Woodpeckers at Work

Ah, the sound of a busy-signal that’s not one. I have mixed emotions about woodpeckers. I love seeing and hearing them. I don’t love seeing them on the trees around RedQuarters, because that often means that we are about to lose either the entire tree, or a large branch. Every tree we lose is between $5,000 and $30,000 property loss. Yes, having shade is that important around here! Continue reading

Scaling Mount Whatever

Someone in the neighborhood took a delivery of dirt to fill in low places in his yard. That was back in 2019. The mound is still there, waiting for him to get a moment free to move the dirt. The local toddlers find it nigh unto irresistible. Their mothers are less pleased. Some wag (not me) put a little flag on top giving the elevation.

It reminds me of a larger mound and a similarly free spirit. Continue reading

The Great God Pan

Somewhere, the ancient Greek god of waste places and the wild, Pan, is smiling. The wild, irrational fear that he caused in those who angered him has swept North America.

Pan was one of the oldest of the Greek gods, in the sense that, like Zeus, his name traces back to an Indo-European root and has cognates in Sanskrit, Persian, and in the Latin and English word “pasture.” It is a different root than “pan” meaning all or entire, unless a link is found in the sense that for the Indo-European speaking horse nomads, all the world was a pasture, and so all came under the gaze of a pastoral god. Continue reading

Of Course it Will Freeze Now

That’s one consistent thing in the Texas Panhandle when it comes to weather. If you want a hard freeze in spring, order new plants. You don’t even have to stick them in the ground.

Yes, we’re doing the houseplant Hokie-Pokie around here again. “You bring the houseplants in/ You take the houseplants out/ You bring the houseplants in/ And you move them all about.” And re-shuffle the garage, and move garage stuff onto the porch, and make a tent for the plants you are hardening off to plant, and . . . Continue reading

The Great Fear of 1789 or Similar Song, Second Verse?

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to find a historical parallel to the mood in the US media. Tulipomania came to mind, especially while watching the stock market. Then I got to thinking about panic and uncertainty, two things the markets hate. What panic had not been associated with financial bubbles? The Great Panic (or Fear) in France from July-September of 1789. Rumors swept over the country with a speed that later historians doubted possible, causing peasant uprisings, people fleeing into the woods, and rural upset across the entire country. Given the lack of transportation and the huge number of dialects and languages spoken in France at the time, it’s amazing how quickly the mood engulfed France.
Continue reading

Spring Breaking

Sorry. A combination of events at Day Job and at home drained my brain. I’ll have the Protestant History post tomorrow, and the Great Panic history thing on Monday.

Gesundheit, Bob. But I told you not to try so much in one load.