On May 15th, I posted this photo (below) showing part of our Gung-Ho Neighbor'syard and part of our back yard.
(At this point I took a 10-minute break to observe a power drop-out.)
Just eight days later, this (below) is the view.
And a little closer up....
The next day (the 24th) the water was down - not to its normal level, but well within the normal creek banks. Then, last night, we received another 3.5 inches of rain. Up the creek rose. It didn't get quite as high as it had risen Monday.
At about 2:00am, today, I turned on the front porch light - and immediately turned it off, again. Two barn swallows were roosting on the arch above the front of the porch - where they used to nest each spring. That explains the pattern of poop that I have observed for the past week or two on the porch floor - not where the house finches are nesting (and they don't poop on the floor, anyway!)
There were several tornadoes out around Dodge City last night and this early morning. Fortunately, they concentrated on rural lands.
Tehachap posted a silly little meme (which she called a list) that I am adapting, slightly. Thank you, Tehachap! Most of you could blow away a more sophisticated version, let alone this one.
My writing friend, Mage http://urban-archology.blogspot.com/ loves to respond to lists. I do on occasion… this one looked interesting so I’m copying and pasting and changing my answers where mine differ from hers. It’s fun — and you learn all sorts of things about your friends.
Fired a Gun x (I used to own my late father's rifle; now it's Bogie's.) Been Married X Fallen in love X Taken a dip in an ocean X
Swum a mile X Gone on a blind date Skipped school X (Only in college) Attended college X
Been to Canada X (Once - overnight business trip) Been to Europe Been to Las Vegas X (Only the airport while delivering an airplane to Monterey CA - no gambling) Been to Washington D.C. X Been to Nashville X Been to Florida X (Lived there for 2 years) Been to Asia
Been to Africa Been to South America Been to Antarctica Seen the Grand Canyon in person X (A fellow pilot and I took his wife and my kids for a flight over most of the length of the Grand Canyon - about 1980 - in a Cessna T210.)
Flown in a Helicopter (Got about 30 minutes of stick time in a small Bell; flew as maintenance crew on HH-46 over the Gulf of Mexico for about 3 or 4 hours.) Been on an ocean cruise Served on a jury (Called twice, but never served) Been in a movie Been to Los Angeles X (Worked there during the 1980s) Been to New York City X (Volunteered at the FEMA office for 5 days in 2007) Played in a band X (If you count a high school concert band - played bassoon) Piloted a boat X Made prank phone calls Laughed so much you cried X Caught a snowflake on your tongue Had children X Had a pet X
Been sledding on big hill X Been downhill skiing X Been snowboarding Been water skiing X Ridden on a motorcycle Jumped out of a plane X Been to a drive-in movie X Ridden an elephant Ridden a camel
Been on TV X Been in newspaper X Stayed in Hospital X (Only for births of Bogie and Dudette) Donated blood X Thrown a pot X (As in, making pottery) Painted a painting X Marched in protest Taught a class X Built a sculpture
Volunteered X Gained weight X Lost weight X Had a lot of fun X Gotten a piercing X (Ears pierced) Gotten a tattoo Driven a stick shift vehicle X (Nearly exclusively until about 10 years ago) Driven over 100 mph X (What's a highway for?) Been scuba diving Lived on your own X Got a speeding ticket X (Four each - each for 12 mph over the speed limit) Been on a winning softball team
It makes me jealous to see someone having more fun than I am having - and - to see someone who is so peppy and full of energy that they move like greased lightning. Oh, well.
We have new neighbors on one side of us - a couple, both of whom are active-duty US Air Force. She's a nurse (Captain) while he is in the business of keeping aircraft in the air (Senior Master Sergeant). They and their four children (ages 4 to 10) moved here in October of last year from a high-rise apartment in Japan. They are perfectly delightful! Their lot which, until about 30 days ago, was mostly hidden by the woods along the creek (they are at the confluence of a tributary and the creek along which our lots are situated) comprises a bit over 1.5 acres. Wishing to rid their lot of snakes and ticks and vermin for the sake of their children, they have attacked the woods with vigor!
This photo (below) shows some of their back yard as it appeared in January 2015 - long before the USAF couple came to town.
After two or three weeks' wielding of a chain saw to clear brush and small trees, cutting firewood, and having the piles of brush hauled away, this (below photo) is what it looked like.
To show you how gung-ho are our neighbors*, here is a photo (below) of one of them playing with a Bobcat during a downpour.
Today, following about 10 days of Bobcat work, this (below) is the view from our kitchen window.
Please note that they have moved the shed (I don't know where it will end up as it may have been positioned to be out of the way for the moment) and planted crepe myrtle bushes well-spaced along the property line (to alert the children to the edge of their play field). The Bobcat is still in the neighbor's back yard, so we shall see what else they've in mind! Whew! I'm tired just from watching that enterprising young couple!
*Wouldn't you think that a really nice neighbor would offer to let me play with their Bobcat?
As many people in the USA know, next Sunday is to be celebrated as Mothers' Day 2016. Bogie knows this full well; but, she sent me two cards - early - with the suggestion that I open one, today, and the other next Sunday. I have opened one. It tells about "Great Moms throughout History". It gives quotes from several of them.
"You can cross the Delaware AFTER you've finished doing your chores!" - George Washington's Mom
"It looks like this room hasn't been cleaned in fourscore and seven years!" - Abe Lincoln's Mom
"You actually met men who are willing to ask for directions?" - Sacajawea's Mom
"It doesn't take a genius to see you need to comb your hair!" - Albert Einstein's Mom
Bogie was kind enough not to send any quotes of my own back at me. What would she have sent? Contest!
As I was taking my afternoon break, I listened to This American Life on the local PBS station, KMUW. One segment of that program reminded me of a study, the results of which seem applicable to some of the candidates for higher office in the USA. Immediately, I Googled "Dunning-Kruger" effect to find the write-up in Wikipedia. The first couple of paragraphs follow, below.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their own ability accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: highly skilled individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.
The bias was first experimentally observed by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University in 1999. They postulated that the effect is the result of internal illusion in the unskilled, and external misperception in the skilled: "The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."
1. Kruger, Justin; Dunning, David (1999). "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology77 (6): 1121–34.
There is a posting on the Military Advantage Blog that is mostly about military pay/benefits. It does, however, include a paragraph on possible registration of women for the Selective Service draft, which is excerpted, below.
Military Update: With U.S. forces still at war and House members up for re-election in November, the House Armed Services Committee rejected almost every idea the Obama administration proposed in its 2017 budget request to dampen military compensation and apply dollars saved to other defense priorities.
Women Draft Registration — With all combat jobs now open to women, the committee voted 32-30 for an amendment to require women to register with Selective Service System. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who opposes women serving in infantry or Special Forces, said he offered the amendment to spark a debate that the Congress, so far, has avoided.
It seemed to me that spring had sprung about four weeks early this year. Well...I don't have a good year-to-year comparison for each year, but I can show you the difference between April 26, 2012 and today.
There really isn't that much difference since I expect the irises to be fully abloom within six days - except for the leafing out of the sugar maple tree that is in the middle ground just to the left of the ball-trimmed junipers. The sugar maple won't make the leafiness of 2012, I'm thinking. The 2012 photo looks muddy because the sun was having a hard time making its way through the clouds.
ADDITION of 4/26/2016 -
It's amazing how much a maple can leaf out in six days. Six days later, here's how things look.
Bogie had posted First 2016 Spring Flowers (showing pretty primroses!) the other day, on which I commented that I would try to post some photos of our blossoms, here. I mentioned the deep wine-colored dwarf irises' (a start of which I had sent her last year) being abloom.
And, I mentioned the creeping phloxes, the starts for which Bogie had sent me five or six years ago. The phlox have taken time to get established for three reasons: 1) Kansas drought, 2) my not watering them (plants have to really want to grow to survive my neglect), and 3) their frequently being disturbed by adjacent plantings or by their being moved - again!
While posting flower photos, I'll tell you about the ice plant. A few years ago, I planted two or three small pots of magenta-hued ice plant on the far side of the driveway from the house in which position they would get little water. Two of the plants did well, thriving there and blooming profusely. This year, one of those ice plant clumps is thriving, but not blooming. (No photos if they don't bloom!)
Last year, I bought a dozen or so small pots of ice plant, placing them at various places in the landscaping - but mostly in that bed on the far side of the driveway. Most of them died. After having the mulching renewed, this year, by the landscaping firm (Bogie "grew up with" the owner as he is a son of the woman who was my closest friend for years and years) I'm not sure but what a few of the ice plants may lie buried; however, I think they were long dead. Here are photos of the two clumps that survived. The one on the left is near the house/garage, in a position that receives overflow from the rain troughs. The other is in that neglected bed on the far side of the driveway.
Finally, some miscellaneous shots that I took. It was too late to catch the redbud trees in bloom, and the lilacs are several days past their prime, but, I got what I got.
Notes to Bogie & Dudette:
1) I've uploaded several of the above photos (and a couple of others) into the 2016 photo album on the left side bar.
2) I usually do my own mulching, but wimped out this year. Kevin's crew used 120 (each, 3-cu-ft) bags of mulch. Those young women toted those bags about as if they were feathers. (I lug them about like the old woman I am!)
3) I told the crew not to worry about burying ice plants. They are not expensive for me to replace.