For the past few weeks, we have had a mama bird sitting on three eggs in a birdhouse. This birdhouse used to house my pipe and tobacco, but since I haven't used it in months, the bird pushed it out, and made a nest. We have been watching mama the past few weeks, and the eggs finally hatched this morning! It was truly a miracle seeing the baby birds this morning! I can't wait to watch them over the next few weeks, and see how they grow!
Cicada nymphs have been starting to crawl out of the ground in droves across the East Coast, and the highly anticipated emergence of the 17-year-old insects has been ramping up in the Mid-Atlantic in recent days.
Nymph sightings have been reported as far north as Connecticut, according to citizen science projects like Radiolab's Cicada Tracker and Magicicada. But farther south, some residents of Virginia are seeing adult cicadas by the hundreds. Sometimes these sightings have been accompanied with mating calls or a loud continuous chorus, according to the tracking maps.
There are several cicada species in the country and many emerge each year, but Brood II is one of the distinct populations that only matures every 13 or 17 years. These kinds of cicadas, known as periodical cicadas, are endemic to the eastern half of the United States. [6 Crazy Facts About Cicadas]
'[Cicadas are] the shrimp of the land.'- Isa Betancourt, an entomologist at Drexel University
The cicadas coming out of the ground now were born in 1996, before Twitter and Flickr made it possible for people to socially share their pictures of the insects.
After emerging, the nymphs shed their crunchy brown exoskeletons and will spend their few weeks of adulthood mating and laying eggs in tree branches. Then the red-eyed insects will all die, leaving their 2-inch-long bodies to litter the ground.
The newly hatched Brood II babies, meanwhile, will make their way back to the ground and burrow in for a dark 17-year juvenile period until the hormones kick in that will turn them into adults. Those bugs will go on hiatus until 2030 and then continue the cycle.
The winged insects make their short-lived act above the surface known. Males make species-specific mating calls by vibrating a white, drumlike plate, or tymbal, on either side of their abdomens. These chirping and clicking noises can be heard by females up to a mile away. Standing near an especially loud chorus of cicadas can be like standing near a motorcycle, with a racket reaching up to 100 decibels.
Scientists expect the Brood II population to be up to 30 billion this year. Researchers estimate the number of periodical cicadas by counting their escape holes per square meter of ground. Entomologist Gene Kritsky, of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, told LiveScience he recorded a high of 356 holes per square meter in 2004 (the year Brood X reigned), though most places had about 100 to 200 holes per square meter.
Tracking where Brood II cicadas emerge this year is of interest to scientists. Geographically, the brood populations fit together like puzzle pieces, with Brood II almost like the keystone, linking many other 17-year broods, University of Connecticut cicada expert John Cooley said.
"The working hypothesis is that the boundaries, and the ways that the pieces fit together tell us something about the recent (postglacial) evolutionary history of the cicadas and their broods," Cooley added in an email. "In effect, some information about the nature of the events that caused the broods to be formed is likely encoded in the locations and nature of the boundaries between the broods."
Entomologists aren't only giddy over this year's emergence for science reasons. Some insist that cicadas make a delicious protein-rich meal.
Isa Betancourt, an entomologist at Drexel University, told NBC the bugs were a delicacy, calling them "the shrimp of the land." A cookbook put together by the University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs offers recipes from cicada dumplings to banana cicada bread.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/05/16/cicadas-east-coast-march/#ixzz2TW7PbWqb
I am doing the Beard-a-thon again this year, and I want some help from anyone that is willing to share a link. The money that is donated goes straight to the Mario Lemieux Foundation, which funds cancer research, and children related projects as well. I would love to see this go really far this year! Can you share this link and post?
Sometimes it amazes me about the crazy ideas that my students come up with. I had a large bruise on my elbow today, and, during the 5th grade writing class that I teach, I had the students write about it.
I have always admired the students' imagination. I have also feared my openness with them. Months ago, we had a conversation about best friends. I told them I had three best friends. We then proceeded to make a large, three person, comprehensive Venn Diagram. In this Venn Diagram, we compared my three friends to see who was number one(basically a tie). Now, my class knows a lot of info about my friends(the siliac, the "doctor," and the xbox playing teacher.).
Today my students wrote about my bruise. I heard stories ranging from ninja attacks, to space trips, to my entire class jumping me, to me crying because of a little girl hitting me. The best story was the two fold story that I posted on this blog.
Take a guess as to which friend she wrote to...
And, on that note, I'm off to play Xbox...
...since I have posted on here. I have been busy updating 2013 pricing and products. I have also been looking into doing some "Daily Deals" on Living Social, or someone like them.
With that being said, what kind of deal would you like to see? I am thinking about a 30 minute or 1 hour session, with a Facebook disc (low quality, but fun to share with the friends), and maybe a few prints as well.
As most of you know, I have started a photography project, The Heroes Project. During this project, I will be locating military veterans, giving them a free 15 minute portrait session(with their family if they'd like), interviewing them briefly, giving them a free disc with their high resolution images, and a 30% discount on future sessions or print orders.
My overall goal is to bring awareness to our veterans' life, struggles, demons, joys, and memories.
One day, I'd like to turn this into a gallery. Hopefully I will be able to make that happen. In the meantime, keep following the progress on here or Facebook.
I have had a chip on the windshield of my brand new, 2012 Honda Civic, with less than 200 miles at the time, less than two days old (That I've owned it). I was upset about the chip, but it wasn't cracking, so I decided to let it be.
Then the weather got nicer. I noticed that the chip wasn't getting any worse still, but it annoyed me. Against my better judgement, I decided to use a windshield repair kit that I purchased from my local Advanced Auto. Here goes nothing!
I have done this before on my Dodge pickup truck (God rest your soul!), so I wasn't new to the process. I did know that I wanted to follow directions to the "T." I got a timer, washed my car thoroughly, and made sure the windshield was spotless, dried, and had set for about an hour just in case.
I applied the sticky part of the applicator. i remembered saying to myself, "D@%$, that is PERFECT placement! I then removed the sticky part on the other side, hooked up the crazy looking needle head, and poured about half of the gooey stuff inside. I followed the explicit instructions, including the amount of pressure to push the needle, the times to let things sit, when to release, and when to re-apply the goo, and when to put on the yellow paper. The chip was still visible, but looked a lot better. I remember the package said it might not fix it completely, so i wasn't too bothered.
The next day I come out to go to work. What did I see? A 8-10" rainbow shaped CRACK on the windshield, epicenter- The Chip! i was furious! How could this be? I drove to work and watched the crack grow, like a creepy YouTube video with time lapsed grass growing! After work, the crack was even larger! It had now decided to take a drive north on the windshield, taunting my vision, saying to the police "Come and get me, Cop-pers!"
I found the number for the company that made the product. I was mainly looking for an apology, and maybe reimbursement for the product. That was when i met Renee Patterson. This man told me about the chemical process of the product, and how it won't crack the windshield. I understood that, I said "I know you wouldn't make a product that did that, but I have a windshield with a crack in it, and it didn't have one until I applied the product." Renee the told me about the chemical process of the product, and how it won't crack the windshield.
He wasn't understanding. As I tried to explain that i wanted something done, he would not help me. I know he is probably an expert about the product, and I know that he is much more knowledgeable than I, but I wanted more than an explanation.
This is where it gets good.
I said to him, in a very polite voice, "I would like to speak to your supervisor."
He replied, "I would like to speak to YOUR supervisor."
"Excuse me?" I said.
He replied, "I said, I'd like to speak to YOUR supervisor." Then he promptly hung up the phone. HE HUNG UP THE PHONE!
As someone who has worked with customers in retail, restaurant, and teaching aspects, I understand that the customer is not always right, even though we are told that, "The customer is always right."
I was furious at the exchange between myself and Renee. I called back, followed the same steps to get to him, but said to the operator, " I was disconnected with the Tech. Support gentleman. I do not remember his name."
She replied, "There are only two. Was it Renee or Hank?" I said Hank (not remembering his name).
Hank was very understanding. I started the conversation the same way that i did with Renee, but Hank told me the process to file a complaint, the people to talk to, what to send, and asked if there was anything else he could do. Hank was very helpful.
But I wanted to talk to Renee. I called again, and this time I left a message with a supervisor.
I called yet another time. This time I got connected to Renee. I said, "hello, I believe we got disconnected."
Renee replied, "Uh, I haven't been disconnected with anyone today. Can you remind me what we were talking about?"
I said, "Yes, I called about a chipped window, that became cracked after using the windshield repair kit."
"Oh," replied Renee in one of those "Uh oh, I can't believe you called back" voices.
Renee and I talked about how I was being rude, and about how the product could not cause this kind of issue. I said "I don't care about that right now. I am concerned with how rude you were to me on the phone, then you hung up."
Through the constant interruptions, and attacks on my rudeness, I finally was able to say, "I want you to know that I have filed a complaint against you, and i will be following up on it until it is resolved. I hope you have a great day."
He replied, "You too," and hung up.
Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled about our interaction. I am STILL trying to get this resolved after a few days. I have yet to get a phone call back, like I was promised. I believe that next week, seeing as I do not have school, i will be calling on a daily basis until the issue is resolved.
My main goal for this phone call was an apology, and maybe a few bucks to pay for the product, but after meeting Renee, I am hoping for a windshield, which now has a 3 foot long crack in it.
Moral of the story: Don't talk to men named Renee!
I have been following the Charlottesville Boys Lacrosse team this season, and they did an amazing job! After a great run, and a stint in the playoffs, the boys finally lost in a grueling game (in which I will not go into too many details about). Although it saddens me that the boys lost, I am proud to announce that I have some of my pictures on the Scrimmage Play website from the game! Please take a minute to check them out. Also, Coach Craft is the coach of the year! Congrats coach on a great season!
- Girls of Summer 2017
- 2015 Poker Run
- CHS Presents Hairspray
- CHS Presents Les Miserables
- CHS Presents Sweeney Todd
- Easter Photobooth
- Trevor's C-ville Coffee Set 2-21-2013
- Walker Peace Squad- Dogwood Parade 2013
- Walker Presents Alice in Wonderland
- Walker Presents Beauty and the Beast
- Walker Presents Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Walker Presents Snow White
- Washington Literary and Debating Union
- 360 Videos
- Love Letters
- Contact me