Monday, June 30, 2008

Penobscot Nation Powwow

Samantha Maltais of the Wampanoag tribe of Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard dances during the Penobscot Nation's first annual powwow at Indian Island on Saturday, June 28, 2008. Bangor Daily News photo by Bridget Brown.

This is good news for New England.

Echinacea of the Snakes

Potato Blossoms

In just a few weeks each of these beautiful blossoms will become a delicious Maine potato.

Green Beetle on Tomato

This beetle is a bit smaller than a pea with a brilliant iridescent yellow green body. I've never seen this beetle species before. It was on the tomato plants this a.m. and was kind of clumsy, to be honest. I hope I don't give it a complex.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chipping Sparrows

A pair of chipping sparrows have a nest in the arbor vitae bushes at the front of our house.

The mother and father are busy catching bugs and grubs and spiders all day and feeding them to their babies hidden deep inside the arbor vitae bush. They have found the branches of my bean-less (so far) bean house a perfect place to pose with a struggling spider or grub in their mouth before bringing it inside the bush to their babies. Here is the bean house:

These chipping sparrows are really tiny -- smaller than chickadees. Our yard is their home. This is where they are raising their babies. They like hanging out on my bean house. I feel honored.

This stinkbug on a new pea pod does not want to be seen by the chipping sparrows.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Clay ... Bill Clay ...

The destruction of the old Cony High School across the street from my house has exposed gazillion cubic yards of glacial marine clay and various intermixtures of blue clay, silty clay, clayey silt, sandy clay and clayey silty sand.

Soon a supermarket and parking lot will cover this six acre expanse of wet, sucking, Ice Age deposited glop.

This site is about 1/4 mile east of the Kennebec River at its head of tide and about 120 feet above the river. This is all glacially deposited sediment. This is the first time in over 11,000 years it has been exposed.

My time is short. I must quickly research this glop.

The glop is now being tested for pottery glaze potential.

The blue clay is very good low-fire earthenware clay.

We shall see.

Monday, June 23, 2008


This is a tiny pinch of sand washed from the clay across the street.

Particle size is very fine and uniform, about 0.25 millimeters diameter. On the right side of the middle photo you can see a human hair. This is much finer than most beach sand.

It is nearly all quartz with some magnetite and a bit of garnet and feldspar.

Tomato Fruitset

Started by seed on April 5th.
Planted outside on May 23rd.
First flower on June 13.

Brandywines have been the first to flower.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Black Man has Too Much Money !!!

On a conference call just now with reporters, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds and campaign general counsel Trevor Potter sought to hold Obama to his promise of a year ago to "aggressively pursue" negotiations with the eventual Republican nominee to both opt into public finance.

"This decision by the Obama campaign was all about money," said Bounds. "And the arguments that they are making after the fact are only an attempt to legitimize a decision that was pre-determined and obviously made for other political reasons."

The injustice of it all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daisy and the Spider

This little spider sits in middle of the daisy, legs poised and agape for hours, waiting for a tiny fly, bee or wasp to visit the daisy for nectar. When a fly lands on the daisy, the spider's legs close like a Venus flytrap and the poor bug becomes food for the spider.

Squids in Window

First Pea Flower

Friday the 13th was a good day for peas.

Sunday's rain also helped.

Sea of Fleabane

This group of fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) is now in full bloom in our side yard. I dug these up last June in a vacant lot down the street and replanted them in our garden. They were growing in really crappy soil and only had one or two flowers and a tiny rosette of leaves at the base of the flower stem. At the time I thought they were an early flowering pink aster:

But Dougo wuz El Wrongo. They are Fleabane and they are going crazy. Each 2 1/2 foot high plant has about 30 flowers. The insects love them. Fleabane are biennials and/or short-lived perennials, so we will have to see if these monkeys come up again next spring. They flower for quite a long time too -- 3 weeks and counting thus far.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fuck You, George Bush ...

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court:

"Our basic charter cannot be contracted away like this. The Constitution grants Congress and the President the power to acquire, dispose of, and govern territory, not the power to decide when and where its terms apply. Even when the United States acts outside its borders, its powers are not “absolute and unlimited” but are subject “to such restrictions as are expressed in the Constitution.” Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U. S. 15, 44 (1885). Abstaining from questions involving formal sovereignty and territorial governance is one thing. To hold the political branches have the power to switch the Constitution on or off at will is quite another."

Glenn Greenwald:

"The Court's ruling was grounded in its recognition that the guarantee of habeas corpus was so central to the Founding that it was one of the few individual rights included in the Constitution even before the Bill of Rights was enacted. As the Court put it: "the Framers viewed freedom from unlawful restraint as a fundamental precept of liberty, and they understood the writ of habeas corpus as a vital instrument to secure that freedom." The Court noted that freedom from arbitrary or baseless imprisonment was one of the core rights established by the 13th Century Magna Carta, and it is the writ of habeas corpus which is the means for enforcing that right. Once habeas corpus is abolished -- as the Military Commissions Act sought to do -- then we return to the pre-Magna Carta days where the Government is free to imprison people with no recourse."

"Three of the five Justices in the majority -- John Paul Stevens (age 88), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 75) and David Souter (age 68) -- are widely expected by court observers to retire or otherwise leave the Court in the first term of the next President. By contrast, the four judges who dissented -- Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Sam Alito -- are expected to stay right where they are for many years to come.

John McCain has identified Roberts and Alito as ideal justices of the type he would nominate, while Barack Obama has identified Stephen Breyer, David Souter and Ginsberg (all in the majority today). It's not hyperbole to say that, from Supreme Court appointments alone, our core constitutional protections could easily depend upon the outcome of the 2008 election."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Captain Ahab calling ...

18 million of us can play that game, and many will, that we'd rather see a house-cleaning in the party than win the White House.

I understand why she wouldn't even consider a third-party or independent run, but I'm at a loss to know what to do other than to cancel my Dem. Party membership, which I've done, and either vote for McCain or blank the presidential line in November.

And ...

Mark my words - the deficit will be much higher, fewer people will have health insurance, the green revolution will sputtering rather than vibrant, and Obama will be on his way to being richer than God. That's what it's going to look like if that man is the president. Oh - and there will be no Roe V Wade.

And ...

Dear Hillary,
I would very much appreciate it if you didn't sell your list of supporters to the presumptive nominee (Obama) or to the DNC. I have supported you for president. I don't think I'll appreciate getting email from any other groups.

Thank you,
DandyTiger (one of your supporters)

And ...

I didn't think it possible to have a democrat in the White House who was worse than Carter but now I am second guessing myself. :( Oh well, I'm voting for McCain anyway.

Real classy.

From TalkLeft.

Monday, June 02, 2008

In the dictionary next to 'delusional' ...


No one in either party honestly believes McCain is opposed to abortion and he'll owe nothing to evangelicals and conservative should he win. He's a politician pandering for votes. Like Obama.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Vicki's Chicken Chili

Vicki's Tweaked Not So White Chicken Chili

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 bunch chopped green onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 T butter, melted
2 T flour
1-1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1 small can diced green chiles, drained
1 15.8 oz can great northern beans
1 15.8 oz can pinto beans
1 can fat free chicken broth
2-1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
In large pot, melt butter. Saute onion and celery until onion is transparent (about 4 - 5 minutes). Add flour, chili powder, cumin, and greeb chiles; cook and stir until bubbly (about 2 minutes). Add great northern and pinto beans and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add chicken, heat through. Serve with salsa/cheese, and/or sour cream (Optional). 6 servings = 6 WW points.