US Politics and Religion 

I ride lots of quiet county roads and while I love the landscape of rural Missouri, I no longer view the small churches that dot the roads as quaint. They are, increasingly, the grassroots of Christian fascism.

Enjoying morning rides again. Casual pace, 40 minutes, 4 miles. Had a chat with a goose, watched the sunrise. Nice to start the day off with exercise and pretty views.

Morning Ride After taking a few months off from cycling to focus on various landscaping/garden projects around my place I decided it was time to get back on the saddle. Just two 4 mile rides a day meets my exercise goal and it’s a pretty ride.

Solar Punk Tiny House! Flowers in foreground: Vernonia baldwinii, the western ironweed is the purple flower. Rudbeckia subtomentosa, sweet Coneflower is the yellow.

Rosie taking over my desk

It’s a given that if I try to get anything done she’ll come up and attempt to plop down on my keyboard.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
In my garden, Papilio glaucus, the eastern tiger swallowtail feeding on nectar from Vernonia baldwinii, the western ironweed.

Melanoplus punctulatus, known generally as the pine tree spur-throat grasshopper or grizzly spur-throat grasshopper, is a species of spur-throated grasshopper in the family Acrididae. It is found in North America.

Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, desert-chicory, a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to the southern United States found in prairies, clay soils and disturbed habitats.

Mentioned in original post, the Lagoon Nebula is an active star forming region in Sagittarius. I've got it circled here, it's the fuzzy star. Also, a digital painting I did of that nebula using Procreate on the iPad, based on above Wikipedia page image.

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This image shows faintly lit stars of the dense band of our Milky Way Galaxy above the tree line. From our perspective, looking south from North America, we are looking towards the center of our galaxy. The milky cloudy bands we see are the dense disk of stars that make up that disk as viewed from within the disk. Images taken with an iPhone 13 Pro. Not edited.

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I finally got out for some time with the telescope out and observed for a couple hours. View were 3 globular clusters, a planetary nebula, a double star and 2 galaxies. In the photo below I've got the telescope pointed south at the M4 globular cluster in the constellation Scorpius. Just above the eyepiece is what looks like a star and under that a larger fuzzy star - that's the Lagoon Nebula in the constellation Sagittarius.

With 10 days of no or little rain, full sun and high temperatures, I’m glad I’ve got all of my young fruit trees (pawpaw pictured) heavily mulched with cardboard, grass clippings, leaves, and branches to keep the soil cool and moist.

First up, let's talk about soap. Years ago I stopped buying shampoo in plastic bottles. I use Dr. Bronners for all personal hygiene. And recently started using it for dishes too. It works. It's not exactly the same as dish soap formulated in a liquid that is sold in a plastic bottle. But that's the point isn't it. We have to adapt. This one bar of soap does it all and the packaging is paper that I can compost in my garden. Multiply that by millions.

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