Archive for the ‘nature photography’ Category

Friday nature blogging

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Lovers and dreamers and me

Lovers and dreamers and me
What’s at the end?

With this post, Deep Blade Journal ceases publication. I’ve been mulling this decision for a long time now. I can’t keep this thing going by myself any more. People I have tried to engage in writing for this blog in order to help me build it just have not been inspired. In the last several weeks, I’ve had a ton of posts in mind. Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan–all of the places where events are streaming like they’re coming out of a flame thrower–could use a great deal of anti-imperial analysis that just isn’t happening within the empire’s media systems (including in many so-called liberal blogs). But there just doesn’t seem to be enough traffic here to warrant me continuing to try to provide that analysis.

I may post HERE at times. However, one of my greatest disappointments blogging is the public reaction to THIS (also posted HERE). That reaction was a big fat nothing. I asked the hundreds of people involved in the March actions to “think this through…, and arrive at some positions and then focus and maximize our organizing power.”

Guess what? Nobody came to my posts and indicated that they had thought it through much. Then not entirely unexpectedly, the Democrats folded before the highly unpopular Bush. War funding continues, and will continue apace. This empty thud really illustrated for me how much time I have been wasting trying to hammer things out in this medium. Realize that I am not blaming others here for not responding as I had envisioned. I’m just realizing that I am not using my own time most effectively if I really want to help organize the next steps needed to end this war.

This brings us to the Horse Race that will obsess bloggers for the next 18 months running up to election 2008. I’m not going to waste my time on that either. Obviously, various factions of the ruling class dearly want to acquire the US presidency after Bush. But we must realize that working for a Democrat means accepting ruling class prerogatives. I can’t make that compromise and live with myself any more.

We can elect all of the Democrats we want. They’ll tell us, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did on March 23, that they are acting to end the war. But that is an obvious charade. The politicians are in a full-gallop retreat away from public opinion, and the common discourse is about making sure the public does not understand what is really going on. The only real choices in the field all must incant the canonical texts of those ruling class prerogatives in order to receive funding. Hence, “all options” must be “on the table” with respect to relations with Iran, for example. Certainly valid arguments exist that a Democrat winning would be “better” than a Republican. But the fundamental nature of US empire and ruling-class domination will not change.

So what are the prospects for Iraq? First, general US public opinion will remain totally irrelevant to the warmakers. The US has acquired Iraq and it will stay there until an essential component of the imperial project, the US military for example, breaks down completely. That day may be many years away. Meanwhile, the recently-escalated program of bombing the Iraqis into submission will go on, and on, and on. Well into the next administration for sure. They’re gonna keep Iraq come hell or high water because it’s an ultra-strategic imperial asset. If Democrats and Republicans have to talk Terror War to keep the public scared enough to retreat into the happier places inside their televisions and their Wal Marts then that’s what they’ll do. It seems to have worked so far.

I will try to keep adding to, the podcasting site that accompanies this one. I have a ton of material collected over the last few months that I have intended to post there. But apart from a few very good friends who are very, very generous people, is not generating enough interest that would seem to justify its existence either. But a decision on that will wait for another day.

With that, this blog is over.

Friday nature blogging

Friday, May 11th, 2007

Garden/nature feature re-launches today

Baltimore oriole

Patience pays off

Friday garden blogging will be called Friday nature blogging this year. The past week revealed some splendid summer-like weather. It is turning into the best May in three years, the last two being plagued by interminable stretches of rain.

It took over an hour to get the picture–gives me great appreciation for good wildlife photographers.

Friday garden blogging

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Signs of spring


Frankly it’s been a depressing week. There was a HUGE storm that wandered in here late Sunday and didn’t really get out until midday Wednesday. We got off lucky, just about 100 mm (3.8 in.) of rain over 48 hours and winds hitting 90 km/hr. In southern Maine, it was much, much worse, with $20 million in damage and some people still without power.

Things are looking up, however, so it’s a good time for Friday Garden Blogging to return. It’s like a switch was thrown–a warm 20 degrees C today, and maybe 25 or more by Monday. Unlimited sunshine to warm the ground.

And the HOPE Festival is tomorrow!

Next week, forsythia?

Slushball storm postpones anti-war events

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Bangor Daily News leads today with a stellar anti-war editorial!

A Maine slushball
15 cm of snow followed by 5 cm of rain with ice in between postpones Saturday protests

Today was going to be a day of over 100 anti-war demonstrations throughout the state of Maine, some large some small. The big storm pushed events in most places to Sunday. The Bangor event (one of the large ones) now will occur Sunday at 1pm next to the Paul Bunyan statue on Main Street. Full details at the Every Village Green website HERE.

Some places did hold their events today. Reports HERE.

Meanwhile, the Bangor Daily News has a positively smashing lead editorial today!

Bring the peace
By BDN Staff
Saturday, March 17, 2007 – Bangor Daily News

If all goes well today [and now Sunday], thousands of Mainers will gather on village greens to protest the war in Iraq, just as protesters are gathering in Washington to recreate the 1967 march on the Pentagon that marked the turning of public opinion on Vietnam. We hope their voices are strong and their message is heard. But “Stop the war” can’t be the only message. “Bring the peace” deserves even more support because with it comes the victory of lives saved in Iraq.

Four years into the Iraq war, the Bush administration’s original justifications for fighting have drifted away, with the falsity of the weapons of mass destruction claim exposed and the reality of Saddam Hussein dead, and been replaced with a grinding fight it didn’t properly anticipate. The public frustration and anger are understandable…


The editorial concludes that Congress “must make peace as vigorously as it was willing to let the president make war.” Bravo, BDN!

This editorial follows excellent news coverage the last few days. THIS STORY on the Every Village Green project was great:

[Ron] Greenberg was drawn to active protest of the Iraq war by what he said was the lack of responsiveness from Maine’s two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Letters expressing his concerns about the war drew no response from the two legislators, he said.

“I got no response at all. I was just ignored. That’s what got me so upset,” he said. “I got the sense that they were just rolling their eyes. I felt insulted as a citizen.”

Frustration led him to Snowe’s office in Bangor last summer where he and 10 others were arrested, which, in turn, led to a Bangor protest that drew several thousand people from all over Maine.

“They were frustrated and angry, and happy to have an outlet,” he said.

It was during that protest that Greenberg thought about people unable to make the trip to Bangor.

He came up with the Every Village Green concept.

Momentum. Let’s hope this hopeful thrust to stop this war continues to grow.

Friday garden blogging

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Fairly big snowstorm

snow 2-16-2007

About 20 cm fell Wednesday

It’s been a fairly dry, cold period since mid-January. The snow was nice to get, nothing like the scary amounts that visited New York state and other places.

I f@#$%d up my back. By shoveling snow? No. I was bending over to put something in a waste basket.

Things break down. This old car is not road worthy right now. The alternator is seized, the control arm bushings are shot, and the radiator is bad. Just like my back.

Friday Garden Blogging

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Pretty snow!

Winter is here.

Winter arrived last weekend with a good 15 cm snowfall on Saturday. The temperature took a dive to low of about -23 C by midweek. Now that’s winter! Actually colder than it’s been around here since 2005. Today, about 10 cm more snow came down, icy this time.

The bird feeder is out. So far, I’ve seen cardinals, chickadees, and juncos grabbing seeds out there.

Update: I changed the incorrect unit labels to cm from mm.

Friday Garden Blogging

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Dry and cold


The big change this week is it’s gotten cold, sort of (-11C overnight, -7C during the day). This is almost laughable, considering -10C “cold” for this time of year. Where is the -20C or -30C that we should be getting by now?

In other news, Friday Garden Blogging is now on hiatus until there is some pretty snow on a Friday.

Friday Garden Blogging

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Winter solstice

Dusk at 3:45pm

Outdoor laundry on winter solstice?

Seen in the neighborhood, reindeer family

I love the long shadow from the clothesline pole at noontime. It is quite notable that this year we have no snow on the first full day of winter. A pretty good rainstorm is due tomorrow, after several days of near-picnic weather.

Friday Garden Blogging

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Finally a little snow

First snow cover

Finds in ground still not frozen

Thursday was remarkable. The temperature broke 10 C and I dug for carrots again, finding a bunch. This seems ridiculous to me in northern December. Then a blanket of wet snow overnight came and an icy wind moved through, sending the thermometer down to -10 C. But spring-like weather is supposed to return by Sunday.

Friday Garden Blogging

Friday, December 1st, 2006


Fending off the darkness

Brief, powerful storm passes through

Solstice is approaching, and so is my fiftieth year. December roars in with the sounds of a really big, fast thunderstorm tearing through southern Maine about 8:30 this evening. This house just shook. Looks like all the trees are intact, though.

More seasonable weather will return now, after almost two weeks of very warm conditions. It felt almost tropical last night.