Winter Security

Cross country skiing in Perrysburg this winter has been on thin snow, but there have been four good days so far. The key to a good trail is enough snow and preferably have it frozen into good grooves.


We had thin powdery snow which barely covered the grass and gave NO directional Security (unlike this photo from a few years ago). Down on the bayou the bare ice there also provided no security and led me into another crash, this time with a tree stump, resulting in another bump.


The interesting thing is the damage was surprisingly detected a week later by the millimeter full body scanner


at Detroit airport where I was taken aside for a pat-down, right on my sore spot.   In this country of very expensive medical treatment here is an interesting almost-free one available to all. Don P. is investigating for me how deep it can measure.

 I was flying to Montreal where the students happened to be protesting their first fee hike in 40 years, not appreciating that 40 years inflation had reduced their fees to ridiculously low amounts.

The pepper spray (from the Globe and Mail paper next day) looked serious. I only saw scary Security police and heard much shouting.


Back home the strange weather has given my snowdrops a snowy Security blanket


 which shielded them from the coldest temperatures.  They happily opened up fully the next time the sun shone. (they’ve been in flower for 4 weeks now).


Unlike our poor rhubarb which got badly bruised by the frost when it came up too soon in the unusual warmth of this year’s January. 

Meanwhile Mr. Pinot never tires of performing with no Security net (and he has no front claws!), walking the rail of near-terror, in return for just a little well earned reckognition and admiration.

2011 Winter Solstice or Your House as a Solar Observatory

A simple but great sculpture by Nancy Holt in Utah, celebrating the ancient ceremonies at winter solstice is on my all time favorite website:
I celebrated the Solstice at 8:15 this morning (December 22) in Perrysburg when the sun rose and shone right through the house from its unique Southernmost direction.

The left side photo is taken from the North side of the house looking straight at the sunrise.

The right side photo shows where I am hanging a print of the first photo, in the exact spot on the North wall, illuminated by the sun only on December 21 or 22 (the sun spot is not on the photo because it had moved away by the time I got the iPad stuck to the wall!).

It worked for me  on both first and second floors (see second row of photos). I hope to repeat the measurements for the Summer Solstice and the Equinoxes, but it helps here not having leaves on the trees right now.






(Alice is more interested in Aya’s catnip mouse than astronomy).







(The Black Prince, Pinot is more interested in sitting on the warm radiator).

Here’s a good alignment that occurred a week after the solstice. There are no trees near this line of sight and the spot on the wall is small and relatively precise being a good distance from the window where the sun shines into the house.








I’ll place a photo there and see if it is directly illuminated again same time next year.

I found this 6 month old sunrise photo, taken in July about 4 weeks after the Summer Solstice, looking North-East along the top deck.

It shows the sun is rising about 78 degrees further to the North than right now at the end of December.

The best fun will be at the March and September equinoxes: then I’ll only have to wait 6 months to see if I can get two sunspots to occur in exactly the same spot.

In the Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago a few days ago I found this most timely still life by Windsor, Ontario artist Iain Baxter.

It brought back fond memories of Glenn Osborn’s Photoshopped great collage masterpiece “Homage to DeHeem” which won Best of Show (Area Artists) at the Toledo Art Museum in 2007.

It’s almost two years since Glenn sadly left us, with a great musical wake to remember him by.

Happy Solstice and Holidays to all, with a Photoshopped image of what the Maumee Xmas lights, just over the river, would look like through rainy glass – we have NO SNOW, or ice yet!

5 Felines Faceoff For Thanksgiving

Queen AliceNewton

Prince Pinot

Olivia & John brought their 2 extremely well behaved cats. Bossy Queen Alice fled to the basement to tell timid Hermes. Prince Pinot was left to defend the palace. Newton’s evil eye above is only a flash reflection. If I half press the shutter and wait a second the green eye goes away, but so do the cats.

Nutmeg behaved perfectly – watching everything.

After 3 days Alice finally took over & cornered Newton & Nutmeg under the bed just in time for us to pull them out and carry them to the car for the 10 hour drive home to NYC. Looks like one at least has a seat belt.

Once they were gone, Hermes who has lived shyly in the basement for months, decided to come upstairs and see what really happens at 341.

Later:  In La Guardia,  while awaiting my flight to Abu Dhabi, I hear that Alice & Pinot are exhausted too.