October 29, 2019


I have yet some uploads to do from my last field day with amzapp -- I sure will miss wandering around with her, discovering so much! My comadre, my teacher, my sounding board.
Off to new digs further west. Expect to see me floundering with IDs for a few years, until I get my bearings!

Posted on October 29, 2019 18:52 by ellen5 ellen5 | 7 comments | Leave a comment

June 18, 2019

Rattlesnake -- noun

"Rattlesnake, n. --
Our prostrate brother, Homo ventrambulans"

Ambrose Bierce
The Devil's Dictionary

Posted on June 18, 2019 19:26 by ellen5 ellen5 | 1 comments | Leave a comment

January 11, 2019


I took anthropology classes in college, and still enjoy the field alot.
We, Homo sapiens use fire to cook our food and derive more from it. And so did Homo neanderthalensis. And so did his precursor, Homo heidelbergensis. And further back, so Homo erectus -- a million years ago.
Darwin described cooking as the second most important discovery after that of language.
But in the view of primatologist Richard Wrangham: "The introduction of cooking may well have been the decisive factor in leading man from a primarily animal existence into one that was more fully human."
In his enormously enjoyable lay science book HEAT, Bill Streever writes: "By the time of Homo sapiens, fire was part of everyday life. Homo sapiens was born halfway down the on-ramp to climate change."

Posted on January 11, 2019 17:31 by ellen5 ellen5 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 05, 2018

OK, this is just hilarious

Today, as part of iNat housekeeping, i spam-blocked a user account that was particularly juicy. Here is the text of the profile description:
"Since bubble wrap suits are almost transparent, your clothing inside is still visible. So your suit takes on the color and design inside it and looks pretty attractive. And these suits are very lightweight and you can easily carry it in your backpack for use when the need arises. And since it is very affordable to own one, you can have each for all your family members without spending much. These suits are great to use in workplaces to your security staff who stand guard outside even in rains. You can even provide these to your employees or guests are your hotel that can really seem nice. These suits are affordable enough to give them as a complimentary gift to someone. - "

Posted on November 05, 2018 15:18 by ellen5 ellen5 | 7 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2018


Watch this superb video about the domestication of maize:

Posted on October 11, 2018 13:29 by ellen5 ellen5 | 3 comments | Leave a comment

September 20, 2018

Message from the deep past.

Posted on September 20, 2018 22:51 by ellen5 ellen5 | 6 comments | Leave a comment

August 14, 2018

Native pollinators

* * * 400 Osmia provide the same pollination service as 10,000 honeybees * * *

Posted on August 14, 2018 16:29 by ellen5 ellen5 | 1 comments | Leave a comment

July 17, 2018

second excerpt, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Say you are the manager of the Southern Railroad. You figure that you need three engines for a stretch of track between Lynchburg and Danville. It's a mighty steep grade. So at fantastic effort and expense you have your shops make nine thousand engines. Each engine must be fashioned just so, every rivet and bolt secure, every wire twisted and wrapped, every needle on every indicator sensitive and accurate.
You send all nine thousand of them out on the runs. Although there are engineers at the throttles, no one is manning the switches. The engines crash, collide, derail, jump, jam, burn. . . . At the end of the massacre you have three engines, which is what the run could support in the first place. There are few enough of them that they can stay out of one another's paths.
You go to your board of directors and show them what you've done. And what are they going to say? You know what they are going to say. They're going to say: It's a hell of a way to run a railroad.
Is it a better way to run a universe?

Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Posted on July 17, 2018 17:29 by ellen5 ellen5 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 28, 2018

from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

"I used to be able to see flying insects in the air. I'd look ahead and see, not the row of hemlocks across the road, but the air in front of it. My eyes would focus along that column of air, picking out flying insects. But I lost interest. Now I can see birds. Probably some people can look at the grass at their feet and discover all the crawling creatures. I would like to know grasses and sedges--and care. Then my least journey into the world would be a field trip, a series of happy recognitions. ... But I don't see what the specialist sees, and so I cut myself off, not only from the total picture, but from the various forms of happiness."
Annie Dillard, 1974

Posted on June 28, 2018 11:24 by ellen5 ellen5 | 1 comments | Leave a comment

June 06, 2018

Epic search glitch

Search observations for the tag "epic", it returns all the porcupines
Well, i suppose.

Posted on June 06, 2018 12:42 by ellen5 ellen5 | 2 comments | Leave a comment