They’re in there somewhere! Today I enjoyed a sunrise. Ok. The sunrise. There was just one.

Southern sunrise

It was pretty in every direction.

Northern sunrise

I was surrounded by color!

This is the western sunrise! Huh!
The east. With the actual sun.

That was my idea of goodness. No day that starts this pretty could be all bad. Even when you realize your pond has gone dry.

Ooh a barrel. Maybe Drew can pull it out!

There’s stuff blooming, though. And I found a passion fruit.

I even have a new friend, the garden spider who guards the henhouse. She decided to build her nest right across the door. I walked through it. Yuck. And she’d started rebuilding by the time I finished feeding the chickens. She’s good, though. I got to watch her deal with a grasshopper that got in her web. In mere seconds, it was all wrapped up and probably wondering what the heck just happened.

One more bit of goodness was that I saw an unfamiliar bird land on the back pond, the one with water. Then another. It was big, but not as big as a vulture or heron. But it looked like a heron…something was different about its head. Sure enough, it IDed as a tricolored heron! Yay! Now I’ve seen five: great blue, great egret, green heron, cattle egret, and the tricolor.

That’s plenty of good. Plus I got out of the house to go look at houses this afternoon AND ate dinner out with Kathleen. So glad she’s recovering! To celebrate, enjoy dog photos!

Hope Springs, um, Each Spring

One of my favorite parts of living at the Hermits’ Rest is anticipating spring’s arrival. It’s darned early here! And today I noticed my beloved bluebonnets are up and ready to grow buds.

Unfurling bluebonnet leaves.

I feel hope for the future when I’m reminded that Nature keeps plugging along. There are a few flowers out, especially the beautiful dandelions. I even snagged a bee in one photo!

See the bee? Or a fly that looks like a bee?

Not many other insects are out right now, which disappoints the chickens.

Things are actually settling down a little bit over here. I may have time to review some documents or watch presentations from last year’s Master Naturalist conference that I missed due to COVID. Or I can just enjoy nature and the animals.

Wake-Up Weather

Happy back to work day, for those of us who are working. I had a lovely morning, even though I didn’t sleep much last night. When I looked out the window, I saw an amazing sunrise, plus very low fog. You can’t help but be cheered up by two early-morning Nature gifts, right?

The yellow part here was actually gleaming gold. Check out that fog right above the horizon

I got a couple photos looking in each direction before heading off to Austin.

My drive in was in and out of fog, with a lot of interesting vistas, but you get no photos, since I was keeping my eye out for deer or other road hazards. It’s pleasant when fog is pretty and not so thick that you can’t see.

I’m actually looking forward to getting back to work this week. I miss my coworkers. My poor work plants missed me, and one is looking pretty sad. But, at least one coffee machine is working, and Zoom seems functional, so off I go.

I’m also hoping to get my car tire back. I drove the giant white car this week, which has such a big trunk (boot) that there is no issue with putting an entire wheel in it.

I hope you’re getting back into whatever passes for “normal” in 2021!

Just Good Morning!

Let’s take a break and celebrate the sky. The sunrise yesterday was made more beautiful by the silver clouds shining above the sun. What a great way to start the day!

Sunrise, February 28, 2019.

I hope you saw the snow moon last night, too. I remembered it when I saw a light reflection on the glass coffee table that didn’t match any of our fixtures. Sure enough, the moon was saying a misty good evening.

Beef ribs by me and crispy potatoes by Anita.

I am doing well with the Instant Pot thing, by the way. These beef ribs came out so tasty and tender. I even properly deglazed the pan. I’m a chef!

There’s rain today, but I’m driving back to the ranch to attend an event. I can check up on the critters, too. Then back to Austin. Busy social schedule. Never thought I’d say that!

Ever Wonder about Contrails?

I wonder where all these planes were going?

You may remember I’ve been enjoying sunrises lately. Much of this week I’ve been greeted by dense fog, but today dawned nice and sunny. However, the pretty pattern weren’t made by clouds; they were made by three jet contrails (condensation trails) fanning out above Mabry’s Ridge.

There’s no denying that the stripes, which are made by water particles affected by jet exhaust or their wings under certain circumstances, are pretty (they make nice sunsets, too), but I recalled that some people I’ve talked to have said they are contributing to climate change, or worse.

The idea is, I guess, that there are so many airplanes flying around our larger cities that they are increasing the cloud cover, with measurable consequences. I found a reasonable-sounding article that summed it up:

While contrails are thought to only have a minor impact on climate, their influence on daily temperature patterns is much more significant. As contrails spread and thin out to form contrail cirrus, they promote daytime cooling (their high albedo reflects incoming solar radiation back out into space) and warming at night (high, thin clouds absorb the Earth’s outgoing longwave radiation). The magnitude of this warming is thought to outweigh the effects of cooling.

Means, Tiffany. “Contrails: The Controversial Cloud.” ThoughtCo, Dec. 5, 2018, thoughtco.com/contrails-3443730.

Argh, these pretty clouds are at least contributing a little bit to global warming, if you believe in that.

On the other hand, there are people who believe the contrails are spreading chemicals on us, or some such nefarious acts. I couldn’t find much to back that up, though. Feel free to check out this Wikipedia article on the consipiracy, though. I think I’ll constrain my worries to the increased cloud cover and allow myself to enjoy the articifially enhanced skies.

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