Science


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Everyone likes rainbows – they are not uncommon, but it still feels special when you spot one. I took this picture on the evening of May 4, after the rain stopped.

NOAA offers a brief but helpful explanation about the causes of rainbows.

The very next morning after I snapped this picture, I stepped out onto my back patio – and thought my lawn furniture was on fire:

I have never seen anything like this! This is evaporation of the water that soaked my lawn furniture the prior evening.

Coooooool 🙂


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Sometimes I see things in photos that aren’t really there…but I have fun with the illusion. Sometimes I take a really bad picture that I decide to keep because it’s fun in a way I hadn’t expected. I have 3 such gems for you – enjoy!

20090730-AMC_4112

What do you see? Read the rest of this entry »


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Did you know that you can help transcribe bird migration reports for the USGS North American Bird Phenology Program? My first question was, “What the heck is phenology?” Read the rest of this entry »


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Science is awesome, right? I’ve been learning about some great tools available on the internet, and want to share that information with you. First up…

Geology

Did you know that the USDA supports a website that enables you to produce a soil survey for just about anywhere in the U.S.? A soil survey is a great tool to use when planning your landscape. While the Web Soil Survey is not intended to replace an actual survey of the soil around your home or property, it is a great way to find out what you can expect in general. I now only use native plants around my home, but even native plants must be sited properly to do well, and the soil is a vital part of this decision.

All of this is great, but really…its just plain fun! I know, I’m a dork. But some of you are going to go straight to the website and print soil reports for the areas around your homes too. 🙂 Here’s mine:

soil_report

This tool also produces a really detailed report, has lots of customization options, and is very official-looking. Here’s a link to the PDF file that goes with this map:

USDA Custom Soil Report, Collin County, TX

A soil survey is just a tiny particle of the science of geology, but I believe it is a good start. Besides, we gardeners love to get our hands dirty!

If you would like to learn about the staggering volume of living organisms in our soils, I highly recommend the book, Life in the Soil, by James Nardi. I have an amazon link to this book in my sidebar. [Big sigh] Ahh, I remember the days when I had time to read a book!