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April 3, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Light in the wings

Birds carrying turle. John Batten, ill. 1892 "Indian Fairy Tales"(USPD: pub.date, artist life, Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Dodge that race cam, guys” (Batten,1892/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Always wondered about the outcome of that Tortoise and the Hare story?

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” (Henry David Thoreau)

When you’re in the dark about things, it’s hard.

  • About 100 million to 1 billion migratory birds smash into structures and die each year in North America.
  • Migrating birds navigate by the stars at night, and confusion from bright windows or commercial lighting can cause birds to alter flight paths, mill around in lighted areas where they collide with each other, communication towers, radio antennas or buildings. It’s worse during weather with low ceilings or fog.
  • A study by Chicago’s Field Museum showed that even tuning off the lights in one building can reduce the migrating bird kill by an average of 83%
Woman dressed in corn husk camo in field. John Batten, English Fairy tales, 1895 (USPD. pub,date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Gee, when the college career advisor asked if I would be interested in environment protection field work, I didn’t think it meant being dressed in corn husk camo and picking bugs off plants. And the rabbits keep nibbling my outfit. Wish they would stop calling me birdbrain.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We light up our lives. 

And make three large cities in the central U.S. the most dangerous locations for migrating birds.

Feeders and bird baths are fine, but flocks really need more:

Take the pledge:  Lights Out for Birds.  (Peak migration on the Gulf Coast tends to be around April 19 – May 7.) Sign up for migratory bird notifications at that link or here for National Lights Out for Birds programs.

Woman calling swans with bell (1894.More Celtic Fairy Tales, Jacobs/Batten ill. (USPD pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Hey feathered ones. Could you please trumpet that the coast is clear and dark? The bell tolls for we.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It’s a real easy-peasy New Green Deal: Win-win-win.

Turning off lights reduces electricity usage. When consumer demand falls, there’s less consumption of natural resources and environmental destruction for generation of electricity.

It protects migrating birds which are better insect control than pesticides for crops and may reduce spraying for disease carrying mosquitoes.

In addition, there’s a human health concern that artificial light disrupts bio-rhythms, hormones, and melatonin production/utilization.

Woman looking up. (1916. play promo. Eternal Magdalene/Sarony/USPD.pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Why is it so hard, people? Oy vey. Do the easy things first – ones that don’t cost or disrupt. Turn off some darn lights. Although overly lit is a situation that may actually resolve itself. Seen the cost of the mandated “new” lightbulbs? Most of us will soon be sitting in the dark because only the few elites will be able to afford illumination…although most of those already think they are the only ones that have that now.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Why is such a simple, environmentally friendly idea being overlooked?

Bright lights. Big City. Dim witted

Belong to the night – it’ll be fun. Call it retro.

De-lighted to be left in the dark

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” (Robert Lynd, Irish writer)

Birds carrying turtle on a stick. Batten, Fairy Tales of India, 1892 (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Birds of a feather. “What? MY relative? I thought he was YOUR funny looking relative!” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

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April 1, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Not fooling, April.

Dog dressed for dinner. (Brownie the dog film star, 1921. Century Film/Universal Px/Motion Picture News, 1021/USPD.pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Now that I have your attention. Bow. No, not woof. I mean it. Genuflect, fools” (Brownie the dog film star, 1921/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Punk humans? Fine. To be expected. But leave man’s best friend out of it.

“Roku introduces the Press Paws remote”

Features:

  • Animal-themed shortcut buttons: Animal Planet is one stomp away!
  • Bark assistant technology: bark-to-play, bark-to-pause, bark-to-mute, bark-to-confirm-there’s-a-box-at-the-door
  • Built in Sub-woofer, naturally. Enhanced sound worth howling at

Available April 1st!

More stupid human tricks:

  1. After much hype, the first all female space walk didn’t happen. No dress rehearsal. Really. Packing failure: Only one space suit built for female astronauts. What? Doesn’t duct tape fix just about anything? Where are those high level thinking skills. Not optimistic how humankind will survive on the moon or planets without Home Depot or dressmaker /tailor shops. Maybe Amazon’s drones will be up and running – and offering 2 day deliveries.
  2. Almost on the same day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was floating out letting 16-yr-olds vote, the Texas House passed bill to raise legal age to be tried as an adult to 18. Texas was only one of 6 remaining states that hold 17-yr-olds accountable as adult for crimes. The science is pretty clear that the areas in the brain responsible for impulse control, control over emotions, understanding cause and effects, understanding consequences for actions, logic and reasoning, being able to participate in their own defense are not fully developed and functioning during the teen years. Not able to know right from wrong. Of course, keeping convicted teens in spaces built for minors rather than having to protect them in the adult general criminal population is also cheaper. Have to look behind all the talking to see the real motivation these days.
  3. : “The C8 Corvette is so powerful it keeps bending its frame” This the beginning of an AI muscled metal overpowering the designers? “C8″ Chevrolet Corvette mid engine is not only problems with the 100 interlinked computers” (See, I told ya. There’s computer chatter and who knows what they are talking about), but it seems they’ve created  “too much beastly power”  Reports have leaked that when the pedal’s to the metal the car “suffered from structural distortion so severe that the engine compartment’s glass hatch was breaking.”(Please, not a marketing gimmick to attract females determined to break all life’s glass ceilings.) There have been rumors the car’s “acceleration so “frightening” that GM has supposedly consulted with lawyers about the potential risk of selling something so fast.” Marketing or big problem. In any case, how useful is a car that gets bent all outta shape delivering on its’ promises?
  4. Happy Birthday to my mom and her older brother, my uncle. (or it would have been) Everyone else in the world thought it was funny, but the siblings hated it: not only the foolish date of birth, but they also had to share it. Never out grew the annoyance. Now carved in stones.

May April’s fools and showers not make you glower

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Scared woman. 1929 Universal Pictures/USPD.pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, come on, Grandma. You couldn’t hold it in for just a few hours more? Just fooling’!” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

March 29, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Avoiding waves

 

East Beach boardwalk over dunes. Galveston. ( image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted )

East Beach. Wide open. We waved at a few people and dogs. (© image)

Hurried to enjoy the wildness, the big sky, the last undisturbed moments.

Perfect beach weather: brisk offshore winds, sunny, too cold for the college kids and sunbathers.

The birds curious, not yet in their summer’s avoidance mode.

Nothing adds to million dollar views like a tall observation tower.

Beach and dunes. Galveston East Beach. (© image. all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Beach and dunes of Galveston’s East Beach now embellished or blemished, depending on your point of view, by new structures.(© image)

Only this isn’t a new feature built by the Parks Department.

Some people just have to possess it – even though it’s all free.

Put “their own stamp on it”:  Just move a little vegetation here, that brush tangle there…add a nice porch way up high, so we can appreciate it all.

Hey! They built elevated walkways – so as not to disturb the endangered turtle nesting grounds, the habitat of the smalls and birds. That good.

Besides a boardwalk is a much easier walk than a deep sandy trail. And no human erosion for the dunes, right? So much better for the environment. Not to mention better avoidance of sunning rattle snakes.

Building outside the protective sea wall? “Oh, what are the chances? This million dollar, unobstructed view is so worth the risk”…

Sometimes it seems Nature’s only defense against clumsy humans is hurricanes to shove them back.

The loud, carnival-like, old-fashion Entertainment Pier with rides and restaurants barely seen in the distance, but close enough to walk to.

Location, location, location!

Million dollar views.

Million dollar homes ironically marketed with the tag line: “Enjoy The Simple Life”.

Wave of the future.

A simple hope that the peace and quiet won’t be totally deconstructed.

flowers in the dunes of East Beach Galveston. Wild flowers: Firewheels (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted )

Wild flowers, Firewheels, are happily flourishing in the tangle of brush under the boardwalk. (© image)

Galveston's east beach. dunes and water's edge (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Galveston’s beaches cannot be owned. Private property starts at the dune’s vegetation lines…of course those can drastically change with wind and waves. While home owners are not supposed to plant the dunes in an attempt to protect their lot size, people are encouraged to repurpose old Christmas trees and stake them down which allows sand to collect, cover, and create more dunes.(© image)

Beach plants in the sandy dunes. Galveston East Beach (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permission granted)

The sand dunes not really as bleak and barren as they seem. (© image)

yellow wild flowers in sandy dunes of Galveston's East Beach ( image all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted))

Some prom queen or bride accidentally lose her bouquet? (© image)

Beach, dunes and tankers waiting in anchorage waiting for the Houston Ship Channel to reopen. ( image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Past the waves, ocean-going vessels/tankers/container ships wait in off shore anchorages for permission to enter the Houston Ship Channel. Professional Channel Pilots arrive for the last part of their journeys. Not everyone is skilled enough to steer the tricky channel or to manage the famous Texas Chicken which is a maneuver two giant ships use to pass each other, one going in and one going out, in the narrowly dredged deep channel. Basically the Pilots take dead aim at each other’s bows until at the last minute they swing their bows starboard- in opposite directions. The delicate dance creates bow and stern wakes and the pressure created between ships and banks/displaced water lets them slide carefully parallel past each other. Fine skill and fine understanding of science, indeed. One woman pilot laughs “I did it 7 months pregnant. How hard can it be?” Article here (© image)

Blue skies over East Beach, Galveston . Salt march inland from water and bordering the parking lot. ( image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Blue afternoon skies. This back of the dunes plot borders our favorite public parking spot/beach access. Soon we fear it will be lined with a row of beach house balconies instead of wild flowers, prairie grass, Lantana, and bunnies. They come for the million dollar views. Waves.(© image)

Looking for warmth. For soft. For comfortable predictability.

Avoiding the pounding waves of humanity

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

 

March 27, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Catch and Release

Cat Niala looking through front door. (© image, all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Well, not too sure this one isn’t a mutant. It’s the neighbor’s hussy cat, Niala, staring in the front door’s watery glass panel desperately hoping to be given a visa in order to try out for the Indoor Mosquito Hawk Ambush Team.(© image)

We do not believe the explanation that these creatures are mutants.

The Molly may smile and say she only participates in Catch and Release, but We have suspect otherwise.

We have warned Staff it is not wise to allow Molly Malamute to observe videos of wild foxes diving into snowbanks for dinners or wolves leaping into brush after bunnies, but no.

There seem to be an unusually large number of very nervous lizards and chameleons with odd tail stubs in the backyard.

Yesterday’s evidence:

The Molly circled the home for wayward lizards giant potted plant five times searching for a chameleon who has obviously trained for America’s Ninja Lizard Warrior.

As the chameleon prey prayed from the highest frond, Molly put two front paws on the planter edge and swung a third hind leg into the pot as the one remaining leg wobbled on spread toes trying to support her tripod position…

Before We could stop chortling with anticipatory laughter yell out a warning the teetering lump of fur dog fell over with a surprised yelp.

Any sad doggy faces or holding up of paw should be ignored. Staff has complied been instructed.

The Molly is quite cranky after missing today’s dog friends frolics because it’s punishment Staff was overly concerned about a possible sprained toe.

Do not be fooled. It is a ruse. For treats.

Just ignore her mumbles about “Nobody said that pot was off-limits. Heard it is perfectly harmless and legal now, right?”

Sigh. A little knowledge is a painful thing.

Dog peering over desk ..begging (© image all rights reserved, NO permissions granted, Copyrighted)

“Aw, come on. The toe is fine. Get the car keys. Please?”(©image)

More pain is being tossed by the local Oak trees.

Their Spring bombardment continues with endless launches of odd veggie-type caterpillar thingies that belch the most obnoxious yellow dust over everything.

We wish someone would inform the Oaks they are tardy to the party: The local spring Holi Festival is past. Cut the dusting crop.

But take heart, acorn producers, there’s always next year. Leaf time to coordinate things better.

Meanwhile, We suggest immediate ceasefire of all remaining yellow powders. Organic pollen has a short pigment life. Joggers and doggers are not feeling blessed by the mess.

Although We appreciate your interruption  unscheduled audience, We must demand with ugly face sadly leave you here as it is the Day of the Rotation.

Since the sun now warms different window sills, Staff must relocate Our indoor garden of lush grass – for medicinal purposes only. How dare you suggest addiction!

And We have requested the winter bed be unplugged and Our lovely tropical beach towel be fluffed and located for optimum afternoon sunbathing.

We know you are too dense to see you are slowing things down and can’t even bother to grab a paper towel and blot up those water splashes  are too polite to overstay your welcome.

Yes, Yes, you are released. We shall enjoy a longer chat at a later date.

You have Our permission to withdraw.

cat and funny cat joke (West TX newspaper clipping image)

Just to clarify…(West TX newspaper clipping)

Staff! Somebody point them to the door Staff! Please, be so kind to assist them.

Our paw has waved.

Audience over. Fini.

And don’t forget to leave the tribute of an open can of food in the doorway.

Adieu. 

crown symbol with message "I am RC Cat and I approve this message"

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

March 25, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Pickled, not tickled

Man on water tricycle (ca 1900/LoC George Grantham Bain collection/USPD.pub.date, artist life, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t do it,” they warned.”Not meant to walk on water.” But he thirsted for conquest.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

He managed a slight chuckle at the thought – might as well. Wondered if when they found him his entire body would be as wrinkled and white as a kid’s fingers from staying too long in the bathtub.

Caught himself. His fingers had quietly loosened as his mind wandered. After so long, his body ready to sabotage his will.

But it was lighter now. Daybreak. People would be up and moving around again.

Someone would find him.

Only a little while longer.

He tried to reshuffle his position in the water – to give his shoulders some relief.

If only he could swing up a leg – or pull up and hook an elbow.

Time had past for that. No reserves. Nothing left.

All he could do was hang on.

Not much longer he kept telling himself. Someone will see.

He wasn’t sure if he imagined the sound – by now his vision was as white and pickled as his skin.

A shadow. Sounds? Did he imagine the sounds?

 “Are you OK? Exactly how long have you been in there hanging on to the rim of the dog’s water bowl?”

“If you don’t mind,” whispered the exhausted lizard, “a little lift would be greatly appreciated.”

“Coming right up!”

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Small lizard sunning on pot (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Edgy lizard lounge. Rim shot. (© image)

Small lizard sunning himself on solar cell (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

The lizard kingdom a few hours later. Not sure why, but they all love to surf the solar cells. They get charged up over it.(© image)

March 22, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hazy thinkin’. Smokin’ opportunities

Woman struggling. King Kong 1933 French movie poster. RKO Radio Pictures/Roland Coudon/USPD . pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Many were about to suggest this as a plan Tuesday morning.(King Kong 1933 French movie poster/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wondered if they finally had resorted to tossing in fair maidens into the flames. The sky was cloudless and so blue. 

It’s been a little like Keystone Cops since 9:30 am Sunday morning when a guy in a pickup truck called in the 911 about a huge fire at the ITC tank farm in Deer Park. (What? 30 company employees on site and not one noticed?)

News conferences featured an ITC spokeswoman, who repeatedly and endlessly thanked everyone for their support (like a kid saying “Goodnight, Moon” to every darn thing in his room to avoid going to bed) rather than giving precise information. “Oh, this is about as harmful as a grass fire or your grilling ashes….but do not touch any of those palm sized ashes on the ground or cars. Call us…” (You have to worry about local organic farms.)

Normally when there’s a big ship channel incident, almost instantly the company’s CEO appears in person, speaking seriously – usually with a European accent. ITC’s parent company, Mitsui, is Japanese – quite diverse and with deep pockets. Guess that CEO was busy fighting other Godzillas.

When the  company hired Louisiana specialist team arrive late Monday, there was hope. Only by Tuesday morning the fire had doubled and was much, much worse – overwhelming the “specialists”. (Luckily the wind was blowing away from us). Late Tues afternoon the FEMA Incident Director in charge (What? FEMA’s usual business is handing out/rejecting forms after hurricanes. Certainly not qualified to direct petro/chemical industry fire suppression) was unceremoniously shoved stepped aside allowing the Ship Channel Mutual Aid to take command. Finally.

Vessels and tank farm under ITC fire smoke plume on Monday (Marie D. De Jesus, Houston Chronicle photographer)

Ship Channel vessels docked and tank farm not far away under ITC Deer Park fire on Monday (Marie D. De Jesus, Houston Chronicle)

By 3 am Wed. morning, the fire was quiet. Air quality was yellow “moderate” as the winds died and the particulate matter/smoke just hung there. An unexpected fireball flame-up during evening news, but in 10 min., squashed. Mutual Aid knows what they are doing.

Hazy Thurs, but we’ll take that. (Not the benzene release, though.)

Next is the analysis and excuses…like why wouldn’t they release the air quality data until almost 2 days later (“…safe for most people” and “We want to analyze the data before releasing it as we don’t want to scare people…” “And you people stop reading and writing about this fire online in blogs and on Facebook!!!” – So, of course, you know how everyone took that…)

View of industrial/chemical complexes on Houston Ship Channel viewed from Sam Houston boat tour(Thomas B. Shea)

On a normal day, tourists board the Sam Houston boat and tour the Ship Channel to see and wonder at the refineries, docks, industrial/chemical complexes along Houston Ship Channel’s banks (Thomas B. Shea)

Boats. Ocean going tanker docked on Houston Ship Channel (Thomas B. Shea)

And yes, giant ocean-going vessels share the road with leisure craft. Insisting on right of way isn’t always the smartest idea as the big ships really can’t stop or maneuver outside their deeply dredged lanes. Here’s a docked tanker docked with warehouse and tank farm behind and to the right of it. (Thomas B. Shea)

People are in such a frenzy these days about disasters and the world ending.

Over population shouldn’t be a big worry as Nature seems to calculate and move in with a plague, flu, virus, or something to manage that.

But heavy smoke and blackened sky has spelled doom before. Lacking telegraph, Facebook, or Twitter, the entire world was caught by surprise.

On April 10, 1815, Mount Tambora, (Dutch West Indies/Indonesia) erupted in one of the most powerful, most violent blast the earth has survived.

Eruptions continued for three years. There are many written accounts; even Thomas Jefferson whose crops failed, wrote about the brutal year.

Few realized at the time that the volcano’s eruptions were connected to the lack of sun, the drastic climate chill, the failure of crops world-wide and what came to be called the “Poverty Year”, the “Eighteen Hundred and  Froze To Death” and the 1816 “Year without a summer”.

Quoted from WIKI: “This brief period of significant climate triggered extreme weather and harvest failures in many areas around the world. Several climate forcings coincided and interacted in a systematic manner that has not been observed after any other large volcanic eruption since the early Stone Age. Although scientists have proven that the post-eruption climate changes and the Tambora eruption are linked, they have only an incomplete understanding of the processes involved.”

It appears we still don’t know what triggered what or the complete domino effect.

Another article: “Peculiar disaster of 1816”

Man and woman fighting. (Universal Films, 1921/Exhibitors Herald 1921-1922/USPD.pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“No, you Dunderhead. I am not volunteering.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

While humans struggled to adapt to what was beyond their understanding and control, some fields still saw advances:

  • Art: Inspired by the volcanic induced haze, dry fog, and spectacular light reflecting particle sunsets, J.M.W. Turner’s paintings are lauded for his shimmering, atmospheric studies of light. He became the  vanguard of English painting and strongly influenced impressionist artists, particularly Monet,  in France.
  • Transportation:  Unable to grow crops meant no feed for horses. During this time, German inventor Baron Karl Drais started working on horseless transportation. His invention of the Draisine or the Velocipede, moved people towards mechanized personal transport.
  • Population shift towards the American Heartland:  Crop failures in the Eastern seaboard states sent large numbers of people/desperate farm families searching for a better climate, richer soil, and better growing conditions. They moved to western New York and to the Territory to the Northwest of the River Ohio (Areas basically included everything east of the Mississippi from New Orleans to Canada. Much of which was occupied by Native Americans, so conflicts increased.)
  • Social equality: Lawrence Goldman, British historian, studied the migration into the western and central regions of New York where there was a great religious awakening which was quite fervent. He concluded social /cultural changes can be traced to people’s response to the disaster.  The “Burned-over district” of religious revival was a hot bed of reform movements including those for women’s rights, abolishing slavery, and utopian societies.
  • Founding of new religious community. Vermont lost a huge number of residents seeking a better life. Joseph Smith’s family moved into the Burned-over District where he had a spiritual wakening and after a series of events he wrote and published the Book of Mormon, and the founded of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
  • Literature:  June, 1816, was a terrible Spring Break and summer vacation for Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John W. Polidori who were stuck inside at a villa overlooking Lake Geneva.  These writers produced some classic scary stories during a contest: Frankenstein (The Modern Prometheus) By Mary,  “A Fragment” by Byron (which became Polidori’s inspiration for “The Vampire” which preceded “Dracula”), and the poem “Darkness” also by Byron.
  • Agriculture:  Having experienced famine as a child in Germany, Justus von Liebig became a chemist who studied plant nutrition and introduced mineral fertilizers.

Maybe we’re looking at disasters all wrong. Possibly great opportunities instead.

Be the Mary, or Karl, or Justus.

Be the Little Red Hen and not Henny Penny/ Chicken Little or the peeps who are clucking things up.

As always,

Any day you wake up is a good day. (Wisdom offered from an old farm boy and ancient relative)

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Adapt or die.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Postcard with bears, geysers, Yellowstone (TIchnor Bro./ USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commona.wikimedia.org

If Yellowstone’s supervolcano erupts, then immigration will be the least of our worries. Read the what if it happens here. More speculation from Nat. Geo. here.(USPD/Commona.wikimedia.org

 

March 18, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hang over

Fire at tank farm in Deer Park (KHOU screenshot)

Not planned St. Patrick’s Day fireworks Sunday night (KHOU screenshot)

The day after, Irish eyes are not smiling

The farm’s on fire. No, not a potato farm. Keep up here. We farm tanks. No, not the army kind.

Really. If you can’t keep up with the erratic here, you’ll never manage O’Rourke’s presidential run.

 Nothing like the smell of diesel fumes in the morning – with a hint of xyeens. You know like xylene.

Sunday a storage vessel holding naphtha (a component in gasoline) caught fire at a chemical storage facility/ tank farm not far from here. Odd, because the tanks have redundant safety components, but things rust/corrode in this climate, seals deteriorate, and there’s always human error (who’s watching the gauges today?) Still a rare incident. Normally the product is either left to burn out or drained off – and it’s over.

And that was the plan last night. But this tank was in the middle of 15 or so, and when I checked this morning the fire had spread to 3 others, and now 7 are burning. Not controlled, but they seem confident additional tanks will be kept cool and safe.

Bubble Bubble(News video screenshot)

Not your ordinary stove top cooking.(News video screenshot)

Great. Out of sailing habit, we notice which way the wind is blowing, but with fire, especially chemical/petrochemical facilities along the ship channel east of us, we keep track of what up in the air. It’s not the stuff you see or smell that is dangerous, but the invisible fumes.

What is burning has been Naphtha, Xylene, Toluene. Although the air levels are safe, there are possible health hazards for the delicate. (read about that here)

Smoke in sky from tank fire Monday (© image, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Sky decor on Monday morning’s dog walk.(© image)

Before you start snorting about the environmental damage,  it’s partly your fault (HAHA – insert laugh there)

Like nail salons? Then you love chemical complexes and tank farms

The tank farm chemical components are destined for fingernail polish remover, solvents, glues, paints, machine lubricants, printing company necessities.

Toluene, actually a natural as it comes from the tolu tree as well as from crude oil, is used to make coke from coal used during manufacturing products like fabrics, dyes, assorted plastic “must haves.”

The ship channel – so much “waterfront property” here – is lined with chemical plants, petrochemical plants, tank storage, docking for massive tankers and ocean-going ships. All for you! You’re welcome.

Smoke from tank farm fire seen from bridge (© image, copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Just over the hill? Actually it’s miles away – just a huge smoke plume.(© image)

Today, that darn ominous cloud is the worst St Patrick’s Day hangover ever. (more here ch 13 news or here Ch2 news)

Molly is miffed we are limiting outdoor time and she is not going to run wildly with friends in the field for a couple of hours (“But Mom, the pool may be open since it’s so warm. Mom!”)

Right now the winds are blowing away from us, but those will clock around the next day or so, and we’ll pay attention.

Interesting not one little peep from any source about what started the first tank’s fire. That’s very odd and unusual.

Certainly a hot time in the old town tonight…and for several nights

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Bird on dock. (©Copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Local resident grounded and docked until all clear.(© image)

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