We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Controlled harvesting of eastern America's Diamondback Terrapin continues today. It's a wonder to me, because I know nobody who eats them. This handsome turtle of salt marshes and brackish estuaries lives from MA to Texas, but is endangered in some states.
They eat snails, small mollusks, and crustaceans like crabs and fiddler crabs that they crush with their beaks. Fish, if they can catch 'em. They only leave the water to lay eggs. They sometimes get ensnared in crab pots and drown.
Whenever we went to Chinatown when I was young, I would always bring a box and some money to buy as many of the terrapins that I could afford from the big crates full of them on the sidewalk. I think they were $5 apiece. I would release them in a couple of good salt marshes in CT. My Dad would chip in a bit for the cause.
Readers know we love our turtles at Maggie's, except we do not love Snapping Turtles. I once stepped on the back of one in a marsh, thinking it was a mossy rock. Big surprise when it moved and a long neck with an open, hissing mouth shot out. It's time I did a post on them, though, unloveable as they are.
- For starters, the view from our deck (photo above)
- Our pup, despite age, is still able to fully enjoy exploring the salt marshes and Cape Cod woods. Half-blind and deaf, but nose still works well. For the first time, we would not let him swim with us. His arthritis is terrible and his athletic endurance is limited. He would probably drown.
- While hiking on the Audubon land, we were lucky to come across the hatching of a nest of Diamondback Terrapins. 12 tiny ones pushing up through the sand at the same time. A first, for me. They emerge from the sand, blink a few times, then scamper for cover as if their life depended on it. Which it does. I took photos, but my camera died before I could download them. A dead Lumix with quite a few good pics in its memory. Maybe I can get them from the memory card.
- Wild highbush blueberries. Blueberries are native to North America. There are two wild forms, the lowbush types of the far north and the highbush of more temperate climates. Wild highbush berries are less than half the size of commercial berries, and darker, sometimes almost black. Somebody is farming wild highbush. Expensive. Taste brings me back to my youth of berry-picking in the woods. Mom tied strings through holes in metal coffee cans, painted our names on them, put the strings over our necks and sent us out to fill the cans. We had to let the little sibs climb on our backs to reach the high berries.
- Outdoor calisthenics in salty air and piney woods. About one hour, every morning at 630 or 7. Best way to begin a day of physical activity.
- A car. Friends visited with their older Audi S4 with a V8. Now I want one. Makes a fine sound.
- Blueberry pancakes at The Lighthouse, and dozens of Wellfleet Oysters everywhere we ate. At least 6 dozen, probably more. And the Steamers and Lobster festive supper I made for Mrs. BD's birthday party. Always good to have so much family around. Always buy large lobsters.
- With ocean temps pushing the high 60s, you could body surf until fatigued. Nothing better. Some Great Whites around, but the lifeguards let you know when they spot them. Heck, they would probably grab a little kid out there before they would grab you...
This is a rattler of the central US, ranging from Ontario to Mexico and generally preferring grasslands and marshes. I have never seen one, but I have never searched for snakes in the central US. However, I once came across a DeKay's Snake in central Ohio on a hike. Took a photo. The field biologist said they had never been recorded in central Ohio so I guess I made history in a small way.
Have you ever seen a Massasauga? This guy is well-camouflaged in the grasses. It is good not to be a mouse.
This pattern goes back to the selling of the Lincoln bedroom. Friends, this is abnormal. I think it is racketeering at the least. Unsurprisingly, the MSM has played no role in exposing Clinton corruption.
This is not an argument for Donald Trump. As I have said before, I think Clintonian morals are already baked in the cake. It would be newsworthy if they did something honest and unselfish.
The era of the stock-picker - those without inside info - is past. Or mostly-past. If you get lucky or smart and ride a big wave of a single equity, good for you. More likely, you would not gamble enough on it to make a big difference. Today, retail investors are the muppets of the big money world. I know, because I am a muppet.
There was a time when teacher unions were on the cutting edge of reform, and it would be a mistake now not to recognize those accomplishments, and not to understand the good reasons many people still have to support them. But the future of our schools isn’t more of the same: more big box, one-size-fits-all cookie cutter educational institutions in which everybody moves at the same pace through the machine. As the American economy changes, our schools must change too. Big box schools prepare people for big box jobs: in government bureaucracies, in bureaucratic stable corporations, on jobs for life assembly lines.
We are going to need schools that are focused on preparing kids both intellectually and socially for very different lives than their grandparents led. Among other things, this means that we don’t want the next generation to spend most of its formative years under the guidance of people who have been socialized into the jobs for life in behemoth institutions.
The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like The New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.
Indeed, no foreign enemy, no terror group, no native criminal gang, suffers the daily beating that Trump does. The mad mullahs of Iran, who call America the Great Satan and vow to wipe Israel off the map, are treated gently by comparison.
Re-linking E.O. Wilson's wonderful essay Trailhead. He begins:
The Trailhead Queen was dead. At first, there was no overt sign that her long life was ending: no fever, no spasms, no farewells. She simply sat on the floor of the royal chamber and died. As in life, her body was prone and immobile, her legs and antennae relaxed. Her stillness alone failed to give warning to her daughters that a catastrophe had occurred for all of them. She lay there, in fact, as though nothing had happened. She had become a perfect statue of herself. While humans and other vertebrates have an internal skeleton surrounded by soft tissue that quickly rots away, ants are encased in an external skeleton; their soft tissues shrivel into dry threads and lumps, but their exoskeletons remain, a knight’s armor fully intact long after the knight is gone. Hence the workers were at first unaware of their mother’s death. Her quietude said nothing, and the odors of her life, still rising from her, signalled, I remain among you. She smelled alive.