Astronomy Picture of the Day

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Music link to Carolyn Wonderland's you tube channel...

Media and the Truth

At first I was a little put out we (VT) were not on the national news last Sunday.
We saw Irene heading for the Hudson.
We felt the pressure drop
(you know that weird feeling you get when the barometric pressure falls...)
But the Truth is,
we knew we were in for a bad storm.
No media had to tell me.
A friend described the absolute
of the animals right before.
I remembered the night before,
the strange white glow (looked like snow)
on  the backyard during the early evening
and looking up, it was reflected light from the high silvery cirrus clouds.

We watched the storm and did the traditional
"hunker down",
which we have done many times on this old hill.
Meanwhile, I saw those cars out driving here or there,
not a care in the world.

So this morning,
I hear that the national media is
saying we have stranded people and
we do.

Vermonters are also different.

Tenacity, is a good starter word,
tough as nails,
deep down
not afraid of hard work,
raised in hardships,
working for tomorrow,
hoping it will be
a better day.

I do believe some Vermonters
are stranded,

and some are

helpless, hopeless, without any support.

the media,
in their passive armchair QB style,
and at the same time,
the Truth
Vermonters need
and a whole lot of
money and time.

Oh yes, and pray again today
for the victims.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


After Irene...

We are overwhelmed at seeing the photos of our neighbors in Vermont and beyond
and the news of people being cut off by rivers flooding and her taking bridges, homes,
and people.

We have to pray and head back to work today
and hope we can help where we are needed.

This morning,
the belt of Orion, a familiar constellation,
shone through my window so clearly,
a clear night,
moonless sky.
I could hold my fingers up and block the light of Orion.
Did the original designer of this old house
plan it so the constellations would be in a certain position?

Then later, again,
I am brought awake to the morning radio,
and devastation
I cannot comprehend.

We are fine, the road a little messed up again,
garden plants leaning over, not broken.

Others in Vermont and elsewhere are suffering today.
Places we enjoyed driving around last week,
some of those are obliterated this week.

We pray for them.

Monday, August 29, 2011

She's Gone


is a W..itch
that came through
 last night
after raising cain

Now She's Gone,
the sun is out,
and many in vermont and elsewhere
are suffering.

We had the good fortune to
be safe and on higher ground,
tree limbs and leaves on the ground,
but nothing more serious.

I hope those harmed by this
w*tch-y hurricane
heal soon,
am so glad
She's Gone.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Levon Helm Concert @ Suicide Six

I started to write this late last night after we drove home, ran errands
and picked a few bushels of tomatillos, peppers, tomatoes, basil
knowing we have to process sunday in the hurricane before the work week begins again.
we did it all with a smile, remembering the concert the night before with our shaman guide,
our center, our balancing force, the best drummer in the world,
and his marvellous pillar musicians, staff ,
and the special steep mountains of woodstock, vermont
i resumed writing this in the am and hope you enjoy.still tired, pardon any typos.mary.

We were thrilled to attend the
Levon Helm concert last night at Suicide Six Ski Resort
in Woodstock, Vermont .
(ok technically Pomfret, Vermont).

I keep Levon's concert widget in my margin which is
how we came to get these special tickets.

The weather was beautiful, although a (similar to a may fly) fly hatch was strange.
They did dissipate as the cool air rolled in at sunset.
We parked in good seats we claimed early on, the third row seemed the right place.
Fred asked about taking pics and the guy said yes but I am still skeptical
and only will post a couple of the best.
I take no credit for these pics, the credit goes all to the dedicated musicians and
their people. I do not sell pictures, but these musicians sell their music
and I hope you buy some of their merchandise

We enjoyed seeing and hearing
the opening bands:
The Joe Pug Duo

Bow Thayer & the Perfect Trainwreck.
Both bands had the mountains rocking....

I am getting ahead of myself.

We have been following Levon Helm since before we were we,
and that has been roughly 30 years this year.
His music, a familiar friend,
kindred themes,
amusing lyrics,
masterful arrangements,
heartfelt music,
those drums, that spirit,
which makes us, the audience

His story told in his autobigraphy,
This Wheel's on Fire
(great read and am ready for the sequel!)
cements his tale of
hard work, sweat, determination,
and bold honesty.

We admire his grace,
his spark,
his extraordinary talent,
he has been with us through thick and thin,
a musician can hold such a special place in our hearts.
I think they actually pull your

Yesterday, Friday, (as I wrote this last night, head nodding) ,
We traveled down the Vermont I-89 corridor,
a beautiful sky on this August day. The Green mountains rising on either side.

We travel to Exit 1 and exit towards Woodstock (VT).
We checked in and then went north 2 miles to Pomfret
to the Suicide Six Ski slope aka summer concert venue (6 at 6).
We walked up to the ticket area and saw wonderful mountain views.

The tickets we got were for the chairs in front of the stage.
First come, first served.
We picked out 2 good seats  in the 3rd row and went to get food.

We met a teacher who knew the people in Bow's band.  She knew about Joe Pug as well.
And as she spoke of the local VT bands, I was feeling my age. No one sounded real familiar
but I am willing to listen. She mentioned Tweed River Music and we had something in common,
I twitter with them,
I am not quite sure why or how I connected with them, 
but I was feeling a little less un-hip

The rest of the story is about when the Man comes on stage,
and we young and old get to see the
Greatest Drummer on Earth
and his core of solid, serious, fun and entertaining,
tight, caring, dedicated people.

He shared his world with us, his world of drumming,
so much more than drumming,
he is such a special man.
We are a grateful audience.

Thanks Sincerely to Levon and Company for a great summer evening we will never forget
until we forget everything.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Silver Lake

Silver Lake,
is a beautiful little quiet lake tucked away in a fold of the Green Mountains.
We had a staff meeting there
and some fresh air, fresh outlook, fresh foods,
and fine conversation with the other long term care nurses in the state.
We all help try to keep people at home when we can,
and when we cannot, we try to improve the system.

Silver Lake,
a shimmering silvery reflection, I was trying to catch on film, er, data chip.
Of course my chip was home in my laptop where I forgot it.
My camera was only amenable to one photo and
that one trapped in my camera due to the cable is somewhere else.

Silver Lake,
we sat by its shimmering waters,
and never felt Vermont's the largest earthquake of the century.
That is some solid ledge.
We had no cell phone coverage, no outside signals.
Just sunshine, perfect air, the sounds of kids running on docks
and jumping into
Silver lake.

go visit a Vermont state park.
some of the prettiest places on the planet.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Themes of Pain

themes of pain

there is the pain
our aches,
our pains

some block the pain,
the theme,
the pattern
of pains,
what does it mean?

when i cannot,
block the pain out,
and I read how others
i am reminded
that my theme
empathy & sympathy,

that it means when
i have a pain there,
or there,
another does too,
or much worse,

and yet,
i can never quite explain,
through prose, photos or
broken poetry,
someone else
say it does not hurt,
and yet another
has no pain.

Sunday, August 21, 2011




Rose of Sharon


Knight State Park, South Hero, Vermont






Then at the Crown Point Bridge site,

they are ready for the top to go on…





Last, but not least,

we picked and processed

some green and yellow beans.



august 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Bridge that Was

The Crown Point Bridge 2006

The Bridge that Was.
Here, a winter's day from the Crown Point side.
The ice is not very thick.
The commuters from NY-VT and vice versa
are eagerly awaiting the day
the bridge is finished.
The opening celebration postponed now until May 2012.
The opening a ways off...

Yankee Power

This will not be popular to some.
Now how can I let that change my viewpoint?
I cannot.

My official comments on our state's Vermont Yankee.
Thanks again to Meredith Angwin for keeping me scientifically informed.

I am a Vermonter who would like to comment regarding Docket 7742

regarding the purchase of New Hampshire generated nuclear power

to replace Vermont produced nuclear power.

I understand the motivations for power companies to desire to do this.

However, this action directly affects the futures of many Vermonters in highly skilled jobs,

contributes to erosion of the tax base,

and causes fear in the towns where these Vermont Nuclear workers live.

I am pro nuclear energy produced in Vermont and have to write in support of Vermont products before out of state products, if cost, quality, and sensibility dictates.

Please consider my comments as a Vermont citizen and consumer of electricity.

Mary Gerdt

Monkton, Vermont

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Solar Storms

Solar storms seemed invisible,
until now.
This is well worth watching,
NASA has an amazing website,
and this is an amazing stereo viewpoint
many years in the making,
a product of creativity,
and wonder.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fog and Flowers

Dean Mountain in distance

Sumac filters light, on the ground, brassicas and garlic

Phlox and spider web

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Land Rights Week Study guide

For Land Rights Week I am posting a few spreadsheets I did awhile ago and hid away
until I could look at them again.
****I know you cannot read them, but it is the best I can do for now, i have the .pdf's but the conversion lacks clarity. If you want to see the actual .pdf maybe send me an e-mail...mary****

Show and tell for those curious (and those who ho hum ) about my rant re: VT property tax reform.
I promise to move to more entertaining subjects just as soon as I get this
posted in the blogosphere.

The PDF's were hard to get posted, but here is my research.
The Monkton delinquent tax policy was adopted by 3 men in 2004.
They are a.k.a. selectmen, town fathers.
(this policy is also available at

this is my spreadsheet of research:

spreadsheet of delinquent tax info monkton
basically it shows that from 2004-2009 there were virtually no properties sold.
in 2009, we were selected as on of 4 or 5 out of 54 delinquents that year.

actual pages below of delinquent tax list from the town report monkton:

list of delinquent taxes 2004-2009 and un enforced laws monkton

page 2 of delinquent taxes

there, that was a long day.
back to the back yard...rain is done for the day. mary

Land Rights Week

I sit at the typewriter...
(do you know what that looks like?)
I type
(knowing in 3 months aka 90+/-days, we have to write a check for $5,000 +/- (actually $6K+ but we get an income break-this year)(no bill yet)to the town or they will impose penalties, fees, interest, lawyer fees, ads, and then take and sell our century farm if we are as little as 6 months being late paying the taxes. the taxes the town collects by force if necessary go to the state for a $15,000 per pupil VT education tax as well as local taxes voted in by a minority of voters. note: other towns in Vermont never have tax sales. monkton has them on annual basis since nailing us in 2009, even though the town's "new" "irrevocable" tax sale rule has been around since 2004, hard core enforcement in gear in 2009?... spreadsheets coming soon...the legislature has ignored vt prop tax reform even though the pro tem of senate almost had his house sold. dang! i was told no one can change the rules. now i seek minutes to meetings people say may never have happened and i wonder, am i alone? in rural vermont, you are not alone but it sometimes feels that way. reaching out to my international friends and all my friends stateside, i find a reason to blog and share ideas with like and unlike minded with a day off for Bennington Battle Day, i am reminded freedom is not free. speech is so far free and i hope to incite peace and justice and protections for landowners, not bulldozers of justice:archaic rules, unconstitutional penalties, complex processes, greedy carpetbaggers, bullies and lawyers who spin rules like cotton candy.

Land Rights Week

as designated by me,
can i do that?
Why not?

in fact, i designate
every week is:

Land Rights Week!
please vote,
speak out
and remember,
rules can be changed when
enough people
speak up...
at least that's what mom told me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rules, rules and more rules...Do you own your land?

Rules, Rules, and more rules.

No sensibility, no sensible person would set up a system like Vermont's "Act 250"...
it was no doubt a lawyer looking for job security.
Buried in the judge's papers (press link in this article by Law of the Lang Blog (awesome!)
are even words to the effect that the process is not supposed to be so complicated,
makes you dizzy!

I cringed at reading what the judge wrote,
knowing the costs of lawyering.
Every line, more money that the victims had to spend to
clarify the process.
All they wanted to do is open a gift shop,
can it be this complicated???

reform now,
you do not own your property,
you cannot afford the legal costs to defend it,
not everybody is a lawyer-ly like Thomas Jefferson....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crown Point, NY

Samuel de Champlain
and his allies
"discovered" a world
(that was there all along.)
Approx 400 years ago.
This is the statue at the park at Crown Point,N.Y.
Bridge is progressing...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Back to Basics, Jefferson

Got an email today with some great quotes from Thomas Jefferson.
Truly back to basics

“When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .” -- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” -- Thomas Jefferson

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” -- Thomas Jefferson

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” -- Thomas Jefferson

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” -- Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

the email was signed:
I wish we could get this out to everyone!!!
I'm doing my part. Please do yours

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quote Du Jour

Here is a quote I would like to share.
It really struck me when I read an e-mail at work,
and found this pearl after the person's signature:

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there"

~Jalal ad-Din Rumi (13th century Persian Poet)

For Fred I

For Fred Imus

Suddenly gone,

He was,

A familiar voice,

Kindred soul.

Seemed like I knew him from


His voice was a balancing force

Against his brother,

A spirit like his,

Only different.

He was the younger?

Still surprised,

He seemed older by his


Country street


Corny jokes?

A wellspring there,

My cringing face


In his satire,



Like the old ones that I visit,
(and me, getting older each day),

He got the wish we nearly all have,

To die peacefully in one’s sleep,

To exit quietly this life they have had,

Yet to those around them,

A shock,

No saying goodbye,

Only hazy and happy memories,

Of a man

Who was

Suddenly gone.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Good Fight

The Good Fight

We wish our neighbors Godspeed as they fight the demonic laws that say Vermont towns can
make you pay taxes (no payments, no hardship allowance, no abatement)
and if a day late:
8% more
and up to 15%  to the town's lawyer du jour
and interest, shame, feelings of futility, injustice,
futile arguments
where the town says,
that is the rule as long as I am in power.

Feeling like feudal serfs
off to work each day
"off the farm"
so to speak since we cannot afford to
plant our way to making the $5,000 taxes we owe in only 2.5 months.
(we do not know the exact amount-the royalty alone knows that number.)

Now, for the only public info I am able to find about Monkton's
pit bull style
tax sales
and burdens,
that taxpayers should challenge to the highest court,
but we just cannot
fight that fight
while the MonSter pulls my legs and
tries to undermine my ability to work to save the
family farm.

here is a snip of Monkton VT minutes of selectboard,
a disheartening glimpse at local intolerance to century farms.
great great grandfathers are rolling up in the Cemetery nobody mows anymore.

[Re: Hurlburt Property Tax

Josh, Mike, Dave, and Harry Hurlburt were present to request an extension on their property taxes until October. The list of delinquent property taxes was sent to the town lawyer today. It was noted that at this point the Hurlburt’s will be required to send their tax money directly to the lawyer. The Select Board and the Hurlburt’s discussed ways to keep the fees as low as possible. Kevin Brennan is the lawyer who will be doing the tax sale and his contact information was provided to the Hurlburt’s. Harry Hurlburt stated that Roderick Burritt told him he would hold off on sending the Hurlburt properties to the lawyer until the Hurlburt’s had a chance to meet with the Select Board. It was noted by the Select Board that the town policy is to not hold any properties back from the process of the tax sale; as it might be perceived as preferential treatment. The Hurlburt’s will contact Kevin Brennan to set up a plan.]

selectboard minutes found at
I have been looking for the ANA-C minutes, no one seems to be responsible,
don't we pay taxes for this?
more reasons to blog, the papers do not want to publish any of these rants.
mary gerdt, monkton, vermont gazetteer

Monday, August 8, 2011

The 20 K

The 20 K

not a race,
nor a destination.
It is about the number of post views I have had so far,
it is two times the number
of people
in the town
where I lived
while I was growing up,
growing older
unable to go on just being

I thought the words
would come out harder,
thought I would struggle,
strain and stress.

Through the days since I have started,
I wanted to tell a tale,
of a common girl.

In and out of Hell
and Heaven,
Travelers all
like the ones she follows,
Walk a strange long dim lit hall.

Sharing life's good and bad days,
Hoping your day can be so bright,
from the light upon this pathway,
when you visit,
do come back.

mary, travelogue for the universe,
at about the 20k mark

Garden Update

Back to work again after 2 days flew by.
Weeded the brassica patch, mowed, rested,
happy we got a little rain.
A few pic's of the garden....

Artichokes Monkton,VT 2011

and just heard that Fred Imus left the material plane.
Condolences to all those who loved him,
I am speechless,
another comrade falls,
We will miss Fred greatly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mars re-run

Re reun of my post from a few years ago that I did on my original archived blog.
C'mon, is this water on mars thing really new?
martian name: Aryanna

The Red Planet

is now more desirable because they just found


and now the real estate futures marketeers are studying how to lay out the subdivisions and lakes and infrastructures of the yet to be exploited

red planet

What is an expected mystery?

What is the meaning of water on Mars? It becomes clearer when you know for sure. But then, I've always known for sure that Mars must have water, a sister planet to Earth our present house.

Isn't it great the Nasa equipment on Mars didn't break down? Not like the stuff we buy on Earth. I wish it would start when we want it to and there's always something breaking down.

This is the last day of July and that puts me into a blissful August panic. The beans would come soon and then everything will start ripening and the animals, bugs and diseases will try to eat some of our bounty. I was fortunate to weed the beans last weekend although it forced me to hit the pillow early that night.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the real estate guide to mars.

But think about how in your lifetime perhaps there will be such a website and people will travel to the red planet and vacation by some of the pooled water under a solar canopy and fish for exotic species and good old fashioned ice cream made from synthetic proteins and maple syrup from Vermont.

A few things just can't be replicated.

May you discover an expected mystery of your dreams.

mary (the martian by zodiac sign)

Tags: mars, red planet, water

Thursday, August 4, 2011

revenue blues

revenue blues

some call it taxes,
some cannot pay,
some call it revenue,
to hide what they say,

some want to shirk them,
others pay their share,
others have a billion
don't even want to share,

I got those blues....
those low down, not a dime more in my pocket blues,
got that low down taxing problem,
got them old old revenue blues.

The tea party started first
a long long time ago
when we were taxed too high,
the tea it had to go....
into the river...
a long long time ago,

now am thinking about the taxes,
and wondering how to pay,
the man says we don't have a choice,
or we'll take your land away,

and I pay them at the pump you know,
i pay it at the food store,
then when that april come around, they'll want a little more,

that is,
that's the price you got to pay,
for living in this freedom,
got the revenue blues today.............

Monday, August 1, 2011


Silent Morning

It was an eerie feeling,
what was missing,
it was a silent morning,
Summer Peak.

No dull roar sounds
of the cars and trucks,
on the road 5 miles away,
like there used to be.

The birds sounded louder
in the backyard
and that is because the
cars had stopped.

I recorded a small piece there,
In the backyard,
because I thought,
this all could change.

The birds were singing
by a background noise they knew.

The birds worked around
what humans gave them,
cars or not,
they did not care.

But to me then,
in my backyard,
I held the tranquil
silent morn.

Never thought that
the hills would darken,
thought the light would
ever gain in strength.

Thought the roads would gain
ad infinitum,
forever on.

So this silent,
silent morning,
save the songbirds,
making song.

Enjoy this tranquil,
quiet moment,
Silent Morning,
Come along.