Waiting for the Snowpocalypse

A humongous storm is supposedly coming. I feel more than a little like I’m waiting for Godot.

a country road
a country road
a tree
a tree

Nothing to be done.

We’re supposed to get 3-5 inches of the fluffy stuff. One can only hope. I was about to practice on my bike, but the sleet started.

First day of winter in Alabama.

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The first day of winter was warm and foggy this year. It lent itself to great atmospheric pictures, if you like that sort of thing. It’s the sort of weather where even mundane dirt roads take on a Tolkienesque touch of mystery.

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The lake is still out for the winter, but with the rain, back up to a normal pool. There’s a mudbank out there, but most of it is underwater.

dsc_0086The racoons still enjoyed it.

Lookout Mountain, Golden Colorado.

While making a flying visit out west for various personal reasons, I had a chance to drive up to the top of Lookout Mountain near Golden Colorado. I had to be a tad careful on the road up the mountain as it is a popular (and dashed strenuous) bicycle ride. Wild Bill Hickock and his wife’s graves are at the top, but I didn’t feel like paying the $5 admission to the museum.

The views are fantastic.

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This shows Golden, the Coors plant, and the Table Mesas. If you look carefully, you can see traces of the K-T boundary in the South Mesa (right hand one). They’re about as far down from the bottom of the cliff as the top is up.  It’s a line in the vegetation where the discontinuity traps water or lets the roots grow deeper.

dsc_0058 Denver
dsc_0063 Wild Bill’s grave.
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More views.

We did a bit of pub-crawling – which means something else when you’re walking this far from town to try the Cannonball Creek brewery.
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The view from the Brewery back into Golden

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A town scene. Historic means something else in the American west. Coming from the east where buildings are a touch older and knowing the UK pretty well – where things are truly old – I found this disorientating.

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A wild sunflower.

 

(and by the way – a liter engined car is perfectly fine in the mountains – don’t let the rental people upsell you.)

Loneliness

The Deer are browsing the acorns and getting ready for the winter.

Trumbull Stickney, 1874 – 1904

These autumn gardens, russet, gray and brown,
The sward with shrivelled foliage strown,
The shrubs and trees
By weary wings of sunshine overflown
And timid silences,—

Since first you, darling, called my spirit yours,
Seem happy, and the gladness pours
From day to day,
And yester-year across this year endures
Unto next year away.

Now in these places where I used to rove
And give the dropping leaves my love
And weep to them,
They seem to fall divinely from above,
Like to a diadem

Closing in one with the disheartened flowers.
High up the migrant birds in showers
Shine in the sky,
And all the movement of the natural hours
Turns into melody.

The Drought

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the drought this fall has been the difficulty of taking good pictures of the wildlife. It’s worse for the wildlife – at least I have food and water – but there aren’t the normal plethora of fall flowers and butterflies.

The featured image shows a neat spider.

dsc_0246 It’s been an insane year, spring flooding, followed by extreme heat and now dry.

 

 

 

Normally by now we’d have seen things like these:

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I hope it’s better soon.

A Visit to the Asylum (School’s started)

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892 – 1950

Once from a big, big building,
When I was small, small,
The queer folk in the windows
Would smile at me and call.
And in the hard wee gardens
Such pleasant men would hoe:
“Sir, may we touch the little girl’s hair!”—
It was so red, you know.
They cut me coloured asters
With shears so sharp and neat,
They brought me grapes and plums and pears
And pretty cakes to eat.
And out of all the windows,
No matter where we went,
The merriest eyes would follow me
And make me compliment.
There were a thousand windows,
All latticed up and down.
And up to all the windows,
When we went back to town,
The queer folk put their faces,
As gentle as could be;
“Come again, little girl!” they called, and I
Called back, “You come see me!”

The madhouse of university instruction has started again. Idiot administrators, daft students, and struggling faculty. I’m counting the days.

There may be chaos still around the world

George Santayana

There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
I heed them not; or if the subtle night
Haunt me with deities I never saw,
I soon mine eyelid’s drowsy curtain draw
To hide their myriad faces from my sight.
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.

convergenceto Chaos means something more specific to the mathematically inclined. This little picture shows the pattern of convergence for the complex roots of (X^3-1) with Newton’s method. The colour shows which root was found for each starting point. There’s nothing that vaguely resembles a continuous boundary between regions. (The picture’s left-handed – the Red is X = 1.)