Sunday, October 30, 2011


I went to Sears for an oil change and as I parked the car I saw an incredibly beautiful flowers growing on some vines adjacent to the parking lot.   I had never seen a flower like this before.   I returned a couple of weeks later but the flowers were gone.   But there was something that resembled a small green lime.
I wondered if it could be from the flowers.   I checked on the internet and discovered that the flower was a Passion flower and that the green thing was actually the seed pod of the passion flower.    I returned about a week later and couldn't find any seed pods on the vine.   But I did find one that had recently fallen on the ground.
I picked it up and brought it home.   I removed the seeds from their individual little sacks and cleaned the gelatinous material off of the seeds.   I am giving the seeds a short time to dry a little and then I shall try planting some of them.    I am looking forward to seeing the incredibly beautiful flowers.
Have a wonderful day wherever you may be.   And for those who are getting snowed upon so early in the year, just try to think positive.   Like when I was a child and got a day off from school because of a snowstorm and so I got to play all day in the snow instead of sitting in a classroom.   Be happy.   Lew

Saturday, October 22, 2011

atomic craters

Is this a picture of the surface of the moon?   No, it is the atomic test site located in Nevada where they set off the atomic bombs.    Our country went from exploding atomic bombs on the surface of the ground
to exploding them underground.   When an atomic bomb is exploded underground a subsidence crater is created from the ground settling back down after the explosion.    These craters can be of various sizes.  
What I found fascinating was how many of them there were and how much they reminded me of the lunar surface.   My favorite crater (if you can have one) is the Sedan crater because of its enormous size.
You can get an idea of its scale by the road around it.   I like it because I got to personally visit the crater and stand at its edge.
This is an observing platform that I got to walk out on and peer over the edge down into the crater.
The explosion that created the Sedan crater was a part of Operation Plowshare on the peaceful uses of using nuclear explosives for peaceful excavations.   It certainly did move a lot of dirt to make that huge crater.   It was fascinating to visit the atomic test site for training for radiation emergencies.   This is my class out at the atomic test site.   Can you spot me?
Here I am.
How do you like those pork chop sideburns?   That was the style then.   Really.   The history of the atomic testing program is really fascinating to read about.   It is one of my hobbies.    Have a great day.     Lew

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mary's chair

This is Mary's computer desk where she surfs the internet and checks her emails.   This chair use to be hers but it looks like it has now been claimed by Tammy.   I see something suspicious hanging down from the chair seat.   Do you see it?
Yep, it is Tammy the cat taking a little nap on Mary's chair.   She is so tired that she can hardly hold her eyes open.   A sweet kitty who is treated like a princess.  
            This week Mary and I went to see the new version of the movie The Thing.   This is the third version that I have seen.    In each subsequent version the special effects are better.   But this latest version I would classify as a horror movie as opposed to sci-fi.
            Who likes going to Disneyworld?   I do, I do!   The weather here in Orlando is finally turning cooler and that means Mary and I will be visiting Disneyworld very soon with our annual passes which is a terrific buy.   Disney is such a fun place to visit and I never seem to tire of it.   Do you have any special memories of Disneyworld or Disneyland?   Please post them in the comments section.   Time to go.   As they say at Disney, "Have a magical day".    Lew     

Monday, October 10, 2011

the brain from outer space

I went out to the mail box and saw this "thing" on the ground.   From a distance it looked like something from one of those old science fiction movies like "The Brain From Outer Space".   Not knowing what it was, I approached it cautiously.

As I got close to it I realized that it was just a large mass of numerous toadstools.   But it does look like something out of those sci/fi monster movies. 

I have never seen anything like this before.   But what the heck, this is Florida and most everything grows in Florida.   We have had a few days of constant rain which makes the fungi grow.   I bet that I have seen at least 6 or 7 different varieties of toadstools in the yard at one time or another.   Even Tammy our cat had to come over and check it out.

Whenever our cat sees me doing something in the yard she always has to come over to me to check on what I am doing.   The proverbial "curiosity of a cat".   Is everyone getting ready for the cooler temperatures of fall?   After a hot steamy humid summer here in tropical Florida, I am looking forward to the cooler weather.   Not a believer in global warming?   Come to Florida in August.   As Buster Poindexter sings, "hot, Hot, Hot".    Stay cool and be cool.    Lew

Saturday, October 8, 2011

curious wasps

Mary noticed some wasps on the backside of the porch light.   And just look at the corrosion on the metal.    When we first purchased the porch light a couple of years ago it was all shiny brass and really looked nice.   I guess living in Florida with the salt air from the ocean caused this rapid corrosion.   Or maybe the price was too good to be true.   But, back to the wasps.  
The wasps just seem to be congregating on the back of the light fixture.   And I don't know what material the back is made of but it is still shiny and reflective, and not corroded at all.   The only part of the light fixture that isn't corroded.
The wasps look like the wasps that make their nest out of paper, but they have been there for over a week now and no sign of any kind of nest building.   They just seem to gather there.   I wonder if perhaps they are seeing their own reflection in the shiny material?    I need to take the lamp down and clean it up and paint it, but not right now.    I want to see first if they eventually build a nest.   It is just very interesting, or as Mr. Spock would say, "fascinating".   Have a good day no matter where in the galactic universe you may live.   "Live Long and Prosper".    Lew

Friday, October 7, 2011

purple berries

Have you ever passed by something and it really caught your eye?  Well, that is what happened to me as I was working in the backyard while trimming some bushes.   I spotted these beautiful purple berries on the other side of the fence in the neighbor’s yard.   I just knew that I had to get a picture of it.   I have no idea what kind of a plant that it is, I was just fascinated by the pretty purple color.   Yeah, I know, I see the spots on the leaves and I have no idea what is causing them.   But the berries are nice.
The berries come right off with just a gentle touch.
The berries seem to be held on by a little white cap which reminds me of the cap that an acorn has.   The color really is incredible.   Once again I ask” Does anyone know what kind of plant this that has these delightful little purple berries?  Have a pleasant day wherever you may be.    Lew

Thursday, October 6, 2011

cemetery dirt

Yes, that’s right, only $10,500 is all that I paid for this house.    Seems incredible doesn’t it.   I can’t even buy a new car for $10,500.   But this was way back in the 70’s which was a long, long time ago.   And I am sure that we all have stories of how little we paid for our first house.   This was a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home.   The two trees in the front of the house are interesting because they have sexes to them.   The tree on the left is male and does not produce fruit and the tree on the right is a female and produced an incredible amount of mulberries which I enjoyed eating.   I built that low block wall along the front of the house.   I laid the block myself.   Upon it’s back-breaking completion I knew that I never wanted to be a block layer by profession.    This wall was a long planter for flowers along the front of the house.    But I needed dirt for it.   A lot of dirt.   Here is where my story gets a little gruesome.   I got a call from a friend that I knew.   He needed some dirt for the low spots in his front yard and asked me if I could haul some dirt for him in my pick-up truck that you see in the picture.   I said “sure” but asked him where he was going to get the dirt from (this is where it gets a little gory).   He said “cemetery dirt”.   He worked in a cemetery cremating bodies in the crematory where they had a total of five ovens (I told you that it was going to get gory).    He said that when they bury a casket in the ground in the cemetery there is dirt left over equal to the size of the casket.    They take the excess dirt out to the back part of the cemetery and pile it up.    I asked if I could get some of that dirt for my large planter wall.   He said “fine” and so we spent Saturday first hauling cemetery dirt to his house and spreading it on his front yard and then hauling more cemetery dirt to my house and filling up my planter wall with it.   Enough of the gruesome stuff.   This house served me well and I had it for a total of 15 years.   I wish now that I had kept it because I will never again be able to buy a house for $15,000, even with the drop in home prices recently.   Have a nice day and remember all of those terrific low prices from our past like penny candy.    Lew     

Monday, October 3, 2011

little brown fuzzy things

Does anyone have any idea what this is?   The leaf is from an oak tree here in Florida.   I saw a number of these while trimming some limbs on the tree.    At first I thought that it might be some sort of insect scale.
But it just looked too big to me to be a scale insect.   Then I started to think in terms of a caterpillar.
But it wasn’t moving.   I tried using my Golden Guide of Insects.
Remember these little pocket-books?   I like them because they are so easy to use and are full of lots and lots of pictures.  The closest thing that I could find was that it may be a cocoon of the acrea moths but I am not sure.   The cocoon was described as having hairs incorporated into it and these do look like little hairs.
Does anyone have any ides?   Are there any amateur entomologists who might like to take a guess?   I find it just amazing what nature has in store for me to discover next.   It just seems like an endless and fun filled journey through the yard each day as I keep discovering new things.   Take care.   Lew