Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rock Collector

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Good morning,

Anyone that visits The Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH should note the Altar of the Nations which is made from stones from all 50 states and from every United States President since Harry Truman.

Hilltop House, the indoor facility also has stones embedded in the walls from all over the world. It is amazing place to visit and I strongly recommend visiting it.

I have an interest in rocks and crystals which goes back to my childhood when I remember looking through my mother's collection of agates that she had gathered on the Oregon coastline. I  remember ordering rocks that would fluoresce under ultraviolet light. 

Rock Altar of Nations at Cathedral of the Pines
I was having a conversation with my friend Betsy Thoms about a geological sites called White Ledges located in nearby Temple, NH. It is an outcropping of white stone which is in stark contrast to our usual granite ledges. The Granite State has plenty of Granite.

Betsy told me about how she had collected stones from all over the world when she traveled with her late husband.I stopped by to see what she had collected in her travels. Neither of us are experts about geology but Betsy had a story about each stone.

Captured in stone, this appears to be a fossilized starfish

This seems to be some type of crystalline structure, almost appears edible

Perhaps a fossilized vertebrate column

Striped and heavy

Flecks of blue and green

Fossiliized shells

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Map My Hike (with ticks)

Good Morning,

I'm a late adopter of technology, the person that waits for it to drop in price and improve in quality. For some time I resisted getting a "smart phone" since I saw no value in a phone that did anything but carry voice. The idea of a camera seems especially silly to me. However when the technology improved and I saw some of the results I was a bit intrigued. Recently I signed up for Google Fi, a plan that is not locked into a particular vendor. It currently uses Sprint and T-Mobile as the providers as well as WiFi. However the phone is completely useless as a phone in New Ipswich, NH. I keep trying but so far nothing. Perhaps it might work on Barrett Mountain.

I'm a fanboy for Google, so I plan to keep the phone in spite of the fact that it is useless as a phone. I'm experimenting with the camera which I like and just recently tried out a few apps. One that I can use in New Ipswich is a mapping program called Map My Hike which uses the phone's GPS to track your steps. I tried it out on my morning walk and it did a nice job.It startled me a bit when the phone announced that I had reached the 1 mile marker. There are many similar apps but this one seems more than adequate for what I need. Like everything else, it has a social media component so if you use it, please look for my profile online. We can compare notes.

I enjoy my walks in the woods, peaceful healthy places, nothing to worry about. Later the same day while I working on the computer I felt something on my neck and ...

Unwelcome hitchhiker who found me on my walk - Ixodes scapularis or blacklegged tick
vector for Lyme disease and other nasty things

I hate these loathesome things and it didn't help that I discovered a large red blotch behind my knee with what appears to be a  bite. I know a bit about them after attending a Tick Workshop last weekend in New Ipswich. 

In this photo the tick is on its back, but my video shows that it can flip itself. You also see how flat is is which helped it climb up my body looking for a place to settle down for a blood feast.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cardboard Menagerie

Currently on at the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough, NH
"New Exhibition: Whimsical yet formidable, “Rich Entel’s Cardboard Menagerie” gives broken musical instruments a new body and a new voice. These angular and intricate sculptures are an ingenious fusion of fragmented musical instruments, discarded cardboard, and ancient texts transformed into a menagerie of soulful animals. Walking through this hall of spirits, you experience each disarmingly asymmetric beast unexpectedly morph in form and emotion. These pensive and playful shape-shifting creatures beckon with a broken musicality.
“Rich Entel’s Cardboard Menagerie” gives broken musical instruments a new body and a new voice at the Mariposa Museum. Opening First Friday, March 18th, 2016. The show runs through May 31st, 2016." - Source Mariposa Website
In Flight

The Giraffe kept watch as the Drepung Gomang Monks completed their Mandala

Another view of the Giraffe

Artist Richard Entel gets parts of musical instruments from a friend who repairs them

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Stained Glass of All Saints Church

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Stained glass windows at All Saints Episcopal Church in Peterborough, NH. The windows were the work of Charles J. Connick Associates of Boston, MA.  The colors were taken from the best sources in Europe, ruby from France and the blues from Germany, Belgium and England.

The Church was conscecrated on August 5, 1923.

View toward the choir loft

Rose window over main entrance

Side window depict the Saints

Colors paint the wall


Thank You

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Good Morning,

It is nice to wake this morning to see our town roads devoid of beer cans, cigarette packages and other trash. Thanks to all the volunteers who spent their Saturday morning picking up after other folks. Just a few of the folks I saw yesterday.

Nice to see kids helping out

Part of some farm equipment?

Quite a collection of cans

A Family Affair

Cleanup on Appleton Road

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Childbirth in the 1800s

I spend a lot of time photographing the older cemeteries in New England. One sad recurrent theme is the large number of women who die in childbirth or shortly thereafter. In 1800 women gave birth and average of 7 times during their lives. At that time women had a shorter life expendancy than men

The 1850s U.S. Census showed that the infant mortality rate to be 28 percent. Conditions didn't improve later in the century when doctors became involved spreading puerperal infection with their unwashed hands.

Mrs. Betsy Knowles died five days after giving birth to her third child

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016

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Good Morning and Happy Earth Day,

New Ipswich received some good environmental news on April 20th, 2016 when Kinder Morgan issued this statement on the Northeast Direct Energy project, their plan to construct a natural gas pipeline through several Northeast States including this town.

"As a result of inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan, Inc., (NYSE: KMI) and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP), have suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project."
The proposed compressor station will not be built 1/2 mile from an elementary school spewing pollutants that would have been measured in tonnage per year, the Wapack Trail will not be impacted, trees will not be cut, people's homes and businesses will not be taken by eminent domain and methane, a potent greenhouse gas will not be leaked into the atmosphere (at least from this town).

The work is not complete, the wording is suspension, not cancellation. Our environmental regulations need to be tightened. to ensure that we protect our environment because we are part of nature, not separate. Our health and wellbeing depends upon the health of our environment. 

Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Today is also #FloralFriday so in celebration of Earth Day I've included a few spring blooms.

Green Jade Hellebore (Backyard)

Yellow Clivia (Indoor Plant)

Orchid (Mason Hollow Nursery)

Primrose (Backyard)


First Bloomers


Yellow Clivia

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Temple Glassworks Day

On Saturday September 28, 2013 I attended a "mini-dig" at the site of the New England Glassworks, sponsored by the Temple Historical Society.
"Dr. David Starbuck of Plymouth State University, co-director of Boston University’s archaeological excavations during the 1970s, and who directed the digs at the Temple Glassworks site conducted a hands-on interactive “mini-dig” at the site, using professional archaeological techniques and tools. This was a great opportunity to learn about the Glassworks, how it was set up and functioned, and how the people who worked there lived. It was also a fun way to see an archeologist do what he does! 
The historic 18th-century Glassworks is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was honored in 2011 by the Preservation Alliance of New Hampshire as one of the 25 greatest preservation projects in the state in the past quarter-century. The site’s importance within the history of American glassmaking is enormous. 
The access trail and site are completely cleared and a handsome new gate has been installed at the entrance. Signage highlighting major Glassworks was also on site." 
Signage indicated where the buildings existed for the Glassworks

It was a hike just under a mile to the site, some rode in comfort

Dr. Starbuck lectured about the site

Got down and dirty looking for glass. I found a rock

Many Plymouth State students were in attendance

Sifting for shards

An example of what were after (Temple Historical Society)

One of the few indications that this is the site, it is largely an abandoned field

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tick Workshop

Good Morning,

Hope you enjoyed this beautiful weekend. It was a busy one for me with everything from a lecture on blacklegged ticks to Tibetan Monks disassembling their sand mandala, but I'll start with the Tick Workshop.

Dr. Alan Eaton, entomologist at the UNH Extension Service gave an entertaining but frightening workshop on ticks.The workshop was held at the Amazing Flower Farm on Poor Farm Road in New Ipswich, NH. Dr. Eaton brought along a few chilled ticks in a cooler which we could watch under a microscope, along with some preventative devices.

Dr. Eaton has and extensive data sheet about ticks which is available online.

Blacklegged Tick (Deer Tick) - Ixodes scapularis
These are the nasty creatures that carry Lyme Disease
Dr. Eaton discusses  Tick Tubes  a product that has nesting material for mice laced with permethrin
The white faced mouse is a host for ticks and when they gather the nesting material, the insecticide kills the ticks

A Short video of a segment of  Dr, Eaton's Lecture

One simple strategy for preventing ticks from climbing up your leg
All stages of ticks can attach themselves to a host, larval, nymph and adults. Some good news, the dog tick does not carry Lyme disease, only the Blacklegged variety (Deer tick)

The bad news, The Northeast is a hot zone for ticks and the area of blue is  even worse.

Up Close and personal, they look even more scary at 3X

They can't bite through glass