Archive for October, 2008

[Remote] Birth Coaching

Greetings from Wisconsin! I’m working on-site this week and it’s been quite busy. Wisconsin, as always, is beautiful, but I haven’t had time to take any pictures of the countryside. BUT I do have one Wisconsin picture to share. This one is from my cell phone. It’s for my friend Jodi who went into labor with her second child this morning!

Encouraging Jodi from 1000 miles away!

It turns out it is difficult to take a picture of yourself while holding up a pad of paper with a message on it. I had to make use of my chin to pull it off.

And just in case you are wondering– little Chloe Elisabeth was born a couple of hours after the picture was taken. I hear both mother and daughter are doing well!!! 🙂

October 29, 2008 at 11:04 pm 2 comments

links for 2008-10-27

October 27, 2008 at 2:30 pm 2 comments

Kelly’s Knob Tree – Not Dead

One of the trees I highlighted in the Cavity Filling post was a tree right at the top of Kelly’s Knob. That tree is so hollow and so riddled with holes that when I placed the “Kelly’s Knob Cache” geocache at the top, I strongly considered putting it in THAT tree.

Furthermore, most of the time I went up there, it was winter or early spring, before the leaves were out. I had just assumed the tree was dead. But August 2007 I was up there and lo and behold! That tree is very much alive.

How I usually see the tree – April 21, 2007

That tree has leaves! – August 18, 2007

More pictures of Kelly’s Knob from various visits are available on my Flickr site.

October 24, 2008 at 8:00 am 7 comments

links for 2008-10-23

October 23, 2008 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

Koosh Balls in Nature!

Last weekend I went hiking with both dogs (Henry’s first real hike since his leg injury!) in Douthat State Park. On the Blue Suck Falls Trail, I got introduced to a new fungus. The scientific name is Hericium erinaceus. Like fern fronds (a.k.a. fiddleheads), the fungus has a bunch of common names based on its appearance such as “Lion’s Mane Mushroom” and “Hedgehog Mushroom”. Until I was enlightened, I called it something else entirely.

I called it the “Koosh ball fungus”.

My Koosh ball fungus from Douthat State Park

Perusing Flickr, it looks like I’m not the only one who has spotted Koosh ball dopplegängers in nature! And these copycats are diverse. With my mushroom, the Plantae, Animalia and Fungi kingdoms are all represented. A variety of habitats are accounted for as well- tropical, underwater and even deserts.

Here are a few of the Koosh ball impersonators, courtesy of Creative Commons:

“koosh?” by Brenda Anderson

“Nature’s Koosh Ball” by mattsabo17

“koosh ball tree” by orphanjones

“It looks like a Koosh!” by skyfall

“Koosh” by omiksemaj

“looks like a koosh ball” by whalt

“au naturale koosh® ball” by druid labs

“Artichoke flower” by Erik++ (The description reads “It kind of looks like a koosh ball”)

And finally—

“smokey @ 5.37p” by yatta (The description reads “Her famous koosh ball impression.”)

Yup. I do believe this is cause for another Flickr group. 🙂

October 23, 2008 at 12:43 am 5 comments

links for 2008-10-22

October 22, 2008 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

Lion in a Bathtub

This picture is from the Wisconsin Historical Society. It was taken sometime between 1875 – 1940 (They narrowed it down to a mere 65 years).

Circus Lion in a Bathtub (Photo by Wisconsin Historical Society)

Lions are a member of the felidae family and are more closely related to house cats, but this picture sure has me fooled. The lion’s face and posture looks identical to my dogs when they have to get a bath!

10/22/2008 Edit:
Per my sister’s request, here are comparison shots with Jimmie and Henry. I didn’t even have to turn the water on for them to adopt a dejected stance.

Jimmie in a Bathtub

Henry in a Bathtub

October 22, 2008 at 11:33 am 9 comments

links for 2008-10-21

October 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

Season Compare: Caldwell Fields

The last two weekends, I’ve been able to drive by Caldwell Fields and grab some autumn shots. Here’s Caldwell Fields over three seasons:

Caldwell Fields – March 24, 2008

Caldwell Fields – May 15, 2007

Caldwell Fields – October 12, 2008

Caldwell Fields – October 19, 2008

October 21, 2008 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Innovation at the Occoquan Craft Show

The last weekend of September, Ryan Somma, my mother and I ran down to downtown Occoquan, Virginia to check out their giant craft fair. We were far from alone. The Occoquan Craft Show is as heavily attended today as I remember it being as a child.

Lots of attendees!

My favorite episodes of Project Runway are typically the innovation episodes where the designers have to use unusual materials to make their garments. I believe witnessing the innovation of the vendors is my favorite part of the Occoquan Craft Show as well (though the food is pretty darn delicious).

This year, there were a lot of neat items to look at. Here are three of my favorites:

Percussion Frog
One stand had little frogs carved out of wood with ridges along their back. When you took a stick and ran it down the frog’s back, it made a realistic croaking sound! They also used the same concept with pigs and crickets. I liked that the different carvings produced pitches and sounds that were true to their animal inspiration.

Percussion Frogs (Photo by farleyj)

Fish Scale Flowers
This concept is not exactly new to me as I already own a fish scale flower (a beautiful yellow rose barrette that is currently somewhere in storage). Yet, I still believe this is my all-time favorite innovation I’ve seen at a craft show. Just the notion of taking something like fish scales and making them into beautiful works of art really appeals to me.

These fish scale flowers are available for purchase from (Photo by oceanlifedesigns)

Recycled Animals
Finally, there was a stand that was chock full of creativity and vision. They took bolts, tools, buckets, bicycle gears, springs, old rakes, you name it! and fashioned them into the cute animal figurines.

A menagerie of innovative animals (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Cranes/Herons made out of rakes! (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Cats, Ducks and Dogs (Photo by Ryan Somma)

It was inspirational to see the different designs people come up with and the unusual materials they work with. Kudos to the artisans. I look forward to seeing their work in the coming years!

More pictures of the Occoquan Craft Show can be found on my Flickr site.

October 20, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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