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Snow stinkbug

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“Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called by the Masai “Ngàje Ngài,” the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.”

―Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

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Though only at about twelve feet above local ground level, this coleopterid failed to find adequate shelter at the onset of the Blizzard of ’13. The delicate corpse did not persist into legend; instead, it provided succor for a songbird locked out of its usual larder.

 

 

See the heat

IR_0338Cat on a cold tile floor

i Series

High-tech tools and toys are not the subject matter of this blog. Our focus here is on appreciation and conservation—stewardship and enjoyment—of nature in general, and these 88 (usually) submerged acres and their riparian and littoral surroundings in particular.

They are, however, not unconnected. Farrar Pond was created deliberately by flooding an old pasture, itself the result of several lifetimes’ environmental modification through felling, grazing, etc. And the hollow in which all this took place was created by the recession of a great ice sheet that had scraped much of what is now New England down to bare rock, then flooded selected areas with sand and gravel ground up at the interface. A glacial outwash plain, a few kettleholes, rich bottom-land from millennia of slow re-vegetation and decay and sedimentation. Farrar Pond and its environs are thus the direct result of not one but two major climatic events, a chill and a thaw.

It now seems that events of this cataclysmic magnitude may be influenced by our own choices and behaviors, perhaps above all the needless waste and thoughtless consumption of carbon-rich fuels leading to increased atmospheric CO2, with uncertain but probably uncomfortable consequences. It was initially to moderate the carbon “footprint” of Lincoln municipal buildings that Greening Lincoln was first created (as the Green Energy Technology Committee); its remit now extends to energy/resource conservation in many forms.

So sharing knowledge of this new tool indirectly serves our conservation mission, by helping people to conserve energy, with benefits alike to natural environments and to our own physical and economic comfort. It also serves our appreciation and education mission, by enhancing awareness of both natural phenomena (hence the animal and cloud pictures) and some less-natural ones, like why snow melts earlier around certain parts of your house. So, whether for practicality or pleasure, please see more here: http://fpond.org/flow/?page_id=758. A shorter version of that page appears on the Greening Lincoln site here. The infrared camera there described is available for loan to Lincoln residents; perhaps other towns have or will adopt a similar program.