Archive for the 'environment' Category

Heatwave Brings out the Bugs

Bark Scorpion

One of the dogs started to go after a bark scorpion on the patio this afternoon. Luckily, we were able to restrain her while I eliminated the little beastie with a size 10W stomp.

After we finished walking the dogs, I set about to spray the perimeter of the patio and all of the entrances to the house and garage with a commercially available insect spray. We generally call our town exterminator roughly when the monsoons start for the spray service, but the heat is here earlier this season and the bugs are out already. Since I killed one scorpion, The Better Half would feel better if I were to lay down some spray, so I did.

You can see by the patio temperature inset in the image that the heat would be a bit abusive for more than light outdoor activity, so I sprayed the minimum of the essential areas and got back inside where the thermostat keeps us at a “cool” 82°.

Traffic Jam

Main Street, Wickenburg, AZ, USA

The Title of this post is, of course, a tongue-in-cheek description of the (clickable) image above with less than a figurative handful of vehicles on the road in downtown today. The Better Half took this photo as we were enroute to an appointment with the kidney specialist*.

When the temperatures rise in the desert to beyond the three-digit level, the winter population (a.k.a. snowbirds) completely disappears (maybe a few hardy stragglers stay a while) and the summer population dwindles to between five and seven thousand while the peak winter population was about 25 k this year. That makes a big difference in traffic, parking, shopping, etc.

TBH and I welcome the summer heat and the ease of our normal lifestyle chores and errands that it brings. Along about Labor Day, the migration invasion will resume. Meanwhile, we’re content with the lull.

*(Regarding the specialist, the prognosis is good with a marked improvement from the initial diagnosis of partial kidney failure.)

D-Day Astronomical Data

Invasion Map

Astronomical Data from the US Naval Observatory for Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, shows that the “OPERATION OVERLORD” invasion took place with a sixteen hour sunrise to sunset time and under a full moon during the night. I do not know if the astronomical timing was a factor in setting the date of the invasion. Nothing is mentioned in the Wikipedia Article as to astronomical information.

It was the greatest military undertaking in history, where the tactics and diversions were carefully planned. Operation Overlord and its sub-operations made for a very complex and ultimately successful invasion to free Europe from the Axis and Nazi stranglehold. Supreme Commander Ike had this to say to the Allied Forces as they prepared for the invasion:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

— General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Allied Forces

(Clickable Image)

Rain in Monument Valley

Rainfall

The Better Half took the (clickable) image above of a squall in the distance as seen from our campground. We had a few raindrops fall here, but not enough to make the ground wet.

There is rain in the forecast along our planned route for the next couple of days as we conclude this trip. Both TBH and I welcome a bit of rain to wash off some of the road crud and dirt from the big RV.

We plan to get the RV to the dealer to fix some squawks and do some minor tune-up maintenance after this trip. The Freightliner Chassis, drive train and suspension has worked like a charm, but several annoying coach-related issues need to be addressed including drawers that don’t latch and come open during travel, loose wood trim and a broken mounting bracket for one of the window shades. There are others as well.

Signs of Spring

Turkey Vulture

The Better Half took this (clickable) photo of a low-flying turkey buzzard in August of 2015. These birds migrate south for the winter, but lately we have been seeing a few of them circling in the skies over town. Undoubtedly a sign of an early spring.

We also see buds on our plum and lemon trees. The Opuntia Cacti in the area have started showing signs of new paddles and flower buds.

I read somewhere that these early springs can be attributed to El Niño conditions in the oceans. Of course, all the whacko enviro-fascists will blame me, and others like me, for driving my Earth-f*cker RV and polluting their tiny leftist notions of the planet.

Meanwhile, the buzzards are back, gracefully circling overhead, patiently waiting for something to die.

Get Smart

Smart Cars

The Better Half took this (clickable) image of a passing car carrier eighteen wheeler on Interstate 5 near Coalinga, CA, last week while we were on our excursion through selected parts of the west. I thought it was weird enough to see this many “Smart” cars in one place. Like little death traps or something on the way to market to catch vermin of some sort.

We have been home for a week and things are getting back to normal. We will have more to discuss as the coming week unfolds.

Hurricane Hermine

Hurricane Hermine

Here’s to wishing our comrades in arms who reside in and around Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas to be able to keep their powder dry with the onslaught of Category 1 hurricane Hermine. She should revert to a tropical storm overnight, but there will be plenty of wind and wet. Godspeed our brethren over there.

Image screenshot from NWS National Radar Mosaic (no larger size)

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