Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wild Blue Phlox

Botanical name: phloxdiva
Commonly called: Wild Sweet William

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunny and ice...

On Saturday afternoon it was 78 degrees on Coles Pond but as I stared out from the deck chair I did not see blue water but white ice....

Yesterday the ice finally went out and open water appeared everywhere... and no time passed before the loons appeared... apparently they were close by patiently waiting when they got a call from the Mallards that the ice was gone.

The same thing happened last year, the day the ice went out the loons appeared on the pond.

I saw a grouse and two beavers this morning on the drive into work.

The speech I would love to hear...

“My fellow Americans, I want to speak to you about a new economic law. You’ve heard of Moore’s Law in information technology. I’d like to speak to you about the ‘Law of More’ in energy technology. Americans, Indians, Chinese, Africans, we all want more — more comfort in our homes, more mobility in our lives, more technologies with which to innovate. But there is only one way all 6.3 billion of us can have more and not make this an unlivable planet, and that is by living our lives and running our businesses in more sustainable ways and properly accounting for it.

“Right now we’re paying a huge price — a tax — for everyone trying to achieve more in an unsustainable way. But the ‘More Tax’ is not imposed by the U.S. government. It is a tax imposed by the market and will continue rising indefinitely as more and more people want more and more stuff. It will steadily drive up gasoline prices, home heating prices and factory electricity prices. But because this ‘More Tax’ is set by the market and not the government, many opponents contend that there’s nothing to be done: ‘Oh, $4.50 a gallon gasoline — that’s just the market at work. We can’t do anything about that.’ And then all that tax money out of your pocket goes to enrich oil companies and petro-dictators.

“My proposal is that today we fix a durable price on carbon-based fossil fuels, but set it to begin only in 2011, after we’re out of this recession. Every home builder, air-conditioning manufacturer, gasoline refiner, carmaker will know that it’s coming and will, I believe, immediately look for ways to profit from and invest in more energy efficient systems. Yes, the cost of gasoline or kilowatt hours will rise in the short term. But in the long term, your actual bills and expenses will go down because your car, appliances and factory will become steadily more productive and give you more power for less energy.

“I call it the ‘Carbon Tax Cut.’ You won’t receive the dividend in the first week or month, but you will get it soon, and it will be a permanent tax cut, a gift that will keep on giving.

“So those are our choices, folks — an escalating ‘More Tax’ forever, premised on immediate gratification and short-term thinking, or a ‘Carbon Tax Cut’ forever, which is exactly what you’ll get from establishing a carbon price signal that shapes the market in favor of American interests and not those of our adversaries and competitors. If you’re with me, write your member of Congress and senator today.”

- From Thomas Friedman's NYT column on April 25 - Moore’s Law and the Law of More

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Forest Awakens...

In the last few days the wildlife have started to "wake up" around Coles Pond...

I spotted the beaver down by my dock on Saturday. He has been busy over the winter months.

I spotted deer track on my muddy road early Sunday morning that was not there Saturday evening when I was out for a walk.

Over the weekend my neighbors spotted three bears in a field about 2 miles away... a mother with an older cub and a brand new cub.

On Sunday four blue heron flew over the pond in a diamond formation and two mallard ducks have taken up residence nearby in a spot where the ice has melted away from the shore.

Finally, one night last week I heard a great horned owl very close to the house hooting away for about an hour after dark.

For all intents and purposes the pond is still iced over, except for a few places around the edges. We are expecting considerable rain this week and so I suspect that will change significantly by Friday.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The return of the birds....

The last couple of months it has been relatively quiet on the pond.

You could stand outside in the evening and listen for several minutes and not hear a sound.

Then last evening I went for a walk around my place (where the snow had melted away enough) and I noticed there was a substantial increase in the noise level. There were robin's singing!

That got me to looking up and there were lots of birds in the trees around me that just a month ago were not any where in sight. The chickadees were there all winter but now they have companions. nuthatches, sparrows, red polls and even the grackles have returned.

I purchased a bird feeder this week in order to "help" them out until the snow completely melts.

It was nice to hear the beginnings of spring.

Because this is my first spring on the pond there are many things that I am seeing and appreciating for the first time.

Next up... mud season.