Astronomy Picture of the Day

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Maslow App

A not so distant 31 years ago, I was in nursing school studying the theory and some practical experience with the care of ill, injured and infirmed.
We studied Maslow, the basis for how humans should develop.
How humans should prioritize their needs, then wants. Building blocks of human development.
Simply, first humans must meet their nutritional needs, needs for heat, shelter, physical needs.
Only then can they then build on and add the higher levels like self actualization, the top of the pyramid,
a pointy place, like a pinnacle in the textbook I gazed at.
How do you get there?
Today, our life sped up by techno revolution after another, lightspeed to our sluggish cave brains.
Slow down,
food, shelter, basics first.
Is there a Maslow's app?
One that says,
Put down the cell phone and pick up the bag of flour and make some bread.
Are you cold?
My Mom's voice still clear in my head, "Then do some dishes-that will warm your hands..."
Mom actually my Maslow's app. Her voice says things like" put down the cell phone and do something about injustices in the world."
But cell phones and FB and other techno diversions are threatening mankind's ability to meet their own
basic needs.
Can you make a cup of coffee? Dinner? can you cook at all?
Can you Survive?
Just a quick post to drop off some thoughts I had as I get ready to tweet, then breakfast.
Where is my Maslow's app??

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Star is Born

A Star is born and he made us think about recent events, snafu's, human issues.
He doesn't even have a name and yet here we are beaming.
We haven't seen him yet, car broke down, tooth broke, work too busy,
but he has arrived.
It was funny how a few days ago, Fred showed me a photo of the impromptu Kris Kristofferson concert we attended in November 2009. I remembered that view, the photo, his wife standing next to him behind Levon.
Flash back to 1977 when I worked in a friend's Dad's warehouse. We pulled records (Vinyl/LP's)
for orders going to Woolworth's, Sears and other places you bought records back then, I remember a cover of Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand from the re-make movie, A Star is Born. (It was a good remake and 2 great stars-intense cover-popular so I saw it a lot). Then I thought about the quartz I saw up on the hill where a piece of rock had chipped off the ledge. That quartz, needing extraordinary heat to fire up and become crystalline. Then I thought about the cracked porcelain tooth crown that broke on a soft burrito Sunday, disturbing my schedule, wallet & comfort but pretty minor in the big picture. Still I gazed at the porcelain chip, a ceramic needing high heat to make that opaque, hard but sometimes fragile piece. Stars are created in Nebulae requiring heat of unimaginable proportions to forge the solar system like the one we live in.
Now a new Star is Born, forged from DNA, intentions, luck, fate, and no doubt heat, to forge the union of two humans creating a new life. What powers are also at hand that we do not see, what will be in store for us? For him? Wie namen sie?
Questions again, for us humans who would not be content knowing everything. If we did, on that day, will we be set free to live again? or travel the universe forever?
Funny how my thoughts this week wove through all the things I saw, memories I am grateful for and snafus that interrupt our plans for a kinder world.
Welcome, young boy, to the world of Earth, I hope it is kind to you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Woods walk Spring 2011


Had my clinic visit yesterday and when I got home, it was a beautiful cold spring day. The air crisp and clear.

The woods are gray and brown. Soon to be exploding with green.

Hard to imagine now.

Spring sky, Cold air.DSC00416

Maple Woods. Dormant for a few more weeks.

DSC00382 DSC00390 DSC00392 DSC00394

ledgesDSC00397 DSC00387   DSC00386


                                                                                                                    Canopy, soon to be filled in with leavesDSC00404

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter Hanging On


Winter is hanging on
like it does many years
up here in the North country.
This was really snapped a few weeks ago,
when I was out on the road.
The bumps on the horizon are the Adirondack  Mountains,
The sun setting.
I was trying to capture the elusive sun dogs, pillars of ice crystals
in the sky.
Happy hunting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Red wings

First you hear their sound,
a liquid trill, then the song plays out.
Repeats all day long.

They are back,
the red winged blackbirds.

The males stake out a tree or in some cases a blade of grass,
and just start in singing.

Equidistant apart, they establish their residences,
their territories, attracting mates,
much like the 2 legged creatures who delight in hearing their song.

They are back,
a sure sign of spring,
the Robin a poor indicator since so many
overwinter here.

Red wings,
their song,
it is spring.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Future

The Future
could be
or not.

Or could
it be

How could you tell?
Would you want to know?

If I make a prediction
of how you will respond to
these questions,
will you,
or will you not?
Or both?

If The Future
is certain,
why would we do
some of the things
that will make it?

If I make a prediction
and it does not happen,
was there another path
where it did?

If time has no beginning or end,
will anything really be possible?

can you tell the winter is dragging on past the hopeful first day of spring. brr...snowing now rain, more mud and damp gray day.
at least we had a spectacular weekend with bare ground visible. today's snow has already melted making the roads extra gooey. watch for sucking mud and potholes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I looked out this morning at the frost on the grass,
yesterday's snowfall melted by the spring sun.
Today the first day of Spring,
Temperature is in the teens F.
With the Sun today we will warm up to the 40's F.
I wished I could capture in a photo the sparkling of the frost this morning.
It oscillates, or more appropriately said it
scintillates in sync with some yet to be validated phenomenon
(see the book messages in water).
Last night we waited for the Moon to rise, wishing to capture
that moment, where the Moon is virtually closest to us. Did I say that right?
But some news people said
The Moon got bigger
And that, I believe is why we are in the trouble we are in.
Happy Spring!

OK, here is one attempt I made to image the moon over the mountains. nothing like the real thing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sunrise and Crows

The Sunrise this morning was nice with some fog in the valley and still snow left from the big one.

spring sunrise, monkton vermont
The second photo, below, is an image with 2 of the trees Dad mentioned, the tall spruce, is one he planted
from a sapling he dug up and brought home in his pocket from in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The other the straightest locust of them all-perfect he called it. I heard the crows overhead and snapped this as I saw them in my peripheral vision.
Tonight I loaded it in the computer, zoomed in and saw no crows. Fred, of course, matter of factly said dryly, "But of course you cannot capture the image of a crow. They won't let you. ".

Spring is in the air. Red Winged Blackbirds are back.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mud and Sap season

Re-run photos from last year.
Maple sap:

The sap is flowing
and mud season is upon us.
Our friends gather sap from our maples and give us a
supply of wonderful Vermont maple syrup.
I heard on the radio, different maple stands actually
have different tasting syrup made from their sap.
Our maples draw from water shedding off the ledges created
by earthly forces many many years ago.
This area once the shore of the Champlain Sea.
Now the lake is fresh water Lake Champlain, miles to the west.
This photo is on google earth.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sun and Warmth

Sun and Warmth making a serious effort today to boost our winter weary collective moods.
We might make 50 F and the sun will be bright.
The road is half washed out. We begin again rebuilding the road, lately eroded by
rain on frozen ground, running off with the sand and dirt.
The sun just peeked over the mountains, reminding me of that pesky time change.
Must go to work, travel many miles before I get home to see the Sun setting in the west.
Well, more accurately, the Earth will turn about 1/3rd of the way.
We are the ones moving, feeling like we are standing still.
The Sun stays still.
And provides our warmth, light and life.
Happy to see Spring start.
and to see the Sun today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time Change

The time change is just sinking in, as I hang on to the old time for a few more days,
until I just cannot resist the change any longer.
We rely on a schedule of time related events and yet
when forced to deviate that schedule by a legislative mandate,
We do not protest.
Instead, We grumble, groan, mutter, sputter,
have to pay attention, change all the clocks, find the manuals
for all the VCR/DVD/M-Wave/Coffee machine ad infinitum...

Why should time change, anyway?
It does not extend the daylight and it creates an enormous headache.
I think we endeavor to change too much sometimes.
Sometimes not enough.
Finding that balance, a human's source of stress.

I vote to stop the time changes. Leave it alone for one year. If nothing happens, keep it going.
Until then,
I have to turn in, the time changed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black and White

Here is Gigi (top) and Tommy,
sister and brother, about 10 years old.
This was at xmas time.
Gigi is hard to get an image of because she is wild.
They can be near each other but
we cannot be too near Gigi,
Tommy has near perfect facial symmetry.
He has intense curiosity and paces day and night,
checking doors, checking to see what we are doing
and generally being a pain.
This is half of our cat family.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Monster week

The Snow Monster came and gave us the heaviest snow and this delayed back pain thing.
Other people awoke at 4 am this morning, days later than the shoveling with what feels like a bowie knife in the back to the hilt.
Or was it the MonSter? did it do it?
I feel it's claws sometimes as many of us do, to make me remember what I have.
Today blowing off steam to a selectman in town, hoping someday I may help make law that
limits what a town can punish you with for paying prop taxes late: fees, penalties, having to pay the town's legal cost as a percentage of what is due. Unconstitutional, but the selectman had confidence it was all in stone and fair. Still working on that.
Then the rain was like a monster claw on the driveway, now bare that Fred shoveled most of.
So in spite of the pains, trials, and difficulties, it has been a good week.
March is a hopeful month to me, the beginning of the zodiac, appropriately, time for new changes.
I wanted to mention a singer again who was recently married.
married A. Whitney Brown and we enjoyed seeing the pictures and hearing CW sing her vows.
Not a dry eye, beautiful photos.
You really need to check out her music which is why I started to write this entry
Friday Night Music.
Freitag nacht Musik for our international friends...

(herrad started me doing this...)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Be a Twit

Oh, give it up and tweet already,
Be a twit.

Hard sometimes to conjugate the tweeter, twitter verbs,
Are they really words?

Messages, so short you can read in less than a few seconds,
a little longer than human attention span.

So be a twit &
on twitter.

For your 0.15 millisec of fame

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The big one

The big one, March 7th.
Snow stopped sometime last night.
Fred shoveled most of this and I helped 10 percent, maybe 9.
We still need some plowing but can get out now.
I really contemplated a lot, as my muscles burned from shoveling,
tossing, shoving, slicing, cutting this thick, frosting like heavy
wet snow with water logging, packed densely
showing us we really have no power compared with
Mother nature.
I breathed deeply the fresh air and enjoyed the sunshine and
relative mildness in the 20's kind of day.
We hear the snow melting under the road,
running under the rocks.
Frustrated we could not go to work again and thankful Fred has broken through
to civilization finally, today at 3 pm.
Time for advil.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Music hot off the press...

First appearing as vinyl.
I still remember picking up the needle to the record player and dropping it over and over again hitting my favorite track.
Another day, obsessed by a different track.
These days so easy to punch the button to skip around.
These records were re-recorded and this is a link to those sounds.
Will you recall where you were when you first heard Stagefright? or Crippled Creek?
Or The Weight?
Somehow I always remember driving nowhere listening to The Band.
Go visit Levon's site to get the lowdown.
Limited autographed copies.
Really sweet music and well worth the price.

Three of a Kind............

Thursday, March 3, 2011


In the Morning,
 just before sunrise,
Over the mountains in the southeastern sky,
Venus rose,
Showing the brilliance of sunlight reflected off the planet.

At first, it looked like a dot,
Rapidly rising it seemed,
Against the mountain's silhouette.

Then the light spread out, looking like car lights, I thought,
But there are no cars that go up that high on the mountain tops.
I thought how the sunlight reflected off Venus first, then came to the
top of the Green Mountains
and dispersed, ever so briefly, until
the planet pulled away and went higher in the sky.

As the Sun rose, Venus disappeared in the new day,
Invisible until the next encounter.

I contemplated how early Americans found their source of power
in such moments,
and were in awe at such events,
events that today,
many just sleep through,
others cannot see the night sky
and others do not care.

I find solace in seeing Venus, feeling
somedays maybe I am his only friend,
his only admirer,
while really knowing we are never alone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Town Meeting Day Rag

Town Meeting day in Monkton, Vermont
Will be attended by the usual group of
Yellers yelling Yeah and Nay and
some getting a kick out of kicking
the little people with the little voices.

Is it really worth it to attend a meeting of people
Who will give me that look, the ones
Who have ignored my property tax fight for over a year
oh wait, no they didn't ignore me per se, they voted against me.

I have spent 30 years of contemplating what this place is,
How did I get here,
Retro migrating West to East,
Unlike those in the old cemetery who migrated straight down.

When I hear a noise I cannot explain in this old house,
I want to blame it on the restless dead,
Are they saying "Stay" or are they saying "Go"?
Listen harder, was it "Yes" or "No"?

And did the old people struggle through,
never knowing what to do
when the taxes ate their bread
and look there, they are all dead.

Staying home, my vision crystal clear,
I am envisioning a future, I believe it is near,
Where we keep our bread, we keep our farm
Town Meeting is passe,
There will be no more harm.

mary gerdt