A Different Apple

Apples are hanging heavy on our apple trees, although their numbers have been greatly diminished by a series of storms interspersed with very hot weather. The apple tree which holds pride of place, in the middle of our garden, is of a local variety. Or at least, local in the sense that my late neighbor,…

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Late Harvest

If you’ve ever felt the need to get to know your champagne from the ground up, now is your chance – the Champagne region started the annual grape harvest this past week, the latest start in over a decade. A late and cold spring, hailstorms and rain led to vineyards problems like coulure, unpollinated flowers…

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Drinking, Water and Sand

I’ve been looking at some recent and major water discoveries, here and elsewhere, and for me, they are all part of the same story. When we talk about life, we talk about water. Red Water The fine dust of the Martian planet surface, gathered, cooked and analyzed by Curiosity, has revealed itself to be “acting…

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Cerumen Core Archives

A group of researchers recently published the interesting approach of examining a large plug of ear wax (cerumen) taken from a male blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) that had been hit by ship. By analyzing the waxy layers built up over the whale’s life, which they compare to growth rings in trees, they came up with…

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Space Salad

Most science fiction notions of humans living in space, at least the ones that aren’t all white-walled and minimalistic, involve at least one image something like this: NASA announced that later this year, the International Space Station will, for the first time, practice space farming. Six heads of romaine lettuce, to be exact, grown in…

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Wolf Trap

I was sitting in a very inviting pub the other day, The Rusty Bike, enjoying a plate of locally caught fish and a glass of wine, when the conversation at the next table turned to the real differences between wolves and dogs. What was interesting about the conversation wasn’t its conclusions – because there weren’t…

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Summer Farewell

A walk during the last evening of summer on the Autumn Equinox. The images aren’t as sharp as they could be, much like my memories of this long season. Welcome autumn, season of harvest and provision, of warm golden days and crisp evenings. A favorite season, the season of new seeds ready to be hardened…

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Garlands of Hops

Over at the Fat Pig Freehouse in Exeter, UK, the place is draped in long garlands of fresh hops, green and fragrant. The Fat Pig is a homey pub, no televisions, no sports, all food locally sourced and freshly made in the kitchen. It claims to be Exeter’s first brewery pub, with a spanking new…

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Sticky Stories

When I started out today, I had planned on writing a peppy post on the use of bees to monitor pollution around European airports. It’s an upbeat story that pops up from time to time in the news. This week, it was Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague. Over the past couple of years, several airports…

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Seasonal Spiral

Summer doesn’t officially end in the Northern Hemisphere until September 22 this year. But as it is my official back-to-work day after a very long summer, I thought I’d put this Jim Denevan beach spiral up to remind myself that the tide that washes away also brings renewal and a fresh start.

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