Twelve Sources Of Noise Pollution

It used to be that there were a baker’s dozen (13) major sources of noise pollution outside my home at 1313 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, Illinois, United States of America, but my elderly neighbor who ran a metalwork shop out of the shed in his backyard, with metal shearing, grinding, and screeching noises, passed on a couple of years ago. I never asked what he was doing, that was his own business. He was a retired navy veteran, but he succumbed to dementia and wandered the neighborhood in confusion before he died. I live on a 4-lane highway without side berms, without a center median, just lane-to-lane heavy traffic always maxing out the speed limit of 45 mph, and frequently going much mo

Eclipse Of The Sun Is Stranger Than Usual

By all accounts, here in Bloomington, Illinois on August 21, 2017, the moon would cover 93% of the sun, with the eclipse beginning at 11:51 AM and ending almost three hours later, with optimal coverage at 1:18 PM. At 1:18 PM, I was laid out in anticipation on a beach blanket with pillows on my patio. I encountered only bright light from the sun that had not a hint of a shadow on it. In fact, it might have been even brighter than usual. Since I was set up to photograph, I took an image. Lo and behold I captured a second, strange, tiny celestial body at about 2 o’clock in this photograph. See it by zooming up and to the right of the weird, large, overly bright sun. I am going to tally th

Daytrip to Chicago, Illinois

The late summer roadside flowers are beautiful in Illinois. On this trip to Chicago I saw many of my favorites along the road: purple Thistle, blue Chicory, showy white Queen Anne’s Lace, Cattails, and many varieties of tall unmowed grasses that are remnants of the tall grass prairie that once held sway over this land. The way people in Illinois use the land is so pleasing to my eyes. The wide fields of corn are often boarded with healthy woodlots sheltering wildlife as large as deer and coyote, maybe even bear and wolf. Many of the small towns have roadside parks with tidy man-made lakes for fishing. Illinois water is clean with bass and other catchable fish. I enjoyed driving over th

A Cool Bright Day

I dreamed that I awoke to the not so distant explosions of war, just a few city blocks away. As there was nothing I could do to save myself and I could only hope that I was not in the wrong place at the wrong time to survive, I put myself back to sleep in my dream. I worry for America, North Korea, and all the countries in between; I pray there is no war. Today is cool and bright. I walked the outside walls of my house knocking off wasp nests. Will the wasps be too cold next winter without closeness to my warm house, and die? Sadness. I have three categories of wasp on my property, paper nest wasps, mud daubers, and wood borers. Earlier this year I sawed off a thick dead pine branch w

Golden Privet Hedge

Mostly overcast today as wildfires in the American Northwest throw fine soot up into the high sky which tickles it into mist and showers here in the Midwest. I love being outside in the mist. Old Cat Margaret goes with me as far as the patio, and settles under the hostas. Last night her breath was so still I thought she had passed, it took a long time for me to wake her up. Her body temperature has been very low for a while now, and she sleeps curled onto my back, not the strong young cat she used to be, nor I the strong young woman. I sit on my late mother’s bench beside the golden privet hedge in my backyard, under the fragrant boughs of my neighbor’s stately pine tree which towers up

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