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Whew...it's been raining all weekend...like hard enough that I didn't want to go out! Last night, it was only drizzling a little, and I noticed the fog outside so I went for a walk in the neighborhood.
Fog...or Dreams?

Fog...or Dreams?


OMG...I just asked Siri-HomePod to create a station from the current music, and he pretty creepily answered "I'm sorry. I can't do that."...and it sounded A LOT like Dave in Space Odyssey!

So I did something in the other room for a few mins, and then asked the question again. I got the same creepy response.

Then, I pulled my phone out and started recording and asked the question again -- and this time, he did what I asked... 😲
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Friend over for wine last night...then up and at em fairly early taking down the last of the Christmas decorations outside and dragging the tree to the alley for pickup.

Watched a movie called Infinity Chamber today. I liked it -- pretty slow..and repetitious...but I liked it. It was kind of a one man show for many parts of it.

People seem to have polar opposite opinions -- some write "Dull, dull, dull" and others write "Amazing" lol!

It was cold, but I needed to get outside and needed some exercise, so I got a walk around the Botanical Garden today -


Here's a pic from City Hall's Observation Deck -- Nh and I headed there when we hung out Friday --

Headed out for Korean food tomorrow again w/ the friend from the ESL class. It's been a pleasant holiday weekend, but I really do wish it would warm up a bit!

Still doing the lower carb thing -- it's kind of a drag, but I'm getting through it. Still doing mostly about 55 - 60 grams per day. I've lost several pounds, which was a big reason I started it. I've already planned the end date in a few weeks, when I will slowly build my carb level back up.
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Phone pic from one of buildings I was in this week -
City Shot

There's a guy who has caught my eye...he walks his dog by my house..texts with a friend about my 'fantasy' lol --

Aaaand...I found this text exchange amusing: "when your texts take 2000 years to send..."

The last week and 1/2, I've been cleaning and prepping for my annual tree trimming.

I got the tree up last weekend, and the lights on last night. We had to get the tree from a different place this year -- the Jaycees lot that has been here for many years -- even before I moved here -- was not at the school this year!

Not sure why -- evidently, there was a Christmas tree shortage , so maybe that? Or maybe something else. But in any event, I had to change my standard way of getting the tree this yeasr!


14 Nov 2017 01:37
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As I was driving back from the store tonight, I noticed a 'bank' of fog pouring off the schoolyard near me. I don't know what causes it, but the lawn at the schoolyard sometimes forms fog when there isn't fog anywhere else -- I swear it has a cemetery feel to it when it's foggy, except for the electric lights and cars driving by.

There's an old house on the property --
13 Acres House

13 Acres House

I took a little walkaround this past weekend to see if I could get any Autumn shots -- I waited a bit too late because most of the color had happened, and most of the leaves had fallen off. But here's a pic from the neighborhood --
Fall evening in the neighborhood
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My house has a new resident -- it appears to be a leafcutter wasp.

As I was walking around the house this morning, I saw this bug fly into a hole in the mortar. I watched it come and go a couple of times, but it was too fast -- I couldn't see it well enough to identify it! So I brought the camera out. Again, it was so fast that I couldn't point the camera (and have the camera focus) fast enough. So then I brought out the tripod and shutter switch. Still not a great pic, but enough for me to ID the bugger!

The green you see is a piece of leaf it has cut to bring back to line the nest --

The good news is that they seem to be excellent pollinators. And it doesn't seem that they will do great harm to the house. The bad news is that once one finds a 'good spot', they mark the spot, so others know about it. Although solitary nesters, they tend to have nests near each other. So, I suppose this could become a problem in the future. But for now, the nest is safe with me!


The heat has been fierce lately, so I haven't wanted to work in the yard. And by the time I was up and about today, I didn't want to go to the river and be in the sun. So, I decided to visit the butterfly exhibit at the local botanical garden again.

If I thought it was humid outside....wait until I got inside the butterfly exhibit, whew!
It wasn't humid in there....not not at all  😜

I wanted to "pan" the camera, in the way I do for bicyclists....but butterflies don't go in a straight, predictable line! I still think this photo is interesting, although not what I was aiming for --
It's hard to photograph a moving butterfly!

I had seen the 'eyes' on the wings of these butterflies before, but the angle of this this photo really made them stand out! I was surprised at how much my eye was drawn to the fake 'eye' instead of the actually head of the butterfly!
The Eye!

Another butterfly in the exhibit --

I have not seen many butterflies in my garden at home this year -- small ones -- Sulfas and Skippers, but not many large ones. I'm hoping when the Asters start to bloom that I'll see a few more.
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I thought I had already posted this, but I couldn't find it. A few weeks ago, I was mowing the grass, and I saw this cute little baby bunny under the tulips! So cute, so I stopped and took pics with my phone!

Mind you, I was NOT mowing the tulips -- only the grass! But when I came up the other side and got close, I saw the baby bunny run away. And I then I saw baby bunny #2 run a different direction. And I thought, awwww, how cute!

And then...and then...I heard and felt WOMP-WOMP-WOMP under the lawnmower! Baby bunny #3 had run under my lawnmower!!! It was bad...completely by accident...but I didn't even like looking at the pile of bloody baby bunny in the grass!

Anyways, my area of town is overrun with rabbits, and the remaining 2 bunnies have matured a lot in a few weeks! I've noticed a couple of hawks flying and perching here lately, so they also have noticed our abundance of rabbits!
A lazy Sunday evening...

Do you think the rabbits know that I'm a vegetarian?
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Back to the park tonight with a different lens...

Evening at the park

Evening at the park

Reflections at the Park

But I didn't quite get what I wanted. First, bats just seem hard to capture. Second, omg, bugs flying all over me. Not mosquitoes. I had on bug spray. Didn't seem to matter! This photo is pretty heavily processed.
Bats at the park

I wonder what I can do differently. I could bring along an extender for this lens...

And here are those fricken bugs that were ALL OVER ME -- even though I had spritzed bug spray! They were very small, flying, appeared to have 6 legs, a waist and a hard shell.

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I always enjoy the fire spinners when they perform at Gallery 5...dinner and time with a friend tonight was nice!

Fire Spinners at Gallery 5

Fire Spinners at Gallery 5

Fire Spinners at Gallery 5

The Age of Recording


Fire Spinners at Gallery5
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Sunset on Belle Isle tonight. Felt good to be outside, at the river, walking around!

And I found some of the Pawpaws are blooming. The blooms are small -- I'll probably head back down this weekend to see them blooming some more.
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The local photo meetup group had an outing inside the Byrd Park Pumphouse today. It's not normally open, so I took advantage of the event.

In some places, it was as wet and dank as you might expect --
Wet, dank

The trusses made for some nice geometry --


The ballroom upstairs had these almost life-sized, standing cutouts. Not sure the purpose --
She looks sad!


It was a good outing, and I'm glad I went. It's also an indication that this illness is almost gone! Although I have to say, I came home and took a nap after the outing -- this on top of 8 hours of sleep last night. So I'm still recovering!
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11/12-- Updating/correcting myself: I had thought Hitler was directly elected. From reading, it seems that he lost his election bid for president in 1932, but then the National Socialist (Nazi) party won so many seats in Parliament over the next couple of elections, that the president felt pressured to appoint Hitler as Chancellor, and the rest as they say is bloody, bloody history!

I haven't posted much about the election lately. For all her faults, I consider Clinton to be ready to be president. And I consider he-who-shall-not-be-named to be a true threat to the Republic. I think I said this before, but I always wondered how Hitler got elected in Germany, and now I know...

So many calls from Florida! I'm assuming these are pollsters. I never answer calls when I don't know the number -- ESPECIALLY during elections!

Onto more important matters --

No freezing temps here yet, so Rosa Tamora had a chance to put out a bloom --

And some urban scenery from the walk to work this morning --
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A friend and I went out this past weekend to walk around the river. It was fun hanging out with him, and as a bonus I asked if we could scout out some of the trails for pawpaws. Luckily, we found a couple of ripe ones (and a bit over-ripe) lying on the ground. He had never had one, so I gave him one to take home with the instruction to eat it that day because of how ripe it was. I kept the other one.

Ever since I first realized last year that pawpaws grow wild and that I could eat them, I have had an itch to eat them again when they come in season. Here is this year's crop!

Pawpaw Flavor Notes

The friend commented that he thought they tasted somewhat like banana. I also could taste the banana, but for me there was some other fruity taste as well -- again just like last year, I'll say 'papaya' for lack of a better word for the flavor that was underlying the 'banana'.

Later that day, another friend was over and when he tasted it, he commented that it left a bitter after-taste. Which is totally true! It is something I had not noticed before, but I definitely noticed the bitterness after he mentioned it.

My plan is to head back to the river this weekend if I get a chance and see if I can snag a few more.

Circle of Life

On the same trip, I found a LARGE spider. I think it was a Black and Yellow Garden Spider -- an Argiope aurantia -- feasting on a Snowberry Clearwing hummingbird moth (Hemaris diffinis). It was sort of sad to see the dead hummingbird moth!

Cloudless Sulphur

That same weekend, I found myself chasing a yellow butterfly around the yard because I could not ID it. It was very skittish. And very fast flying, fluttering around wildly. It did NOT like it when I got within, say, 10 feet of him! This made it hard to photograph! I believe it was a Cloudless Sulphur.

Here he is DEEP inside a morning glory out back in the alley:

Porcelain Vine & Neighbor Notes

Below is a photo of of a honey bee approaching a wasp from behind. The bees, wasps and some sort of fly were everywhere on the out-of-control porcelain vine back there, and I'm not sure why because there are no blooms from that plant now -- just the fruit.

The vine is quite the invasive, but this one is not on my property; instead it is growing on a neighbor's fence. Because it's not on my property, I can't just go out there and start whacking away at it.

Come to think of it, that neighbor has let his backyard go to weed the last couple years. Actually, I have a couple of neighbors doing that. Although I like the 'wild' look, the other neighbors have taken it to a new level, with thigh high grass for one of them, and this porcelain vine everywhere for the other.

The neighbor with the tall grass is older, so that doesn't surprise me. But the neighbor with the porcelain vine was someone that I used to see outside tending his garden all the time. But not lately. He's not old, so I'm not sure what has happened.

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Last night, a friend was over and mentioned the sweet smell he was smelling. I guess I just assumed it was normal for Summer in the neighborhood to have this fragrance and had never investigated where the scent came from.

Turns out, the big tree out back, covered in yellow blooms was the, um, culprit :) It is an American Linden / American Basswood: Tilia americana.

The leaves are edible for things like salads, and the blooms are used for tea. It has medicinal uses for blood pressure, etc. There is one warning from a study about too much tea causing cardio-toxicity, so do you research if you decide to try this.

In any event, the tree is BIG, so I could not reach enough blooms to dry for tea. The trees live around 200 years, evidently becoming nicely "old" and full of holes for animals as they get older. The leaves have a fairly pleasant, although definitely 'green' taste to them. I think younger leaves would have been better -- the one I chomped down on was pretty tough chewing.

Here are the leaves:

And the blooms. The 3 long "leaves" are special leaves for the bloom -- I think they are called bracts.

Size of the tree, and you can see all the blooms on it:

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Continuing my quest to try the edible things in my yard and neighborhood, today I made some tea with dandelion flowers

First off, I had only mowed the yard just a few days ago, so I didn't have many flowers. I should have reduced the water in the pan -- the tea was not very strong.

First, I gathered the flowers that I could fine. I just put 2 fingers underneath each flower and tugged until the flower popped off into my hand.

Then, I put some water in the pan and put the flowers in. Remember -- there were too few flowers for this amount of water. I think the articles online showed a lot of flowers in the pan.

I brought them to a slow boil, then turned off the heat. Then I did some stuff around the house and came back -- probably about 20 minutes letting them steep.

The color of the tea looks like pee to me...but it tasted fine! I used honey to sweeten it. I would definitely make this again!

One side note -- if you take a medicine, make sure there will be no interactions.

Me? I take medicine that increases my blood potassium levels. And dandelion flower tea evidently is very high in potassium. So...this means I shouldn't drink this on a regular basis.

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You know...I don't expect people who grew up in a city to know much about their natural surroundings because nature is mostly over-whelmed by a city.

What does surprise me is that I, having grown up in the country, had so little experience with eating wild things. Although I had lots of experience with nature, my family only ate things we grew in the garden or bought at the store.

But there is SO MUCH available in the woods and fields for free!

As I was walking in the park yesterday, I noticed Hickory nuts on the ground. I did not take a photo of the Hickory tree -- easily identifiable, and you can search Google to find out what it looks like. I knew these were edible but had never had them, so I brought some home.

The nuts grow in a surrounding skin. The skin usually turns dark brown before the they fall off the tree.

The skin had already come off most of the nuts, so they were easy to gather. Here they are on a dish at home --

The nut has a very hard shell. I took a hammer and attempted to break one on my cutting board. You can see the divot the nut left on the board -- and with no effect to the shell itself!

So I took the nuts and the hammer outside to a granite rock which conveniently had a nut shaped divot in it already. When I whacked the nut on the rock with a hammer, it cracked open.

I didn't eat a lot -- just tasting it. If I were to describe the taste, I would say it is NOT like an walnut. The meat was dense like a pecan. And it was sort of was like eating a pecan, but more bitter. Pecans are sweet, and I would not call the Hickory nut sweet at all -- more bitter.

They were good, but the meat is not easy to get out of the shell. In that respect, it also like a pecan, but the shell is way harder than a pecan shell.

So maybe that's why we didn't eat them as a child -- it was easier to get nuts from the store :)


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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."