Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peach, White, Maroon Flowers

Here are some flowers that are on their way out. Nice colors and the other flowers to follow soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Green Mower

I retrieved my manual mower from my parent's loft and mowed the yard last week.

It is quite a workout but kinda of fun. It is a lot quieter than our current mower. The cut is pretty good but every so often some blades of grass will pop up after a section of yard is mowed.

I also went over every place two times from two different angles.

Also if the grass is thick it could be hard to push the mower through it. If using a mulching mower, the blade cutting could be finer when compared to the gas mower.

It is nice though that you can get some good exercise and it is quiet so you can mow earlier in the morning or other times without disturbing your neighbors too much. Plus no pollution (except carbon dioxide I expel) and no gas being used! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ripening Grapes

The grapes are looking good this year. You can see one grape is getting ripe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Whole Wheat Bagels

I made my first batch of bagels ever! The first 3 were somewhat contorted but they turned out pretty good. My goal is to make chocolate chip bagels so once these are gone I will try another batch. It is quite a time consuming process though.

While making the bagels I also mixed up some dough to make a focaccia, whole-wheat pizza. It had green peppers, vidalia onions, minced black olives, tomato paste with basil, oregano, and garlic powder, and Laura's Lean ground beef.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pink Flower with Small Yellow Crown

This is an interesting flower in that it has group of large pinkish-purple petals and in the middle a crown of smaller yellow petal flowers. It is called a Zinnia and seems to have originated in Mexico or the southwest United States.

This next picture shows the yellow flower crown almost gone. Notice the small spider on one of the upper top left petals.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pink Hydrangea

Our hydrangeas are really blooming this year. Last year, a late April frost killed off a lot of the blooms but this year was a very moderate spring.

I believe these flowers reflect the pH of the soil where blue means acidic, white is neutral, and pink is alkaline. So this soil is more alkaline. I might attempt to change the pH of the soil around one plant and see if changes to white, blue or purple.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good Bye Randy Pausch

I found out today that Randy Pausch died in the morning. At least once a week I would check his website to see how he was doing and in late June 2008 he quit posting. I wondered what would happen if he died, would it be posted. Well checking it this evening someone posted yesterday that hospice was called in and then post a short message today that he died.

He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and gave an inspiring speech there called "The Last Lecture". In his case, it almost was in that he gave another lecture a little later in Virginia and also recreated it again for a television show.

The doctors gave him till February 2008 to live so it outlast that prediction and got his affairs in order. With the proceeds from his book, his family should be cared for a long time.

Hopefully, his passing was without too much pain.

Tent Camping at Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Since we were out boating from morning to evening, my cousin and I decided to tent camp at Cumberland Lake, Kentucky to allow an early start in the morning.

We stayed at the campground at Grinder Hill Dock ( and I will say it is a steep hill going to the lake. The campground was nice and it has 10 tent sites with us and one other group being the only tent campers that night. The campsite had a slight view of the lake through the trees and you could hear the boats out on the lake. Most of the campers were in trailers at the campground.

The temperature was in the 90s during the day and at night around 9 AM it still was in the 80s. It took a while to go to sleep but by morning the temperature was in the 60s F. It was very dry there and it did not appear to have rained in a while so we did not start a camp fire.

It would be nice to camp when it is cooler but a very pleasant place to stay.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Visit to Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Last weekend I went on a geology field trip with KYANA Geological Society ( to Grider Hill Dock ( at Cumberland Lake, Kentucky.

The lake was nice and not too crowded. As you can see in the picture the rock banks are very visible in the pictures as the Army Corp of Engineers had to lower the water levels to repair the dam that created this lake from the Cumberland River.

Since the water level is down it makes a great time to observe the geological features covered by the water. This area was part of a vast shallow sea during the Mississippian period (known as Carboniferous outside the United States) which was about 320-360 million years ago. Animals that looked like plants ("sea lilies") known as crinoids flourished here.

These pictures showed the marina and our group of 17 rented two pontoon boats for the day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blurry Picture of Jupiter with Handheld Camera

Here is my attempt to take a picture of the planet Jupiter with a camera pointing through an eyepiece in the telescope.

I did not have a tripod and was in a hurry since we were ready to put the equipment away.

Since I have done stuff like this with the microscope I am sure this can be done with the telescope. Just need patience.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Some of the roma tomatoes have been harvested. The green beans, onions, and squash have been producing as well.

I counted over 25 watermelons in one plot forming. The other plot does not have any watermelons yet.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Light Purple Hosta Flowers

The hostas produces a long stem with lots of bell like white-purple flowers that hang toward the ground.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dual Color Day Lillies

This day lily really stands out with its dual colors. The yellow strip down the maroon petal is a nice touch.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Purple Blue Flowers

This is a recent addition to my mother's garden and I really like the colors of these flowers.

They have white-purple centers with the outer petals being blue.

UPDATE: These flowers appear to be of the genus Delphinium. After looking for similar pictures on the Internet they might be the Delphinium elatum aka 'Dasante Blue'. It might also be known under the name Candle Larkspur.

Virtual Science Challenge

The Louisville Science Center has a great event going on for Kentucky students in grades 5-10.

It is called the Virtual Science Challenge which provides opportunities to learn more about science, make some videos, and win prizes.

Not just any prizes but CASH prizes which as a child could be tax free.

Check it out at

You need to hurry because the Challenge ends August 9, 2008.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calla Lily

This is probably our best calla lily yet. It was buried in the leaves of the plant. The flower has excellent shape and color.

The plant has produced 9 flowers this year which is great.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Watermelons have formed on some of the plants and the Sugar Baby melons are about the size of volleyballs. The Crimson Sweet melons the size of golf balls. I did not see any Charleston Gray melons yet. It has been a wet summer so far so it remains to see how fast the melons can develop.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Update on Concord Grapes

The grape harvest looks to be a good one this year. The grapes are still green but there are a lot of them. The plants are getting bigger and it is looking nice.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Moon Pictures (continued)

More photos continuing in yesterday's topic. Lots of craters and greyish-white images.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pictures of the Moon

Continuing with yesterday's topic on telescope pictures. Here are some images of the moon that
were processed with RegiStax software. The camera highest resolution is 640x480.

The temperature was in the upper 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit. There was some shimmer in the atmosphere when looking at the moon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Planet Jupiter

My cousin Kenny and I took the telescope out in a yard in Indiana and used a CCD camera to take pictures of the moon and Jupiter. Jupiter was in opposition this week and so it was bright for viewing.

Unfortunately, I have yet to master the imager to get a good picture of a planet. The view in the telescope was excellent with the layer lines on the planet very visible. We did not see a spot but we only looked at for 45 minutes. Here are the pictures and one with the red filter some of the layer lines are visible. The other shows 3 moons around Jupiter which is over exposed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Roses in Frankfort, Kentucky

Here are some different colored roses that were growing next the capitol annex building in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Visit to Frankfort Kentucky

Recently, I got to visit Frankfort in the evening to attend a wedding at the governor's mansion. A cousin by marriage was getting married and had a small ceremony in one of the wings of the mansion. It was a lovely ceremony and even the governor showed up.

Here are some pictures of the capitol and the mansion. No one seemed to be taking pictures inside so I did not. So I have no inside shots.

Beautiful weather and a great reception made the trip memorable.