Down With Power Audiobook!

Number 910, February 19, 2017

Nobody voted for the man because they
thought he is a libertarian. He is not.
I don’t know what he is, and I don’t
think he does, either. The important
thing is that he isn’t Hillary Clinton.

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Norseman Diaries: Norseman’s Heaven—Almost
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

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I was torn today this Saturday afternoon—18 February 2017 between writing something about Mars or matters close to home—or maybe nothing at all as I too have come down with something awful—could the the flu but more likely some kind of upper respiratory infection of the throat and sinuses that has been dragging me down since about the middle of the week. It was an especially rough 12 hours working Friday that left me depleted going into Saturday.

I spent much of the day in bed resting and researching stuff pertaining to Mars in science fiction. Mostly stuff about the H.G. Wells War of the Worlds franchise that has spawned a multitude of films and a TV series plus an alternate history docudrama by the History Channel and a recent novel by Stephen Baxter that is a sequel to the Wells original taking up in the fashion of Independence Day: The Resurgence.

That after watching the 1970s miniseries based on Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles earlier this week. A tragically dystopian tale of humanity inadvertently visting catastrophe on a Martian civilization—which would have made a great contrast to the malevolent Wellsian invaders. But I digress as it was not meant to be this week—that was unless I was willing to slave the entire day away which I have often done on previous articles. Alas allure of a perfect day already halfway gone won out in the end.

Sunny and in the low 60s it could be considered a nice summer day on Mars—at least in in warm microclimate close to the ground at high noon! And even outside my thoughts about Mars continued off and on through the day as I did a little tidying up at the pond—mostly weeding and clearing away fallen leaves from paths and the rock garden. I was thinking of Ray’s most recent gripes about the weather and global cooling deniers and winter loving Yankees along with Carl Sagan’s episode of Cosmos titled “Heaven and Hell.”

Sagan said that in the universe there are worlds very much like Heaven and others very much like Hell. Earth naturally being in the Heaven category does have its share of hellish moments and places. I guess Wisconsin could be considered almost Hell because of where it sits in Vortex Alley! —though this year even they are getting a nice break. And Pennsylvania—though I believe West Virginia already claimed the title—might be considered Almost Heaven.

It would not surprise me if Morgantown just over the border did hit 70 this afternoon. It felt almost as pleasant-pleasant enough to take off my coat for a while when I arrived at the site. The goldfish were very active and I had two varieties of Crocus crysanthus —Goldilocks and Cream Beauty in bloom as well as two new varieties of Snowdrops planted this past fall. Regrettably the Crocuses came a little too early this year—possibly because they were in the ground since the previous year and often emerge earlier having a head start on freshly planted bulbs. And the Blue and violet colored Reticulated Irises that bloomed with them last spring are still green shoots poking out of the ground.

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Goldilocks & Iris reticulata shoots.

Maybe the Yellow Mammoth and Tommisianus Crocuses that are later blooming will prove to be a better choice. Still even if not totally in ideal sync—any floral color standing out in a winter bare landscape is welcome. And to think if I had listened to the native plant Nazis—how deprived and depauperate the February landscape would be. Even if Crocuses and Reticulated Irises and snowdrops became invasive—I could not see them doing any harm to native flora. They are so small that most native wildflowers that emerge later just grow up through them and help hide the early blooming bulbs during their less attractive stage while their foliage ripens and withers away. Makes for a nice successional planting.

In a few more weeks when other things start to bloom it will make for some additional heavenly days —the sort that make me and probably most human beings on the planet Earth happy to be alive and free. Freedom in an unfree world is still possible if you know where to look or know how to apply a little ingenuity.

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I think I made a wise decision to put Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells and Mars on the back burner this weekend. It was about as close as it gets to Norseman’s Heaven this time of year when it’s still comfortable to run out after dark on your shorts to close up the chicken coop! And the trend is slated to continue tomorrow going into next weekend with highs in the 60s and 50s and lows above freezing. In addition to pleasant—this is also easy on my fuel resources. I’ve been running the outside boiler at 120F and pulled the plug on the propane heater in the greenhouse and hope I can go that way all week! Just might be able to stretch everything until spring.

Global Warming? The real inconvenient truth is that it is in deed happening it’s far better than cooling and I’m loving it!

Of course there is still March and anyone who lives in a cold winter climate in this hemisphere knows what it can still bring. And we had dogwoods and azaleas blooming with snow on the ground in April of 2012 when the unprecedented mild winter brought everything into bloom a month ahead of schedule!

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Goldilocks Crocus before last week’s snow

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Cream Beauty

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Harts Tongue Ferns, Allegheny Pachysandra and Alumroot by the watercourse. Sorry I didn’t take the trouble to run the waterfall like I did last week.

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Discovered another baby harts tongue that grew from a spore.

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A neat species of greenish reindeer lichen found locally that unlike the better known white one does very well in cultivation. Every piece that gets broken off when the lichen is dry and brittle will regenerate a whole new clump. This was what they thought might be the one thing that might live on Mars back in days of old and the seasonally appearing dark patches on the planet were thought to be patches of lichens or similar plants that grew in the Martian springtime when the polar caps melted.

We now know the phenomenon is caused by dust storms.

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