Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘sun

Sun Rises

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Today marks the return of Standard Time for most people in the U.S. but the sun paid no attention. The earth and sun did nothing unusual to change our circadian rhythms today.

Cyndie captured this image a few minutes before the sun appeared. It didn’t matter to the universe what time our clocks were set to read.

We will reconcile the adjustment to an apparent hour-earlier darkness because we must. Society has yet to reconcile our differing opinions about changing clocks twice a year, but science appears to be leaning toward the conclusion that better health and well-being is possible by eliminating the bi-annual clock adjustment and maintaining Standard Time year-round.
 (Ref: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0748730419854197)

I have a good friend who never hesitates to remind me how much he likes that we adjust the clocks twice a year to alter the daylight for our routine activities. He is not alone, which explains why the repeated debates arise twice every year in the spring and fall yet nothing seems to come of it.

It’s not the kind of thing that we can each just choose for ourselves. It’s a lot like our national leadership. Independents don’t hold much sway in our two-party system and we can’t each choose to follow our own preferred President. We need to function in a system whether we agree with it or not.

The sun and the earth don’t care either way. For some reason, I find solace in that. Knowing the universe pays no heed to our trifling clock settings helps me cope with a system to which I disagree.

It hasn’t helped as well with tolerating national leadership that shows no interest in helping shift us away from abusing the planet to everyone’s detriment. I suspect the universe will have the last laugh in that contest.

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Written by johnwhays

November 3, 2019 at 11:05 am

Embracing Uncertainty

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Noticeable change happens again. The industrial influence on our morphing climate notwithstanding, change is always ongoing. It is a matter of degree and a relative measurement.

At one point, geologists thought continents drifted. Now it is recognized that tectonic plates are in a constant state of interaction. Astronomers figure the days are numbered for our sun, putting the beginning of the end somewhere in the range of only a few billion years.

Some people once thought the earth was flat, even though it wasn’t. I expect there are people who may have thought Saturn would always have rings around it, or at least, for the foreseeable future.

Two headlines in my Science news feed caught my attention yesterday and triggered this thought exercise about our perceptions of a dynamic universe from a static frame of mind.

New research is confirming the theory that Saturn’s iconic rings are temporary. The particles are “raining” down onto the planet, pulled by gravity. Saturn could become ringless within 300 million years, or sooner!

Meanwhile, scientists have discovered a new, and most distant object in our solar system. Who ever thought we actually knew how many planets there were?

Guess where this line from yesterday’s list poem came from?:

• Take care about ever being too certain.

Closer to home, Cyndie and I are trying to figure out how both of us lost consciousness around a simple act of returning a bucket to the house from the barn. On Sunday, we took a few minutes out to catch a couple of the Buff Orpingtons and clean their butt feathers. I hold the hens while Cyndie wields a variety of tools and tricks to reclaim feathers from a stinky mess.

After that, we tended to horse chores and then headed back to the house. Cyndie asked me to carry up a bucket of things, and one or the other of us (we are no longer sure who) had Delilah on a leash.

Two days later, in what seemed another world away, Cyndie asked me what I did with that bucket and the stuff that was in it. This many days removed, my first thought was, “What bucket?” I honestly had zero recollection of what she was referring to.

What had I done?

Slowly, I began to recall carrying the bucket up. It seemed to me that I was at dual purposes, and set the bucket down —on the front steps?— to do something other than going into the house. I suspected it was continuing to walk Delilah, but now we can’t be sure who had the dog.

Why would she have asked me to carry the bucket, other than because she was taking the dog for the extra walk?

Since I regained memory of having carried the bucket and its undefined contents up to the house, I figured I must have set it somewhere simple. Tuesday night, I looked in the garage, but didn’t see it in the most likely spot to temporarily set something.

As I stepped to the door back inside, the bucket came into view. It was empty and someone other than me (who could that be?) had placed it beside the indoor steps to the house.

Cyndie has no memory of having done so, thus her headlamp and face mask that she thinks were in the bucket remain mysteriously lost.

What is it with us and losing headlamps lately?

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Gulf Coast

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Our day at the beach…

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Written by johnwhays

February 26, 2018 at 7:00 am

No Snow

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No snow here.

We hear that’s not the case back home.

Our return flight leaves tonight. We expect to be back to the Edina house late, where we will spend the night before facing our Monday responsibilities and then each driving home at separate times to witness the final weekend accumulation first hand.

I’ll remember this Gulf view while I’m plowing.

Truth be told, I’m actually looking forward to the task. You can take the fool away from the cold and snow, but you can’t change his love of returning to it.

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Written by johnwhays

February 25, 2018 at 7:53 am

Popcorn Showers

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DSCN4811eCyndie described her day at the ranch yesterday as a series of 5 or 10 minute downpours separated by periods of bright sunshine. The weather was notably unstable from dawn to dusk. I drove into an incredibly dramatic cloud formation on the way to work at dawn, stopping for gas just as the first cool gusts of the front swept in.

With the sun barely clearing the horizon behind me, the way it shone on the high roiling clouds was both eery and inspiring. A rainbow appeared straight ahead, looking more like a vertical stripe than a bow, and no, I didn’t get a picture of it. I was driving!

I checked the weather radar when I got to work and saw that there wasn’t much substance to the blob of precipitation. At the time, it looked like that would be it. Later in the day, when someone at work mentioned it was suddenly raining outside, I pulled up the radar image again. Our region was dotted with a countless number of popcorn showers. Evidence that supported the first-hand account I received from Cyndie when I got home.

DSCN4812eDuring my return commute, I briefly considered the possibility of getting on the mower before dinner, to get ahead of the dramatic grass growth happening now. Two days after cutting it, the place begins to look like it has fallen to neglect. Luckily, my tired eyes pulled rank and kept me from doing anything productive. It saved me getting soaked by a surprisingly intense cloudburst about a half hour later.

Right on schedule, the clouds moved past and the bright sunshine returned. It made the roof shingles look like they were on fire. Smoky swirls of steam rolled down over the eave.

I can’t think of a better formula to make the grass grow even faster than it already was.

Maybe I should be looking into getting a bigger engine for our lawn tractor.

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Written by johnwhays

June 7, 2016 at 6:00 am

Growing Green

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DSCN4603eWe don’t even recognize this brave creature that has sprouted from the earth at an alarming rate of growth in the last week. I am amazed that it is doing so despite our frequent harsh returns to winter. This beauty is exploding forth with a surprising rate of growth whenever it sees more than a few minutes of warm sunshine.

Cyndie says she has a little sign downstairs in a bag that would tell us what it is, but she doesn’t remember off-hand.

When the weather isn’t snowing and freezing, which it has done overnight more times than not lately, the green growing things have been reaching for the sky. The ground is so saturated with water that I shudder at the thought of trying to drive my lawn tractor over the grass, but it is quickly threatening to get long enough to deserve mowing.

Reminds me of the annual dilemma we face with our hay-field. We would like to cut it before it gets so overgrown that the stems get too woody, but when that maturity is developing, the ground is usually still too wet to drive on.

Also, when the tall hay growth gets cut and is laying on the ground for a couple of days to dry, it doesn’t work so well to have the ground be still saturated.

Here is a worm’s-eye view of the back yard that will need cutting soon at the rate it is growing. I wonder what it is like to try mowing a lawn that still has snow on it…

DSCN4605e.

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Written by johnwhays

April 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

Warm Rays

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When I left for work yesterday morning, there was actually less snow on the driveway than when we walked down to the barn the night before to check on the horses. The pavement was warm enough that it was melting from the bottom up. When the sun came up, the snow began to vanish. We had about 8 inches of accumulation and it barely lasted 24 hours.

From the labyrinth cam…

M2E1L0-0R336B386

M2E95L174-174R392B362

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M2E127L237-237R392B382

M2E127L244-244R392B382

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M2E127L245-245R392B382

M2E83L156-156R399B369

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Astute observers may notice the fantastic jump in temperature recorded by the trail camera. Seems the direct sunlight against the trunk of the tree and the plastic of the camera body creates a significant amplification of the air temp. I’m pretty sure it didn’t reach 89° (F) here yesterday afternoon.

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Written by johnwhays

March 25, 2016 at 7:40 am

Posted in Chronicle

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