The Watering Hole; Friday March 20 2015; Springtime in the Rockies

Spring. Finally. Thank all Gods winter is OVER! Here at the foot of the Rockies, the temp hit the high 80’s earlier in the week. Now, as I write these words (Thursday PM), the outside temp is 42, it’s raining, and tonight it’s supposed to snow. But that’s OK because it’s not quite Spring. Yet.  And of course, around here spring doesn’t signal the end of the snow; if anything, it signals the beginning of the heavy wet stuff. Got to wait for summer . . . and, well, even then . . .

Anyway, this is our seventh springtime in the Rockies; I’ve recently spent some time reviewing photo “libraries” of each of the years, and in the process I pulled out a handful of SPRINGTIME (!) shots. They’re each and all taken anywhere from late March to mid-May, and collectively kinda show the change of seasons, esp. the part about winter not wanting to succumb!

Pikes Peak from Lake Beckwith1. April 2009; Pikes Peak from Lake Beckwith

******

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2. New tulip in early spring; April 4, 2012

******

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3. Ice fog below the Front Range; Tax Day, 2012

******

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4. Geese, Goslings, and one soaring bird; early May, 2013

******

05-14-14-038 Wet Mountains Panorama5. Fresh snowfall on the Front Range; May 14, 2014

******

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6. Columbine, the Colorado State Flower; April 29 2012

******

So that’s the way spring looks here at the foot of the Front Range, elev. approx 6200 ft, where winter and summer fight it out from March 20 until . . . ? Who knows. It is an interesting fight to behold, however, and one thing is certain: the flowers and the baby geese ALWAYS win!

OPEN THREAD

Sunday Roast: Road Trip pics

Some sort of duck in a pond

Some sort of duck in a pond

Fields, farm & hills

Fields, farm & hills, Cougar Ridge area, ID

Awesome canoe sculpture, Lewiston, Idaho

Awesome canoe sculpture, Lewiston, Idaho

View of the rolling hills of the Palouse, from Steptoe Butte, WA

View of the rolling hills of the Palouse, from Steptoe Butte, WA

Dried thistles, Steptoe Butte, WA

Dried thistles, Steptoe Butte, WA

Basalt formation, Columbia River Gorge, Biggs, OR

Basalt formation, Columbia River Gorge, Biggs, OR

Photos by Zooey

So it was a good trip, with beautiful sunny days and cold nights, visits with friends and family, and lower gas prices than Oregon.  It’s the little things that count.  :)

This is our daily open thread — Did you turn your clock back or forward?

The Frozen Hole, Saturday, February 21st, 2015: M-m-m-more S-s-s-snow?!

It seems like more than half the country is getting hit by more snow, ice, and other nasty cold stuff through this weekend.

We humans are just not designed for this. So, everyone stay warm inside and have a look at lots of animals who were much better designed for snow than we are. As usual, thanks to The Weather Channel for gathering the pics in this slideshow. While they do include some of my favorite ‘snow’ animals, such as the snow leopard:
snow-leopard-normalI think they were a bit remiss in not including others of my favorite snow-loving animals, like the Arctic Fox:
Arctic-fox-Wallpaper-arctic-fox-muzzle-eyes-snowAnd not a single one of Arctic Hares, either:

Arctic Hares High-Fiving

Arctic Hares High-Fiving

But I have to say that my favorite ‘wildlife-in-snow’ themed photo that ISN’T in the slideshow is this one:

"Hey, maybe one of you two cubs is small enough to reach in there..."

“Hey, maybe one of you two cubs is small enough to reach in there…”

This is our daily Open Thread – if you’re reading this from somewhere with no snow, please think warm thoughts towards the rest of us!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 17th, 2015: Gud F*cking Gramer

Although, ages ago, in his “Ask The Grammar Guy” piece, Wayne had expertly covered these common grammar mistakes that make us cringe when we see them, here’s a pithy and profane way to remember the rules:

Fucking Grammar

Fucking Grammar

I realize that all of us here are well familiar with these rules, and are exceptional and eloquent writers who never make those mistakes (and we’re humble, too), so here’s a (very large:  300+ photos) photo gallery of “The Stunning Creatures of the White Sea.” The gallery was put together by Camille Mann and Edicio Martinez, and (as usual), is brought to you courtesy of the Weather Channel. Here’s just one of the unusual creatures:

 Coryphella verrucosa

Coryphella verrucosa

Enjoy!

This is our daily Open Thread, so talk about, you know, whatever…

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 29th, 2014: Butts and Moons

2014 in medicine(?):

What did we get stuck in our butts last year? Deadspin has the answer. (Hint: Among other things, a shot glass.)
shot glass

2014 in science:

The Weather Channel provides their ‘Top 50 Science and Environment Photos‘ for 2014, which included four blood moons.

Lunar Eclipse April 2014 - photo by Astrophotographer Joel O'Bryan

Lunar Eclipse April 2014 – photo by Astrophotographer Joel O’Bryan

This is our daily open thread–go ahead, have at it!

Sunday Roast: Hanging out with migrating birds on Sauvie Island

A quiet Christmas morning on the Columbia River, Sauvie Island

A quiet Christmas morning on the Columbia River, Sauvie Island

L1060299

Bald Eagle hanging out in a tree near the river

Bald Eagle hanging out in a tree near the river

Lots and lots of Snow Geese, making all kinds of noise -- wish I could have gotten closer

Lots and lots of Snow Geese, making all kinds of noise — wish I could have gotten closer

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Lining up with the Cormorants

Lining up with the Cormorants

Belted Kingfisher -- He didn't want to stay still!

Belted Kingfisher — He didn’t want to stay still!

Photos by Zooey

This is our daily open thread — The last Sunday Roast of 2014!

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 15th, 2014: Surreal

While the vast majority of the current political, cultural, and social events have become increasingly surreal, here’s just a few examples of the WTF? society in which we are floundering.

In the wake of the release of the Senate Torture Report (“Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee’s Study on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program”), the defensive reactions of some are wandering in the realm of surrealism. There was that, pardon the expression, bimbo on Fox screaming that “America is AWESOME!”, there’s Dick Cheney calmly and coldly dragging Dubya under the same bus that HOPEFULLY runs down Cheney.

There’s surreal hypocrisy, as in Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (spit!) stating that there’s nothing in the Constitution that prohibits torture. From HuffPost:

“Scalia…said that while there are U.S. laws against torture, nothing in the Constitution appears to prohibit harsh treatment of suspected terrorists. “I don’t know what article of the Constitution that would contravene…”

[How did this scumbag get to be a Supreme?]

“In 2008, he used the example of the hidden bomb [ala the fictional Jack Bauer in 24]. “It seems to me you have to say, as unlikely as that is, it would be absurd to say you couldn’t, I don’t know, stick something under the fingernail, smack him in the face. It would be absurd to say you couldn’t do that,” he said.”

On the other hand, regarding a real imminent potential crisis situation:

“In January, Scalia seemed less concerned about the safety of residents of Los Angeles when the court heard arguments about whether anonymous tips could justify a traffic stop. Urging the lawyer for two suspects appealing their conviction to stand firm, Scalia suggested that not even information that a carload of terrorists heading to Los Angeles with an atomic bomb would be enough to justify police stopping the car, if the tip came from an anonymous source. “I want you to say, ‘Let the car go. Bye-bye, LA,'” Scalia said.

Then there’s surreal racism/white privilege in ‘law enforcement’. As this Daily Kos diary points out, why aren’t vicious white criminals called “thugs”? One particular white Texas criminal who brutally murdered a white prosecutor, the prosecutor’s wife, and the assistant prosecutor, was:

“…a felon who had a prior record of burglary and theft. Yet somehow he had amassed a veritable arsenal of weapons as prosecutors during the penalty phase of his trial revealed:

“On Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors assembled the arsenal of weapons found in Williams’ storage unit in the courtroom. The guns were displayed on three wooden racks in the middle of the courtroom, 42 handguns in the middle and 22 long guns flanking each side. In front of the racks were boxes of ammunition — thousands of rounds were recovered — and a crossbow. Bullets were loose in bags, as well as still packaged in boxes.”

Now let’s switch to more palatable surrealism: I ran across this assemblage of ’30 surreal photos’ while I was clearing out/sorting my emails at work–Wayne had sent me the link in a 2012 email, noting that he liked this photo:

"Seemingly Surreal Swallows in a Snowstorm" - photo by Keith Williams

“Seemingly Surreal Swallows in a Snowstorm” – photo by Keith Williams

While I found many of the “surreal” photos to be too contrived – I like the ones where a simple alteration of one’s perspective reveals a glimpse of other-worldliness (see “Towering”, among others) – I agree with Wayne, I love the swallows photo. For more of photographer Keith Williams’ bird photos, I highly recommend checking out his gallery – makes a nice palate-cleanser.

This is our daily open thread – go ahead, speak up!