Two Wings and a Prayer

The purpose of life is to be eaten…

Photo by Roman.


The World Below

Time-lapse photography from the International Space Station, edited by Bruce W. Berry, Jr.

Bruce Barry writes:

“All of 4K video and Time-lapse sequences were taken by the astronauts onboard the ISS (NASA/ESA). All footage has been edited, color graded, denoised, deflickered, stabilized by myself. Some of the 4K video clips were shot at 24frames/sec reflecting the actual speed of the space station over the earth. Shots taken at wider angels were speed up a bit to match the flow of the video.

“Some interesting facts about the ISS: The ISS maintains an orbit above the earth with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km (205 and 270 miles). The ISS completes 15.54 orbits per day around the earth and travels at a speed of 27,600 km/h; 17,100 mph).

“The yellow line that you see over the earth is Airgolw/Nightglow. Airglow/Nightglow is a layer of nighttime light emissions caused by chemical reactions high in Earth’s atmosphere. A variety of reactions involving oxygen, sodium, ozone, and nitrogen result in the production of a very faint amount of light (Keck A and Miller S et al. 2013).”

Bug Love

From Atlas Obscura, a film by John Picklap and Olivia Loomis Merrion: “Aaron Rodriques, also known as the Bug Whisperer, has been raising insects for over 20 years and teaching people how they can forge connections with insects.”

I do not love all insects, but certain predators are nice to have around the apartment. Still, I feel some kinship with this fellow.

North Park Village Nature Center

A few days before Christmas, a friend and I paid a visit to the North Park Village Nature Center. This is located between Bryn Mawr Avenue and Peterson Avenue along Pulaski Road in Chicago. Extending eastward to Central Park Avenue, it occupies 46 acres of the 155 acre North Park Village campus. North Park Village is senior citizen housing.

The Nature Center is a Chicago Park District facility. Most of it, I’m told, is an Oak savanna: lightly forested prairie dominated by one or another species of Oak. Competing trees and underbrush are kept down by fire or poor soil or human intervention. There are also two ponds in a wetland area. As you might imagine, it’s a good place for watching birds and deer. (The geezers feed them.)

A nice example of an oak savanna. (Pretend the background buildings are a glacial moraine.) It was shortly after noon, but the winter shadows were long. Photo by Roman.
Fallen trees were common, including snags that leaned precariously on the living. There is something about living wood in winter that glows. You can almost see it here. Photo by Roman.
Moss or lichen? Oh woe for my high school biology teacher that I cannot remember! Photo by Roman.
At times, Chicago was not obvious. Photo by Roman.
I keep trying to capture the shining golden quality of withered leaves, but it comes out brown in photos. Photo by Roman.
Here the glow is almost captured by the photo. Photo by Roman.
Very wetlands. Photo by Roman.


God of the Flies

Fruit flies share my house.
Their manna is my waste.
I kill them one by one.

They adore me, circle round me;
I clap my hands
To kill them one by one.

Seeking light for wisdom, they land.
It’s easy then
To kill them one by one.

Still they adore me and fly in my face
As if to seek the eye of God
And they die, one by one.

— Yip

Fly illustration credit: By Sanjay Acharya – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A Botanic Afternoon

On Thursday, October 18, I made my annual Fall pilgrimage to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Admission is free to pedestrians and it’s easily accessible by public transit via PACE’s Route 213. It was a fine Fall afternoon:

Photo by Roman.
Cypress in color. Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
In fruit. Photo by Roman
Photo by Roman.
Reach for the sky. Photo by Roman.
Faerie Avenue. Photo by Roman.
Silver Trees. Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Treebeard asleep. Photo by Roman.
Grasses. Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman
Photo by Roman
Old Man Willow. Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Goldberry is waiting. Photo by Roman.