It topped 70 degF at home this weekend (in the mid-Atlantic). Second week of January, and I'm in a T-shirt. It's not that this doesn't ever happen. Brief warm spells are a thing here - but we still haven't really gotten cold. The leaves are off the trees and it feels like April, with thunderstorms…Read more It’s Too Warm!
Not a wilderness shot - but the site of my most recent campsite. On the grounds of a US Civil War, Confederate field hospital in Gettysburg, PA. (We camped to the right of the barn, just out of frame). Confederate doctors treated officers in the house, enlisted in the barn, completing about 1,500 amputations and…Read more Gettysburg Camp
There's something amiss in the night sky these days. The evening is going well - I'm sitting by a crackling fire that I just used to clean a Dutch oven from our last trip out. (Something I actually neglected for about a week, just because I kept forgetting about it. I've learned that burnt molasses…Read more Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betel….
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and is excited about the possibilities that 2020 holds. I have a lot of plans, but with teenagers in the house, I realize my schedule is not truly my own...on the plus side, though, I'm very busy with "doing" and don't have a lot of time for…Read more Happy New Year!
Last summer I introduced the idea of Night Music, that special cacophony of animals, insects, wind and whatever else that is unique to the night, and makes many an outdoor evening or camping trip that much more memorable. I was intrigued to find that many people hear almost nothing in their respective wild lands. Silence. …Read more Night Music, Revisited
If you're under 60 and living outside the tropics, chances are you've only ever seen one kind of banana - the Cavendish. It is the primary banana with mass commercial distribution, and unless something dramatic happens in the next few years, the days of the Cavendish banana may be coming to an end. And, there's no…Read more Not the Bananas!
I've been out of town for three weeks in the last five. All that time, Hatikva, my little Sunbird sailboat, has sat idle, tied up pier-side in the warming water of mid-summer. I also live in an area where the second half of summer is dominated by jellyfish, stinging sea nettles that fill the bays and…Read more Barnacles and Irony
I recently returned from a vacation in Iceland. I spent a week just south of the Arctic Circle, one week after the summer solstice. There's a lot to talk about following such an amazing trip (and I will), but having recently written about dark skies, I thought a lot about the almost-24-hour daylight we…Read more Midnight Sun
"The Lorax", by Dr. Seuss, is a cautionary tale of environmentalism, one in which all resources (truffula trees) are completely consumed to make consumer products ("You Need A Thneed!"). The landscape, devoid of trees, becomes a barren wasteland, no longer suitable for life. It's a classic tale, a metaphor for human excess and a call…Read more Dark Skies
I really enjoy trail-riding on my mountain bike (an old Specialized Rock Hopper). At the same time, I hate what mountain bikes do to some of my favorite trails. It's a conundrum, forcing a little bit of self-examination and recognition of hypocrisy that I haven't figured out how to resolve. To be clear, I'm not…Read more Tearing Up Jack…
Happy Father's Day all! A least to all the fathers out there. I haven't been sharing any astronomical thoughts for a while, as I've been too busy being a dad, myself. But despite my lack of writing, I've consistently been looking up. Enough to notice that Mars has slipped away and almost disappeared into the…Read more Opposition (Astronomy, Week of 6/16/19)
I've had a sailboat sitting, for a long while, in a place not very well suited for a boat of any kind, much less one with a 25' mast. It's been sitting on a trailer in my garage, and it's been sad. I bought her from a co-worker. Spent a few months fixing things -…Read more “Hatikva” Sails Again!