Tuesday, July 7, 2015

haiku image remains


 flowers are fading
the butterflies  come and go 
the image remains


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Silent saturday, 4th of July



Friday, July 3, 2015

How Fireworks work,, guest blogger

I am just an old wrinkly " kid", but you knew that if you have been reading my blog for any length of time.    Fireworks after the town carnival were a big part of my " little kid year", like fireworks anywhere are a big part of my "wrinkly old kid year".  So for anyone who doesn't have a chance to see some this 4th of July.........

4th of July fireworks in NYCHiroyuki Matsumoto/Photographer's Choice/Getty ImagesFirecrackers are small fireworks consisting of gunpowder wrapped in paper, with a fuse.
Firecrackers are small fireworks consisting of gunpowder that has been wrapped in paper, with a fuse.
Jeff Harris Photography / Getty ImagesSparklers are a type of firework that produces a shower of glittery sparks, but does not explode.
Sparklers are a type of firework that produces a shower of glittery sparks, but does not explode.
Simon Battensby, Getty Images
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Fireworks have been a traditional part of New Year's celebrations since they were invented by the Chinese almost a thousand years ago. Today fireworks displays are seen on most holidays. Have you ever wondered how they work? There are different types of fireworks. Firecrackers, sparklers, and aerial shells are all examples of fireworks. Though they share some common characteristics, each type works a little differently.
Firecrackers are the original fireworks. In their simplest form, firecrackers consists of gunpowder wrapped in paper, with a fuse. Gunpowder consists of 75% potassium nitrate (KNO3), 15% charcoal (carbon) or sugar, and 10% sulfur. The materials will react with each other when enough heat is applied. Lighting the fuse supplies the heat to light a firecracker. The charcoal or sugar is the fuel. Potassium nitrate is the oxidizer, and sulfur moderates the reaction. Carbon (from the charcoal or sugar) plus oxygen (from the air and the potassium nitrate) forms carbon dioxide and energy. Potassium nitrate, sulfur, and carbon react to form nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases and potassium sulfide. The pressure from the expanding nitrogen and carbon dioxide explode the paper wrapper of a firecracker. The loud bang is the pop of the wrapper being blown apart.
A sparkler consists of a chemical mixture that is molded onto a rigid stick or wire. These chemicals often are mixed with water to form a slurry that can be coated on a wire (by dipping) or poured into a tube. Once the mixture dries, you have a sparkler. Aluminum, iron, steel, zinc or magnesium dust or flakes may be used to create the bright, shimmering sparks. An example of a simple sparkler recipe consists of potassium perchlorate and dextrin, mixed with water to coat a stick, then dipped in aluminum flakes. The metal flakes heat up until they are incandescent and shine brightly or, at a high enough temperature, actually burn. A variety of chemicals can be added to create colors. The fuel and oxidizer are proportioned, along with the other chemicals, so that the sparkler burns slowly rather than exploding like a firecracker. Once one end of the sparkler is ignited, it burns progressively to the other end. In theory, the end of the stick or wire is suitable to support it while burning.
Rockets & Aerial Shells
When most people think of 'fireworks' an aerial shell probably comes to mind. These are the fireworks that are shot into the sky to explode. Some modern fireworks are launched using compressed air as a propellent and exploded using an electronic timer, but most aerial shells remain launched and exploded using gunpowder. Gunpowder-based aerial shells essentially function like two-stage rockets. The first stage of an aerial shell is a tube containing gunpowder, that is lit with a fuse much like a large firecracker. The difference is that the gunpowder is used to propel the firework into the air rather than explode the tube. There is a hole at the bottom of the firework so the expanding nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases launch the firework into the sky. The second stage of the aerial shell is a package of gunpowder, more oxidizer, and colorants. The packing of the components determines the shape of the firework.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Under the Full Farmers's Moon

How long have I been writing about the full moon? I am really not sure.  Even long before I started this blog I wrote about it.  It is a subject that is as near to my heart and my life and even my beliefs as anything could be.

The last few nights the waxing moon has been hidden by storm clouds, it seems it rained every day in June and certainly every night.  Very late , and only briefly did the clouds part enough to see the orb of the moon, and the cloud quickly drew their curtain of cloud layers back over its face, until not even a faint glow was visible.  But even though it was much too brief, I saw it.

 Buck Moon, the bucks antlers, though still covered with "velvet" are growing, and I have even seen a few of late with the awkward looking beams, divided into clubbed points, and well on their way to becoming distinctive antlers.  The Haying Moon, it will be haying time soon, if there are ever three dry days in a row, the Farmers Almanac even predicts the most likely days for you.  Hay to feed the animals is most often cut and bailed on the first 3 dry days in July, hay that hasn't dried will mold, or worse yet start to compost, there by generating enough heat to ignite itself. Which brings us to the Thunder Moon,  so named because of the many, many thunder storms lighting up the night sky , kinda makes one wonder about fireworks and the 4th of July, doesn't it?    Full Mead Moon,  I will raise my glass to that, I have made mead, and can attest to it's wonderfulness. It is also called the Cherry Moon, the Fledgling Moon, and this year there will be two full moons in July.

Winter wheat is also harvested now, and I have a vivid memory of sitting in the grain bin while the wheat was being brought in, I couldn't have been more that 4 or 5, It was great fun to "help" the men.   This year, a friend sent me a poem, that reminded me of those long ago Julys.  And of just how much work July is on a farm.  And how the longer daylight hours  of The Moon After Solstice make it possible to get it done. 
Yes, July's full Moon is The Full Farmer's Moon, anyway the name I hhave chosen name for it.

My father could not make a poem,
but setting his course by yonder pine,
straight and true he plowed a line
across the field.
My father could not juggle words,
but with the birth
of golden wheat in summer sun,
he coaxed a poem out of the earth.
- Mary Ferrell Dickinson

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

haiku~~~the soapmaker

 rendered the lard
 in Grandma's kettle,  to mix with
 lye leached from ash

Monday, June 29, 2015

Days after the Solstice

It has been a few days since the Solstice, and most of them rainy, just like today, sadly I missed the Firefly festival  because of the rain.  On the  rare dry evening I have taken the time to watch for fireflies, usually just at dusk, lightening bugs or fireflys are a part of Solstice to me. They put on a spectacular  ballet  , well yes I know it is really their mating dance, but they don't seem to mind if we watch.  And no I don't think they should be caught in jars, I have been reading about the decline in the number of fireflys, or lightening bugs as we called them when I was a kid, and probably did catch my share of them in jars.   
This handsome fellow or gal is a firefly, they are even beautiful during the day light hours,  just thought you might be wondering how they looked.   Watching lightening bugs is magical, almost more now than it was a-way back then, when one sat on the front porch covered up to try and avoid mosquito bites and watched them sparkle as they flew over the hay fields and pasture.  

 ~~Tsuneaki Hiramatsu

And then there is Stonehenge, which I muse about a lot, and am sure was some sort of agrarian calendar, and probably a whole lot more.  The big difference between the ancients who gathered there and the moderns who gather, besides the moderns leave more garbage, is that the ancients knew the purpose and the origins of Stonehendge, perhaps if they had left more clues{garbage} behind we would know more about why and how it was built.  And thinking of how long it must have taken to nail down the exact day, exact time of the Solstices, decades,  may-be centuries is staggering.  The very idea that  this grand henge was built to be a sort of musical amplifier is a very exciting thought also. I can only wonder, and wish that Dr Who would pop by and offer me a ride back in time, yes I would go in an instant.

Apparently crop circles appear more frequently at the time of the Solstice, and that is all I have to say on the subject, except to express my admiration for the clever folk who have been constructing them for centuries.   My understanding is that these both appeared in time for this
 year's Solstice, but I am not sure if it was near the Stone circle at Avebury, or Stonehenge.   I fancy that somewhere, someone or several someones know a lot more than they are telling, and what they know would  make a far better story than anything the general public might think up.

And now the days grow growing shorted, it seems odd and wonderful to be able to watch a sunset at nearly bedtime, but I prefer it to the chill winter sunsets that come before suppertime.  Right now I don't notice the days getting shorter, the rising sun wakes me well before 6AM,  and the firefly ballet doesn't start until 9PM.  Summer is an expansive season, when the whole world bursts to life right before our very eyes,    The Solstice also makes me think of fresh fruit, cherries, strawberries and peaches, though these peaches aren't grown here, one of my favorite memories from childhood was going to a place just outside of town where large panel trucks were parked, loaded with peaches, and much less interesting crops like potatoes and green beans sometime.   People flocked there to buy fruits and vegetable to can, and I especially liked the people who sold those peaches.  But I digress, and I do that a lot, because what I wanted to say was that as Summer progresses the length of daylight on which life depends grows shorter.
   Summer Solstice marks the  exact point in the year when the daylight begins to grow shorter, as the countryside around us abounds with life.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A sorta wordy Sunday with Huff Post and Queen Elizabeth

When I grow up, that is if I ever have to grow up, I don't want to be the Queen,  I admire her as much  as I loved the Queen Mum.   I deeply respect them for being so gracious , in some situations it must take true girt and determination to do so.  I know it is not proper to hug the Queen, but Lord knows, she deserves tons of them. 

The Many Weird And Wonderful Photo Ops Of Queen Elizabeth

 |  By

Posted: Updated:

Queen Elizabeth II may soon have to relocate from Buckingham Palace as the residence undergoes an estimated 150 million pounds, or $235 million, worth of repairs.
If she does, it'll be just one more move in her peripatetic life. The Queen spends much of her time touring Britain andhe world, watching her human and equine subjects climb walls, punch bags and parade about.
Here are just a few pictures of the journeying 89-year-old monarch observing the wonders of her kingdom.
  • Danny E. Martindale / Getty Images
    Queen Elizabeth II watches a horse with apparent displeasure on the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
  • Chris Jackson / Getty Images
    In Ottawa, Canada, the Queen and her husband impassively watch a Canadian dancer shake her stuff at Canada Day celebrations.
  • Nigel Roddis / Getty Images
    Boxers beating on bags drew the royal gaze during a visit to The Factory Youth Zone in Manchester, England.
  • Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images
    It looks like a ride on the Yellow Duck piqued the Queen's interest in Liverpool, England.
  • Christopher Furlong / Getty Images
    The Queen surveys wildlife through the windows of a patriotic monorail car during a visit to the Chester Zoo in Chester, England.
  • v Paul Grover / Getty Images
    Dancers at the Chester Zoo elicit a small royal smile
           Paul Grover / Getty Images
    Dancers at the Chester Zoo elicit a small royal smile.
  • Paul Grover / AFP / Getty Images
    Elizabeth casts her queenly gaze upon pupils scaling a climbing wall at the opening of Westminster School's new Sports Centre in London.
  • Paul Grover / Getty Images
    Young fencers hold the Queen's eye at the Westminster School's sports center.
  • Mark Kolbe / Getty Images
    The Queen is not amused by this hockey match during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images
    We can't take our eyes off the diminutive royal as she poses with rail construction workers in Reading, England