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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I’ve always loved Japanese red maples.

Saw this photo the other day and it simply took my breath away.

Mount Fuji with Japanese red maples.

fuji-red-maple

So beautiful!

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This Week in Science: June 1, 2014

While the rest of us were gearing up for summer and firing up the barbecues and whatever it is we do in anticipation of summer, my lovely geeks and nerdlings in the world of science were coming up with stuff like this! 01-06-14

Broadband: http://bit.ly/1lZ3JFX
Virgin Galactic: http://bit.ly/1mEcfMa
Velociraptor robot: http://bit.ly/1kc1wvb
Robot skin: http://bit.ly/1hNPLFO
Driverless cars: http://bit.ly/1gBIqxC
Crowdsourcing: http://bit.ly/1kxU7AK
Dragon capsule: http://bit.ly/1hG7q1V
Aircrafts flown by thought: http://bit.ly/1kRZ4ZE

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Thanks, as always, to the ILFS Facebook page!

Check out the ILFS website.

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OK… among my (many) fixations, obsessions, fascinations, interests, etc…

Trees.

reflection-Wanaka-Lake-jason-rosewarne(Lone Tree of Wanaka Lake, NZ. Image: Jason Rosewarne)

Not only the trees themselves but how they are captured on film.

reflections-richard-lewis(‘Dead in the Water’ – Chatsworth, NJ. Image: Richard Lewis)

I ran into these images the other morning.

Knapps Loch(‘Misty sunrise’ – Knapps Loch, Scotland. Image: David Dalziel)

A tree or row of trees and how they are reflected in water.

I hope you find them as beautiful and moving as I do.

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Why I Miss the South: Dixie Envy

blue-ridge-mountains-sunset-from-southern-blue-ridge-parkway-dave-allen(Blue Ridge Mountains Sunset – Image credit: Dave  Allen)

In my Twitter novel, The Great Dead North, two characters (the Narrator “Me” and his wife, “Callie-Ann” [aka Cally] from Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina) have the following exchange one morning…

Me: I take it with that bat-like hearing of yours, you heard me & Shara talking. Cally: I did. Me: And? Cally: I married the best Dad ever!

Me: Thenk yew. Cally: Oh, please. Me: Not even close? Cally: Honey? When you try to talk Southern… it only makes you sound more Northern.

Me: If a couple moved to The South & had kids, would the kids be Southern? Cally: If a cat had kittens in the oven, would they be biscuits?

I sigh heavily. Callie-Ann grins. Cally: You got Dixie Envy, that’s what you got. Me: Dixie Envy? Cally: The clearest case I have ever seen.

Me: Any cure? Cally: Well, marrying me & putting a bun in my oven is definitely a step in the right direction, I can tell you that right now

It’s kinda like a similarly-phrased concept in Freudian psychoanalysis which, in contemporary culture, sometimes refers inexactly or metaphorically to women who are presumed to wish they were men (or at least have their equipment).

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I’ve gone on at some length as to why I love The South and I think it is fair to say that what spurs that love on is, in part, Dixie Envy.

It’s been a good many years since I was way down yonder in the land of cotton.

warning-rednecks

I wish I was in Dixie.

TheSouthWillRiseAgain

I miss it.

biscuits-n-gravy

I love it.

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I envy it.

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It’s not only the old fir trees that make this photo so awe-inspiring. It’s the clouds across the Dolomite mountains in the background. But most importantly, it is the fact that the image is reflected in waters of Lake Carezza (lit. ‘caress’) with circular ripples moving outwards.

carezza-lake-reflection(Photograph by Antonio Chiumenti)

“Lake Carezza is a pearl of the Dolomites. Nestled between an ancient forest of grand firs and Latemar mountain, it’s a place of legends and beauty—a nymph lives under its emerald waters. I threw a little stone in the water to add a little mystery to the scene.” (Antonio Chiumenti)

(This photo and caption were submitted to the 2013 National Geographic Photo Contest.)

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Thanks to intrepid science reporter Danielle Elliot!

As she reports in the Weird & Wild section at the National Geographic, an influx of emus is starting to take over a town in Queensland, Australia.

Shopkeepers in any downtown area love foot traffic, right? It’s the key to business.

But what if that traffic isn’t full of potential shoppers. What if, instead, it’s a flock of large birds strutting their stuff down the sidewalks?

That’s the scene these days in Longreach, Queensland; an influx of emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is starting to take over the town.

“They were waltzing up and down the street, drinking from the puddles and having a nibble in the garden beds at a council redevelopment site down the road. They were making themselves right at home,” gallery and coffee shop owner Deb Scott told The Australian.

Local experts say the emus are looking for food, but drivers are more concerned that they’re going to end up as road kill—someone forgot to teach them to look both ways before crossing the street.

“They are taking absolutely no notice of the people, or the cars or dogs,” Longreach Mayor Joe Owens told the Australian Broadcasting Company. “When they are crossing the street, people have to stop for them. They just toddle across as they please.”

And that’s posing a challenge for drivers, considering their long legs allow them to sprint at 31 miles per hour and cover up to nine feet in a single stride. The largest bird native to Australia, they have soft brown feathers, but they never take flight. (Related: “The Great Emu Caper.”)

emus-take-over-town

The emus have been circling the outlying areas of town for a few months, the ABC reports, but this is the first time they’ve ventured into the more densely populated town center.

Under normal conditions, emus stick to the brush, feasting on seeds, grass, and insects. They can last several weeks without a meal, but higher-than-average temperatures and an extended drought have left them on the hunt.

“The [kangaroos] and the emus are just desperately seeking something to eat and a bit of greenery, so they are marching in and getting it wherever they can,” naturalist Angus Emmott told ABC.

As the drought continues, there’s no telling when the emus will leave the main areas of town, but one thing’s for sure: It’s not every day that you get to share a sidewalk with an emu.

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Danielle Elliot is a multimedia producer and writer who earned her chops reporting and producing for networks, start-ups, and everything in between. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she covered tennis and Olympic figure skating for a few years before earning an M.A. in Science and Health Journalism at Columbia University.

Follow her on Twitter.

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Night on a Spooky Planet Explanation: What spooky planet is this? Planet Earth of course, on the dark and stormy night of September 12 at Hverir, a geothermallyactive area along the volcanic landscape in northeastern Iceland. northern-lights-steam-iceland(Image Credit & CopyrightStéphane Vetter (Nuits sacrées) Geomagnetic stormsproduced the auroral display in the starry night sky while ghostly towers of steam and gas venting from fumaroles danced against the eerie greenish light. Tonight, there is still a chance for geomagnetic storms triggered by recent solar activity, so high-latitude skygazers should beware. And ghostly shapes may dance in your neighborhood, too.

I hope you all had a safe and Happy Halloween!

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