Marbled Orb Weaver

Araneus marmoreus,AKA Pumpkin spider. Found on the ground after several days of rainy weather with highs in the 40F’s (4-6C) range.

Picture of orange spider with black and white legs
Marbled Orb Weaver

Picture of orange spider with black and white legs
Marbled Orb Weaver
Picture of orange spider with black and white legs
Marbled Orb Weaver
Spiders eyes are visible
Spiders eyes
Picture of orange spider with black and white legs
Marbled Orb Weaver

Recent Activity

I went to Florida to visit my dad. I took some pictures while I was there and put them up on I also put some new pictures up on Flickr.
But one of the best things about the trip was a show of textiles and art created by the indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, and Columbia. The show at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, located on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, is entitled Fabric of Live: Textiles of Latin America through December 18th. Admission is free but donations are accepted. The gift counter has cards with photographs and a booklet about the show. A half-hour documentary video is available to discuss the issues of changing ways and loss of traditional techniques.

The FIT campus (link opens pdf map) also has a botanical garden with many plants typical of Central and Coastal Florida. An interesting walk.

Limited parking in the lot closest to the Library (North lot off Babcock) for visitors.

Mexican Yarn Painting
Mexican Yarn Painting

Ice is Nice

Sitting here on the deck on a seasonally hot day reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I have a glass of what was ice water. Before the ice “cubes” melted, they were prisms of a segment. That is the shape that the level water in the ice maker has as the intersection with the arc that is the mold. Someplace around here, I have articles (a,b,c) about ice maker repair but when it works an ice maker is a wonderful thing.

In a previous time, the ice cubes had to be made in the freezer section of the refrigerator.  A metal pan held held metal dividers that had to be warmed or shifted with a lever  to separate the rectangular prisms from the separators in the tray.  When plastic became popular, a plastic tray made “cubes” with trapezoidal faces.  These trays ejected the ice everywhere but into the glass you were trying to fill.

Back even farther, chunks of ice were broken from the same block of ice that cooled the food in the ice box.  An ice pick was poked at the ice until a chunk came off.  The block of ice likely came from an ice plant where ammonia refrigerant cooled a couple of gallons of water in each mold to make thousands of blocks every day.

Even farther back and maybe still today where it is more economical than not, ice was sawn from surface of a lake or even a purpose-built pond. Hauled and stored in an ice-house with sawdust packed between the blocks to keep them from sticking and to insulate.

Just some thoughts on a day when the temperature is 97 or so.  A bit of a breeze make it tolerable.  And ice water makes it enjoyable.


It is the floody time of year. A headline in my wife’s hometown newspaper reads “County Ditch 56 Now In Flood Zone”. The Weather Underground site where I post weather pictures has flooded roads, streets, and parks. Usually these are posted in a section called VIP for Very Important Picture, indicating that they are weather related pictures happening now. Today when I went to look for one, the section was empty. I suppose that this means that the snow is melting slowly, the Spring rain has slacked off, the rivers are moving, the sandbags are holding. The rivers are subsiding.
And so it is too with things like ObamaCare. From mid-November to today, everyday was some crisis for those who were for and for those who were against. They are still flapping but it will subside.

With rivers, there are many ways to look at them. The towboat captain looks at them as a highway with traffic, dangerous curves, rough spots, narrow lanes. The fisherman looks at them as a place to find a quiet out of the way spot to anchor, sit or stand and try to fool the fish. The Corp of Engineers looks at a river as something to be controlled. And the river looks back and thinks to itself “What a foolish idea”.

The farmer looks at the river and hopes that it comes up and refreshes that bottom land and then goes back in the banks and quietly flows away soon enough that he has time to plant, wait, and harvest before frost comes again. The River Street resident hopes that it does not come up at all.

Heraclitus said “You can never step in the same river twice”. So it is with the passage of the Health Care Bill the country is immutably changed.

Change for the better and change for the worse. The net result remains to be seen. For some it will be a blessing. For some it causes difficulty. For others just the change will be painful as the comfort of the old-same-thing is replaced by the new-same-thing.

Changed it is. Get used to it.

Busy Weekend

After a bit of snow on Friday night/Saturday morning, my daughter came down from Asheville in the afternoon. We had supper of spaghetti and salad and music that we rarely get to hear. Sunday, my son came down from school, BLT’s for lunch, naps, daughter changed the oil in her car and we had meat loaf and baked potatoes for supper.

Most Pleasant

The last week, the weather has been unbeatable.  The air conditioning is off and the windows are open.  Mid-eighties days, low sixties at night.  Prime sleeping weather.

Welcome Home

Many days when I get home from work, Adah waits by the door of the car until I open it.  She jumps in my lap squeezed by the steering wheel. Or sits on the seat next to me and wants to be patted.  I do not know how long I could pat her before she tired.  I have never patted her like that for more than 10 minutes.