Astronomy Picture of the Day

Thursday, March 30, 2017

From the Archives

Another Year,
 Our Pheasant Visitor
Fred saw him this week,

More snow to come,
No worry,
The B side of Winter...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hurry Spring

Hurry Spring!

Is it just around the bend?
Knocking at our door?
Can we handle much more?
Winter, that is.

Another year,
The Forsythia Bloomed,
Second week in April,
Will it be ready by then?

Hurry Spring!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Re-run fr 2009 Travelogue for the Universe: Shard Villa Update, My version

One more ☝️

Travelogue for the Universe: Shard Villa Update, My version: By Mary E Gerdt all rights reserved 2009 Shard Villa update I won’t go into the specific facts because I don’t know all the minutiae but ...

Travelogue for the Universe: Shard Villa

More Shard Villa Re runs...

Travelogue for the Universe: Shard Villa: Shard Villa. photo by Don Shall see his awesome photostream This was a place I toured when I first ...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rerun of a Favorite

It's a Special Place,
Shard Villa
A wealthy man's Castle,
Now a Care Home,
And Historic Place,
A Special Place.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Revenge of the Nerds

It's called Hacking or
Data Mining or
Stolen identity
Or leaks.

They Steal your name,
Steal your face,
The Nerds' Revenge,
Against the Human Race.

Years ago, My college time hard,
Computers were early,
Punching the IBM card.

Nerds carried boxes of programming cards,
Punching them all day and all night,
Sleepless and hungry,
Distracted and weak,
Inevitably one would trip and fall,
Cards sprawled on the street.

I laughed cruelly with others,
Offered the Nerds no help.
The Nerds' Revenge came back to haunt us,
Hacking my digital self.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

🌏 Breaking 🌎 #fracking update

From the Stop ✋ the Trans Addison County Pipeline Group

For immediate release: March 21th
Activists address Valener/Gaz Metro investors at AGM: “Vermont Gas pipeline is a bungled mess and a bad investment. Time to invest in the future, not dirty, dangerous fracked gas.”
 Valener is the public investment vehicle for Gaz Metro, which in turn owns Vermont Gas. As investors assemble for their annual general meeting, activists from Vermont and Montreal are also assembling to express fierce opposition to the Vermont Gas Addison Natural Gas pipeline project – a fracked gas pipeline that is under construction through the state of Vermont. 
Julie Macuga, a 25 year old University of Vermont student, plans to deliver a statement to the investors inside the meeting: “I purchased shares of Valener so that I could speak to all of you directly about what you are doing… what is it going to take to make you stop destroying our state with your damaging and financially unsound pipeline?”
Activists cite cost overuns which have more than doubled from initial estimates to 166 million as a result of mismanagement, a federal pipeline hazardous material safety administration (PHMSA) investigation into unsafe construction and failure to comply with standards, a pending VT Supreme Court case over a pipeline easement through a public park, a recent letter from the 64 member VT legislature's Climate Caucus requesting steps be taken towards a reconsideration of the permit, lack of demonstrable Vermont market for the gas, and concerns about climate impacts of leaking methane from pipelines.
 “Vermont citizens and groups have been fighting this pipeline since the beginning of construction, nearly 4 years now”, stated Rachel Smolker, a resident of Hinesburg Vermont.  “This poorly constructed pipeline puts our communities at risk of a potential explosion, puts Vermont ratepayers on the hook for the costs, and puts our climate at risk from methane leaks.  Meanwhile, gas prices are predicted to rise over years to come. Valener/Gaz Metro should invest in the future and stop banking on the sinking ship of dirty, dangerous fracked gas.”

Contact: Rachel Smolker: (802)  or Julie Macuga: (802)238-5777 

------------------------and letter to editor by a friend-------
 Thanks, Bobbie


Editor’s note: This commentary is by Roberta Carnwath, who is a member of the Cornwall Planning Commission.
In May of 2010, when Vermont attracted national attention by becoming the first state to outlaw fracking, our governor, Peter Shumlin, said:
“We don’t know that we don’t have natural gas in Vermont, and this measure will ensure we do not inject chemicals into groundwater in a desperate pursuit for energy … One of the biggest challenges that future generations are going to face is clean, drinkable water. We have an abundance of it in Vermont. I think it’s a great message that we’re going to protect it at all costs.”
In noting the impact of the decision on future generations, Shumlin was framing the prospect of poisoning drinking water as the moral issue that it is. A moral issue like, for example, child labor, outlawed in Vermont, but … what if it were legal somewhere else, say … Alberta? And what if the product of this child labor was cheaper and more convenient than other products produced by more ethical standards? Would Vermonters say: “Yes! Let’s bring ’em in – give ourselves more choices? Heck, let’s build a pipeline and bring more of them in faster!”
A moral issue like, for example, child labor, outlawed in Vermont, but … what if it were legal somewhere else, say … Alberta?

If it is wrong to poison drinking water in Vermont, it is wrong to take advantage of the fact that people at the other end of the pipeline may not have the means to protect their back yards from exploitation by corporations partnering with their government.
In the years since the Public Service Board approved the certificate of public good for the Addison Natural Gas Pipeline, the concept of “climate justice” has been gaining respect as a factor that should be considered in economic planning. Members of the Vermont Legislature should all support the initiative spelled out in a letter from the Vermont Assembly Coalition on Climate Solutions to June Tierney requesting that the certificate of public good for the Addison pipeline be reopened. The letter gives five reasons why this action should be taken. But there is a sixth reason. The PSB should ask whether the pipeline is a good idea in the light of our emerging understanding of “climate justice.” Can we knowingly inflict damage elsewhere and still be proud Vermonters?

The Floor of the Old Sea bottom.

The Champlain Valley 
Addison County 
Once a Sea,
Now soils of farms
Stretching to Lake Champlain 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

There's still a little time left....

From the #Fracking Fighting Front

There's still a little time left to voice your opposition to the Trans Addison County Pipeline 

Thanks to Neighbor Jane for sharing this...

Hi Folks, 
You may think its too late...but its not. The fracked gas pipeline has been a financial, environmental and moral fiasco. VGS is struggling to sign on new customers to buy gas that isn't needed and won't save anyone any money (except a few corporate customers and Middlebury College) The following petition is being circulated to show there is still a lot of resistance to the build out of new fossil fuel infrastructure at this time when we need to get off of burning fossil fuel. Regardless of whether or not you think burning methane is better than burning oil, the fact remains that this project is WAY out of whack financially and it has wreaked havoc on our local environment. Just recently a "frack out" or "inadvertent return" occurred in Geprag's Park spilling drilling fluid (mostly clay and water but also antifreeze) into the sensitive wetlands. This is NOT necessary. Please sign on to the petition. Thanks.
Me:Now for a photo of why we don't want a pipeline running through our town, just to supply points south with Canadian fracked gas ⛽️ 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: Travelogue for the Universe: Bishop Hill, Illnois ...

More...Rerun of genealogy related articles...

Travelogue for the Universe: Travelogue for the Universe: Bishop Hill, Illnois ...: Travelogue for the Universe: Bishop Hill, Illnois A National Historic Landmark ... : A good video link about Bishop Hill, Illinois home of...

Travelogue for the Universe: Geneology Links

Reruns of genealogy links I have found...

Travelogue for the Universe: Geneology Links: Links to history I have been doing some research on our family roots and really it boils down to Swedish, Bohemian and Prussian, well ...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: By My Side

Rerun of a little poem for Mom,
With a Nor'Easter cooking up a
Winter Gale,
Thinking of Mom..

Travelogue for the Universe: By My Side: Ever since I can remember and before She was by my side. She had my back, Powerful little human. She called me the sensible one, a...

Monday, March 13, 2017

March Light 2

The Early Morning 
Sun Light 
Came through 
The Trees,
Sacred Light,
March Light.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Gas Updates ⛽️ #Fracking

A few tidbits,
As sensitive protected lands
Are held in a balance
Between Saved and Squandered

Sign this petition!

PLEASE SHARE WIDELY - SHOW YOUR SUPPORT to our legislators who are pushing to get the permit reassessed.  This could be HUGE if it happens, but we need to get behind the demand!


I just signed the petition "Revoke and Reassess the Vermont Fracked Gas Pipeline!" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 500 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:


From a Hospital Clinic Office Window

Mount Mansfield 

Add caption

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Night Musik

Friday Night Musik 

We hoped to get a couple tickets 
To see Richard Thompson at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble.
They sold out in 2 minutes.
That's okay 
We saw him years ago in Burlington 
Always a Wow,
Like this, one of my favorite YouTube videos.

Breaking #fracking Chapter 5 The Earth weighs in.... action requested Please sign this one!f

If you have Never signed a petition 

If you sign them every day 

Sign this one...😎

Please participate in a groundswell moment against the VT Fracked Gas Pipeline. 60+ Vermont lawmakers have joined us from the climate caucus, and we're asking for your help in making this a poignant and pointed request from the VT public, too.
Please sign this, post to facebook, and forward along. Thank you.

Sign This Petition to Stop the Vermont Gas Stystems Fracked Gas Pipeline
On February 22nd close to 200 Vermont citizens attended a public forum with the new Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, June Tierney, and spoke out powerfully against the disaster that is the Vermont Gas Systems fracked gas pipeline in Addison County.

A little more than a week later, the Vermont legislature's Climate Solutions Caucus sent a letter to Commissioner Tierney, calling on her to ask that the Public Service Board reopen and reassess the permit for this ill-conceived and mis-guided, climate-changing project. You can read the caucus's letter here . And you can find the VTDigger article about it here.

We all know this pipeline is bad for us, bad for Vermont and bad for the world, and now there's a petition you can sign to let Vermont state government know you stand against it.

Your signature will show June Tierney and the Department of Public Service that Vermonters oppose this pipeline. It will also show our support for the Climate Caucus Legislatiors' request to reopen and review the Certificate of Public Good that continues for this pipeline in spite of huge cost overruns, multiple health and safety violations, its disastrous contribution to climate change and the fact that the need for more fracked gas in Vermont has never been demonstrated.

And ask your friends and neighbors to sign the petition, too, by going to:

Stop Construction and Keep it in the Ground!  


Thursday, March 9, 2017

March Light

March Light 

Burst of warmth
Snuck into late winter ❄️ 
Ground still frozen
Saw A Vulture 
Camera chased him off
Leaving the brown and gold

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: The Maslow App

Travelogue for the Universe: 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 i...

Rerun from a few years ago 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Chapter 4 Vermont #fracking fighters need your help

Sharing latest updates....
Thank You Rachel!

please share far and wide!

Legislature’s Climate Caucus challenges Vermont Gas pipeline

Legislators request Vermont Department of Public Service to direct a reassessment of the “public good” permit for the Addison County gas pipeline. Citizens to continue to gather support at Town Meetings this week. 

The Vermont Legislature’s “Climate Solutions Caucus” delivered a sharp letter to Department of Public Service (DPS) Commissioner, June Tierney last Friday, March 3rd, calling for a reassessment of the Vermont Gas Addison County pipeline. The letter, approved by a vote of the caucus last Thursday, calls on the DPS to request the Public Service Board (PSB) to “re-open the Certificate of Public Good associated with the project and conduct a thorough review of the cost, safety, environmental considerations, and need for this project.”
The letter was drafted in response to a public forum about the Vermont Gas pipeline, held with the Department of Public Service in Montpelier on February 22nd. The forum was attended by close to 200 Vermonters, who urged passionately that the Department of Public Service use its authority to put a halt to the project.
DPS officials stated at the forum that they were powerless to stop the project, and that they take their lead from the legislature. A group of concerned citizens followed the suggestion to reach out to the legislature as the appropriate body with authority to direct the DPS. The Department, in turn, can petition the Public Service Board to reopen the Certificate of Public Good (CPG) for review in light of the concerns raised at the forum.
Issues raised at the recent forum and in the legislators’ letter include monumental cost overruns and mismanagement, questions about compliance with federal and state construction and safety standards, new understandings about the public health and climate change impacts of “natural” gas (methane), and the lack of any demonstrable need for additional natural gas in Vermont. The legislators also highlighted the more than two-year long failure of the PSB to rule on the Conservation Law Foundation’s challenge to the validity of the project permit, while allowing construction to continue.
The legislators’ letter emerged from a meeting last Thursday, March 2nd with the General Assembly’s Climate Solutions Caucus attended by several organizers of the late February forum. At that meeting, caucus members voted to send an agreed-upon letter to the DPS addressing the citizens’ concerns. During Town Meeting week, others across Vermont will approach their legislators, seeking further support for the letter and for the request to reopen the Certificate of Public Good, which is the basis for the permit that has allowed construction of the pipeline. 
Brian Tokar of the 350Vermont board of directors stated: “We cannot ignore the seriousness of climate change and the urgency to act now. This pipeline project has gone from being a bad idea to a disaster in the making. If it is allowed to proceed we will be locking Vermonters into at least 30 years of fracking and climate changing methane emissions, with Vermont ratepayers footing the bill and bearing the burden in the event of a pipeline failure or accident.”
Rachel Smolker of Protect Geprags Park, based in Hinesburg: stated: “The legislators who signed this letter deserve tremendous thanks for taking action on behalf of our communities and our climate. Over town meeting week we aim to gather further support for this letter and the request that the certificate of public good be reopened for thorough reconsideration. It is not too late to put a halt to the project, and that’s exactly what we have to do.”

Rachel Smolker, Ph.D.
Biofuelwatch (codirector)
802.735 7794 (m)
skype: Rachel Smolker
twitter: @rsmolker

Campaign to Stop GE Trees:
Global Forest Coalition:
Geoengineering Monitor:

"One does not sell the land people walk on."
~ Crazy Horse

Fall and Spring

Fall at Crown Point, New York Lighthouse 
Geese in Spring 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chapter 3 Breaking #fracking

Breaking Fracking 

Passing along some important information 
On how to prioritize your energies 
As a Vermont voter during Town Meeting 
Or as a template for non Vermont 
Fracking Fighters 

Hi all - as some of you know, on February 22, at the Department of Public Service public forum we were told repeatedly that DPS was powerless to take action on the pipeline without the direction of the legislature. 

Towards the end of the forum we directly requested that the DPS ask the Public Service Board to reopen the certificate of public good. Again, they said they cannot do so without direction from legislature.

So…. some folks have been working to encourage legislators to provide that direction.  A few of us were at the statehouse this past week, and right off the bat the climate solutions caucus members agreed to sign onto and then delivered the letter which is here attached FYI. 

We are working on a press release to get the word out Monday morning

But we need to keep going.  

During town meeting:  PLEASE bring copies of the letter which you can find here:
and request that your representatives sign onto the letter!  Let’s get LOTS of legislator support for this - even outside the climate caucus.

Let us know what signatures you get (and we will need the signed copies ultimately to compile)! 

If you have any questions - contact me or Brian Tokar

PS: We could also quickly draft a letter of citizen support for the legislators - and collect about a million signatures.  This would help to bolster the legislators.  Secondary to the above though.


Re-Run. Travelogue for the Universe: Monkton Chronicles.Town Meeting 2012

Yesterday was town meeting day in Monkton 
We missed it
Not quite by accident 
It's the first year it's been held on Saturday 
I looked for ways to say why I didn't attend 
Really couldn't say it better than,

Travelogue for the Universe: Monkton Chronicles.Town Meeting 2012: Monkton, Vermont Town Meeting Monkton Chronicles March 6, 2012 by mary e. gerdt all rights reserved 2012 My first rough draft wa...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Chapter 2 #Vermont #fracking #pipeline update

Opportunity to Attend Hearing

The Supreme Court has (astoundingly)  said it wants the names of everyone who wants to attend the April 4 hearing about whether it is legal for Vt Gas to use eminent domain to construct its pipeline through Geprags Park. 

We need to let the Court know that there are at least 100 of us who want to be there. I believe the Court will move the hearing to a bigger space if it knows there are a lot of people who want to attend.

Please contact the Court before March 9 if you want to attend. 

The hearing will be "oral argument” which consists of the lawyers stating their cases, and members of the Court asking them questions. It will last about an hour and is very formal. (no signs, no cheers or boos, etc.) The hearing will last one hour. It is scheduled to take place in the Vt Supreme Court courtroom in Montpelier on April 4, 9-10 a.m.

If you would like to attend, please send a respectful email to 

My email will say:

"I plan to attend the oral argument in the Vermont Gas case on April 4 at 9 a.m.  I understand Vermont Supreme Court hearings are open to the public.


#fracking Gas ⛽️ Update

Gaz Gas ⛽️ Update...
Vermont's anti fracked gas group shares information
Making keeping up easier than it might be.
I felt bad about deleting a bunch of emails that were
Burdening my brain.
Here's a
Tidbit on keeping up with the
Vermont Public Service Board

Subject: VT Public Service Board Dkt. 8791 - Investigation re: alleged taking of harsh sunflower plants by Vermont Gas Systems in Monkton, VT

Please find an Amended Public Hearing Notice to replace the one you received previously.  The date, time and location have remained the same.

I also wanted to make sure you were all aware of the Vermont Public Service Board’s (“Board”) new online filing and document management system, known as ePSB.  You are able to take advantage of ePSB’s new “subscription” feature.  When you “subscribe” to the case within ePSB, you will receive email messages notifying you when the Board issues documents or parties make filings in the case.  Email notifications from ePSB will include a link to ePSB’s document folder for the case, which is where the recipient can access and download the documents.  

As a result, as of February 10, 2017, the Board no longer maintains a list of “interested persons” for this case or sends paper copies of orders issued in the case to such a list.  If you wish to be notified when the Board issues documents or parties make filings in the above-referenced case, please subscribe to the case in ePSB by:

  • Logging into ePSB at (creating an account if you have not already done so);
    Welcome to ePSB ePSB is the Vermont Public Service Board's ("Board") electronic case and document management system. ePSB includes public documents and other ...
  • Searching for the case to which you would like to subscribe;
  • Selecting “Subscribe to a Case” from the “Select Action” drop-down menu; and
  • Filling in the fields on that screen.

More information about ePSB, including a short instructional video showing you how to create an ePSB account, is available on the Board’s website at  You may subscribe to a case at any time during the case’s life.  To stop subscribing to a case, or to update the email address you used to subscribe, contact the Clerk of the Board at

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call our offices.

Thank you,

Holly R. Anderson
Deputy Clerk/System Administrator
Vermont Public Service Board