Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hidden Reality

What is real? This has been a question of mine for a long time. From a physics perspective Brian Greene explores the question in his new book The Hidden Reality, Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of Cosmos. While he's a physics professor at Colombia University, he writes in layman's language as far as such esoteric concepts can be expressed outside of mathematics. It took me two months to read the book – not a page turner but a thought provoker. I recommend reading the last chapter first to get an over view of the nine Multiverses Greene systematically explains in the the book. Basically, the idea is that there is more than one universe, but there isn't agreement about how many and how they manifest. Of nine Multiverses that may be possible, the one that blew me away is the possibility our world could be someone else's computer simulation. Shades of the move the Matrix. In the beginning of the chapter on” Black Holes and Holograms – The Holographic Multiverse,” Greene refers to Plato's allegory of the cave – that we are people chained facing the back wall of a cave watching shadows of the real world. That our perceptions are but a faint inkling of a far richer reality that flickers beyond reach. (Gurdjieff would say that we can awaken to this far richer reality.) Greene has written two other excellent books – The Fabric of the Cosmos and The Elegant Universe. Take a stab at them. I already have Fabric of the Cosmos and am going to buy The Hidden Reality since I read the library copy and couldn't scribble, underline and make notes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bees and then some

We had to combine two of our hives since one was very weak with few bees, very little brood and we couldn't find the queen. So we sat the hive box on top of a piece of newspaper positioned over two hives boxes of a stronger hive. The bees eat through the newspaper in a few days which gives them time to get used to the smell of one another so they won't fight. The Hawaiian queen hive is to the west and it is going great.The east hive is doing great, too. Where's the bloom? the bees want to know.

The banties are now in the hen house and I open the pen during the day. They are getting used to coming out and foraging and jumping and sparring. Yesterday John found Mama duck's nest under the water tank. She has a nice nest in a corner with twelve eggs which is hidden behind logs, sticks and an old box. I was looking all over the marsh to the west of us and there she was under the water tank.  Eggs should hatch any day. Our friend Lutfiye encouraged us to have new life, well, it abounds.  We are awash with fowl. Not sure where they are all going to go.


When was the last time you saw this in your neighborhood? Note the clear skies and sun.  Ah, sun.

Steens Painting

This is the painting we helped our artist friends from Portland paint of the Steens landscape last fall. It hangs in our hall. It's about 8' by 4.5' and was supposed to be a floor covering for the kitchen but it came out lumpy and wouldn't lie flat so it became a mural.

Mom and Chicks


There's something wrong with your snood. Here let me fix it.

George III

King of the roost, handsome guy with lady friends. Runs a tight ship.

Up the Lazy River

Adventuresome old lady sets off in rubber raft to explore the high desert turned marsh.


My sister asked what do retired people do?  Well, you sit in the morning sun in your slippers with a good book while the cat looks out the door in envy. Note the recycled bath tub to the left that catches water off the roof. And you sit in the easy chair with a cat on your lap and take a snooze. What more could you want in life?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All the Chicks Hatched

All six of the eggs Mama Hen was nesting have hatched. The first hatched about 6 PM Sunday evening. The last hatched yesterday morning. There are two black, two gold with dark markings and two yellow. John looked at them and said there are three more eggs in there. I said, no that can't be because I've been watching to make sure no one else laid in there, but by gosh John was right. Some hen had sneaked three more eggs in there. So neighbor Diana came last evening, after helping another neighbor catch a stray bull, and she took the warm eggs to her broody banty who's been sitting two eggs. Mama and chicks are doing well. They have their own house until Mama decides to take them outside to forage which should be in a few days. When I go into the shed, she calls them all to her, if they are out and they scramble to get under her for safety.

The Swallows Return

This morning about 7 AM I was outside to feed the fowl. I had left the pretty bird house up I thought the female swallow had abandoned after yesterday's tragedy. There she was at the bird house with a new mate! She reminded me of that wife that had fallen in love with the house and just had to have it, no matter what the cost. Maybe it was the pretty green ivy my uncle had painted on the outside. Added to that a second pair was helping them celebrate! Maybe they were all on the honeymoon together. The male tree swallow has iridescent blue and green on the back of his head and shoulders. The female is black and white. Swallows have to be the most elegant fliers of all birds. Their distinctive pointed tails and wings and swooping flight patterns are unmistakable. They like to feed on insects which is a plus for us because we have mosquitoes by the billions since we have water this year. I immediately enlisted John's help to move the bird house so that cat couldn't get them. His solution was to hoist it up in the tree. See photos. Maybe the bats will come back, too. Hmmm, need to get the bat house up. (Bottom photo is newlyweds at original location, top two are the male at the new, higher location. They seem to like it.)