Take Your Worms To Work Day

No, I did not let the red wigglers play with the photocopier or laminator! They got to choose the FM radio station for the car ride to work. Worms do not care for books on CD, either fiction or nonfiction.

The worms were delighted to educate nineteen Girl Scouts in pink t-shirts, plus leaders, siblings, and parents all about indoor composting. Even better was the attention they received from the science professionals. 

Now the worms are back home, living in a dark closet, eating coffee grounds and remembering their day swiping time-cards, parking in the employee lot, and hearing little girls screaming ...


Thanks to the many laughs Judith Viorst has provided over the years for both good days and terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ones.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder

Flying Nun Insects for Breakfast

Carnivorous plants seem appropriate for breakfast musing this week before Halloween.

And, yes, they do remind me of Sally Field as the Flying Nun. Have the tune for "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria" stuck in my head. Can't remember the lyrics, so it sounds sort of like a insect trapped in a pitcher plant.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Two out of three tadpoles agree...

...Legs are good.

Personality is next to nonexistent. Tadpoles don't do much. They are not nearly as exciting as cannibalistic dragonfly nymphs. Still, I am astounded that I netted three amphibians for today's wetlands presentation. The event was a grand success and all had a great time, except for maybe the tadpoles. They declined to answer a brief online survey questionnaire after they had been returned to their pond of origin.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Froggy trading cards


Too tired for words.
Just thinking I'm
way overdue for a post.

Sent my grandson a packet of
froggy photos. One tadpole
photo is from early afternoon

Stay curious even after your tail is

Oct. 16, 2014

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Gone beyond the buzz

Spending each day outside in the garden, I don't much notice the buzz of bees any more. They are just doing their job, same as me. Late this afternoon it seemed like a loud and large bee was right behind my ear. Nope. It was a drone.

It looked like this one.

And why doesn't drone rhyme with gone? And can just anybody fly a drone over a public space for photographic or world domination purposes? I won't go on and on, but I love this entry from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

drone (n.) Look up drone at Dictionary.com
Old English dran, dræn "male honeybee," from Proto-Germanic *dran- (cognates: Middle Dutch drane; Old High German treno; German Drohne, which is from Middle Low German drone), probably imitative; given a figurative sense of "idler, lazy worker" (male bees make no honey) 1520s. Meaning "pilotless aircraft" is from 1946.
Drones, as the radio-controlled craft are called, have many potentialities, civilian and military. Some day huge mother ships may guide fleets of long-distance, cargo-carrying airplanes across continents and oceans. Long-range drones armed with atomic bombs could be flown by accompanying mother ships to their targets and in for perfect hits. ["Popular Science," November, 1946]
Meaning "deep, continuous humming sound" is early 16c., apparently imitative (compare threnody). The verb in the sound sense is early 16c.; it often is the characteristic sound of airplane engines. Related:Droneddroning.

The big debate at work was over the pronunciation of potable. I caught some dragonfly and damselfly larvae for a late morning presentation. I did not want anybody to accidentally drink the water containing the larvae. That's when folks started taking sides. I say potable, you say potable. Let's call the whole thing off!*

Due to rains and flooding of the Big Blue River near Milford, huge barrels of potable water were trucked into Camp Kiwanis for the Camp Fire Girls to drink in the summer of 1966.


 adjective \ˈpō-tə-bəl\
: safe to drink

Comment: The adjective meaning "drinkable" rhymes with "floatable" and is not to be confused with the one that means "capable of being potted."

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Weevil wonders while waffles wander

Whoa, Nellie, my waffle iron is away without leave. It has to be here somewhere, but I haven't seen it since my move. Oh where, oh where could my waffle iron be?

Judging from the trail through the dew, the weevil had been wandering in loops across the car roof. Perhaps it was reenacting the drifting of the USS Jeannette trapped in the ice pack. Listening to Hampton Sides' In the Kingdom of Ice helps when Dallas is still setting record high temps in the nineties.

A clearer weevil on a different Buick 9/10/2010.

Wee Willie Winkie found the waffle iron.

If weevils and waffles aren't enough, maybe it's time to go with Waylon and Willie and the boys. Having my "weekend" on Wednesdays is wacky.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Lucky Charms R U

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, these plants were favorites for painting war paint on cheeks and other childish outdoor behaviors. Visitors see them in the garden and feel compelled to tell me all about the yard at the house where they grew up. They stroke the leaves and go all misty-eyed about this magic part of their childhood. I understand. The same thing happens to me when sphinx moths hover at honeysuckle blossoms in the early evening. Are there plants that evoke powerful childhood memories for you? My sons are probably more sentimental about the Seinfeld Jujyfruit episode. 

JujyFruits at the movie concession counter?

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


International Raccoon Appreciation Day

Working on a presentation about nocturnal animals for Halloween week.Belatedly learn that today is International Raccoon Appreciation Day. I've been appreciating raccoons for a very long time, but it is good to make it official. Now I just wish I'd gotten up early enough to make special raccoon pancakes. Perhaps that will be my second YouTube effort.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder