This week’s Mundane Monday theme is “Nurse Log.” That means I learned something new this week. A nurse log is a fallen tree which, as it decays, provides ecological facilitation to seedlings. Broader definitions include providing shade or support to other plants.
I have seen these many times while out geocaching and hiking, but I don’t often take pictures of them. However, I may have something that’s at least close in my travel photos from Hong Kong a couple of years ago. It’s very humid there in the summer and there is a lot of growth. This tree is almost completely covered in moss.
The heat and humidity make a lot of trees like this. Here too you can see the rough moss covering on the branches silhouetted against the sky.
Dr. Katherine at Mundane Monday chose a gorgeous theme this week: water colors. She was out on a lake without internet for 9 days when she took hers. I took this from the deck of a cruise ship on the Baltic Sea. The location information says “Leningrad, Finskiy Zaliv” (Gulf of Finland, near St. Petersburg).
All the colors one can see in water have some component of reflection, some more than others.
Or, it’s a “reflection” of the changing depth of the water:
This water reflects the gray clouds:
Or, sometimes your mind plays tricks on your eyes. I was sure this water was deep pure blue on the clear, cool winter morning in Pacifica when I took the picture before I went to teach in the school around the corner. But when I went back and found the picture for posting to the blog, I realized that it had been the sky I remembered most. The water was white and a bit wild.
And these last two make an interesting pair. Lakes reflect the shadows of trees, and the sky makes all the difference.
This is a time of year in the United States that people like to complain about the light. Basically, there isn’t enough of it. I sympathize: I have a devil of a time getting up in the morning when it’s dark outside. But what light there is, and the angle in which it falls on the landscape, can create startlingly beautiful images. Continue reading Mundane Monday: Madrone→
Muir Woods or Bust is a gonzo-esque romp through the near future. More hopeful and humorous than its dystopian cousins, it is like an On the Road for gamers and Science Fiction nerds. I had a little trouble suspending disbelief in the road-trip plot, at first. Even in context it seemed like something out of an earlier time, as if two aging losers–one of them a widely recognizable former TV star–would really be able to get away with all this with zero negative consequences. Still, once it got going, the action and the colorful characters that they encountered kept me turning the (virtual eBook) pages. As the trip unfolded, I also stopped viewing Gil and Doyle as aging losers, which was, of course, the point. Continue reading Book Review: Muir Woods or Bust, by Ian Woollen→
Over the Thanksgiving holiday we drove to southern California and looked at some college campuses with our 17-yo daughter. We also had Thanksgiving dinner at a nice buffet in the hotel where we were staying. The food was good and there was no cooking, cleanup, or leftovers –that’s my kind of holiday!
With this photo challenge I am discovering that unusual angles are often as good as unusual frames. The branches in this tree look like a spiral, curving around the central trunk. Continue reading Mundane Monday: Branches→
Last year when we moved to CA we heard a lot about the drought. We also heard that El Niño was coming and that this past winter was going to be better. Yes, it was better, there was rain, but not nearly enough to make up for 4 years of drought conditions.
Geocaching and the Mundane Monday challenge are a good match. I was looking for a cache to keep my streak going (I’ve now gone 123 consecutive days with a find), and I found a great caching series based on the planets. The cache for the sun is located in downtown San Jose, Mercury is a mile away, and caches for the other planets up to Neptune are placed at proportional distances away from the sun. Each planet’s cache also has clues in its logbook, and when you find the cache, you write down its clues so that when you add the clues up, you will get the coordinates for a Halley’s Comet cache. I have to find that one!