Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cooler Days

Only In The 90’s

Yellow roses on bountiful bush

I think that tomorrow, I will be able to photograph some bees. They have been staying close to their hives while the 100+ temperatures were here. They would overheat and expire if they tried to forage when it is extremely hot and dry.

Pink in the evening sun

I saw some bees in the clover this afternoon, but not on the roses, yet. I am sure the workers are anxious to bring pollen back to the hungry hive bees. The entire colony shares the same food supply.

Blue Jay relative of the mockingbirds

Researchers have finally narrowed down the cause of colony collapse among honeybees that has killed off 10 million hives in the last 6 years; Chemical pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides, and herbicides are in the pollen that provides the food for the bees. More than 30 different chemicals were detected in some of the hives food supplies. (Bee Informed)

Red rose and friends

The solution is already available, but there is a lot of money tied up in chemically treated industrial agriculture and big agri corporations are willing to fight to the death, (of bees), to defend their high profit, soil killing, Roundup ready, patented GMO seed, business model.

Lovely, rugged rose

Independent food production studies in several countries throughout the world have published statistical data that found organic, and natural methods of agriculture to be as productive as the industrial agricultural model that is being used by Monsanto worldwide.

And, of course, chemical free pollen and nectar means healthier bees. We need bees because most of the crops that we depend on for food get pollinated by bees.

Lone yellow

Of course, I don’t think industrial agriculture will willingly give up their huge profits or their control of the worlds food supply. Look at the way they reacted to the California proposition to print, "Made with GMO’s", on food labels.

Anyway, now we know for certain what is killing off the world’s bee populations; Agricultural chemicals.

Today’s Food Video;

R.I.P - J.J.  Cale

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Can Be Revealing

New rose Thursday

I think it would be good for everyone if we write, or at least petition for, a bill that would require that congressman not be allowed to vote on legislation if they have received money from those who would be affected by that vote.

Not so new rose Friday

163 congressmen have received money from the Koch brothers in exchange for a pledge to oppose any legislation that would address climate change or regulate the fossil fuel industry. Those congressmen have voted against every attempt to cut carbon emissions, and any bills, laws, or amendments that would curb toxic pollution from coal and gas burning power plants. (New Yorker Article)

Driveway rose Thursday

Defense industries paid all but 16 of the lawmakers who voted on the issue of NSA phone spying. The ones who were paid the most voted to allow the NSA to continue. (Read More)

Driveway rose Friday

The sad thing is that big money is running the peoples government, no matter what party we support. Too many Democrats and Republicans vote according to who pays them the most.

Different view new rose Thursday

So, I would suggest a law, or rule that disqualifies lawmakers from voting on issues where their vote has already been purchased by interested parties. If they haven’t any moral backbone, perhaps another law will at least help keep them honest.

Beautiful when roasted Friday

The images today look at roses encountering daily 100+ temperatures.

The sunset was on Friday.

Sunset from the Treehouse

Today’s Delightfully Relevant Video;

The Dance Of Love

Friday, July 26, 2013

Looking At The World

Closely And Conversely

Berries over bananas and raisins

I am inclined to wonder if there can be very much nutritional value left in cereal flakes after all the cooking, washing, grinding, toasting, preserving and packaging the process entails. I suspect that the best nutrients in a bowl of cereal are the milk, any added fruit, and the sugar you put on it.

There are at least 3 birds in this image, including a quail

I took a few pictures of various birds, scratching and pecking their way along the fenceline. I was behind a rose bush, about 50 feet away, and taking pictures through the bush so I wouldn’t frighten the birds.

Looks like a flamenco dancer

When I put the images up on the computer, I could see how wonderfully the birds are camouflaged. If I hadn’t been watching them as long as I did, it is likely that I wouldn’t have seen most of them.

Quail family picnic, (5 birds)

It is good to have the opportunity to observe and enjoy the non human residents that live here at the Treehouse. I get to study, and photograph our plant, animal, and fungal neighbors, watching them experience life from their different perspectives.

New flowers appear after a week of 100+ temperatures

Tonight, (Thursday), was the Shasta Blues Society Jam, and all 4 core musicians of the Phil Seymour Band were there to play the first hour. We are playing well together. That is a good thing.

Pair of mockingbirds

I really enjoy seeing people dancing to, and happily singing along with songs I have written. It fills my heart with happiness to be a creative part of this magical shared experience.

Not so super, still spectacular moon

I have been keeping my air conditioning set at a chilly 77 degrees, so far this summer. After a few more weeks of 100 degree temps, I will likely change the setting to a cool 80. I am finding it is all relative, and as my body becomes accustomed to the warm temperature, approximately 20 degrees reduction can feel refreshingly cool.

Today’s Video;

Rolling Wheels

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Loony Legislators

Loose In America

Loony Duet     (Photo - Margaret Miller)

Last night’s moon was super. It is fine for Luna to be loony, but after reading some of the wacky, unrealistic, unwarranted, stuff that the right wing congressmen are submitting as thoughtful, well crafted, proposals, I wonder about the mental state of the people who voted for the latest pile of pathetic policy pedlars?

Small butterfly siphons delicious clover nectar

These dimwits are paid millions by the Koch brothers to deny climate change, and they do it, condemning their children’s, children to a future of collapsing ecosystems and the associated clamor of displaced people all over the planet seeking shelter and sustenance.

Bee pollinating Jackie’s strawberry plants

But, of course I know how people can vote against their own interests. They watch Fox news, and listen to talk radio, all day, everyday and night until their minds are no longer their own. I know some of these people. They actually believe high paid hucksters like Rush Limbaugh when he reads the script, (approved by the Koch brothers), that says the problem with our economy is caused by the minimum wage, the poor, the disabled, and those lazy old people on Social Security.

Strawberries falling out of their bed

Their Amygdala’s are so badly infected, that no amount of fact, logic, or reason can penetrate their clouded thinking. The only way that they can get their own minds back, is to unplug from the right wing echo chamber for several weeks. Without the constant dosage of propaganda, people will eventually be able to think for themselves again.

Earth, July 19th Photographed from Saturn, and from Mercury (NASA)

As you can see, by these images, not everyone is lost in the Republican echo chamber.

There are many people in this country, and all over the world, using their brains and imaginations to explore space, and examine the systems that earth needs to nurture life as we know it. Think of the science, design, manufacturing, and development that made those pictures possible.  

Bud today, flower tomorrow

I guess what set me off, today, was reading about the punitive interest rates proposed for student loans. This is another part of the Koch brothers agenda to privatize education until it excludes the 99%. Ultimately, only children of the one percent will be able to afford a higher education.

They are already providing millions of dollars in campaign funds to elect right wing candidates to school boards in cities across the country. They then disband busing programs that bring various cultures, and income brackets together in public schools. At the same time, these infiltrated school boards are closing those public schools in minority and poor neighborhoods, while building charter schools in the more affluent, (white), areas of town.

A rose grows in 100+ degree summer

Should you wish to hear other voices for sanity and a sustainable way of life, you can find them HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Still, I care about my friends. Trying to wake them with facts, or contrary information, seems to strain relationships. So, I approach them like they have suffered a blow to the head, and the poor devils have temporarily lost their senses. (In a way, that’s true)

I avoid riling them up, unless they become insufferable, in which case it is better to gaze at a distant point and exclaim, “Oh, look. There is something bright and shiny”.

Today’s Enlightening Video;


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pearls Of Perusal

Offered Freely

Fascinating developments

Another look at the history of barbecue from The Smithsonian. I enjoy reading different writers observations when it comes to the origins of popular cooking methods. This is a comprehensive overview that includes a link to the book from which the author gathered most of the information.

Just add cereal and milk

And, while leafing, thumbing, clicking through the Smithsonian, I also found this history of the first postage stamp.

Stalking the organic blueberries

It’s all in how you look at it.

I think that’s one way of making lemonade out of lemons.

I am not immune to feeling the blues. Heck, some of my best songs were written from the bottom of the well of despair. Even though I am called Happy Phil, I still have moments when I let myself be hurt because things didn’t go the way I expected. It happens to all of us at one time or another.

Sunlit yellow roses

It is during those upsetting times, that practice pays off. Daily affirmations, looking for and finding beauty and magic in the world, each and every day, helps to keep me in tune with the harmony of the universe. That way, my problems seem petty and insignificant compared to experiencing the vastness that we are all made of.

Tiny beauty amidst the thorns

If you have wondered what the latest research on the human brain has revealed, and you have a few minutes to read a well written overview, you can find many answers, HERE.

Mount Lassen yesterday

It is nice and warm this evening. The supermoon might be visible through the haze as it rises in the East. I shall see what magic it might create in the sensor of the Lumix FZ35.

Photography, 900 million miles from here is even trickier. In today’s video, see how the images from the Cassini spacecraft look when strung together.

Today’s Well Constructed Video;

Observing This Fantastic Universe

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Keeping It Real

While Singing Someone Else’s Story

Our neighborhood vulture

Each time I sing a song, I like to immerse myself in the story. The more I become the character(s), the richer the experience is for me. If the resulting performance is convincing, the observer can feel it too.

Talk about schizophrenia.

If I am doing my job as a performer, I must become that person in the story, combined with my personality and style. I love doing this.

Made in the shade

I guess one has to be a little crazy to be a singer/performer. It’s a lot like acting, except each song is another role in another play, (but I get to put my own spin on each character).
No wonder I have so much fun.

Peggy returns to P&P

Peggy Richardson is back to the piano, (Actually, her back is to the audience. - It would be hard for her to play if her back was to the piano), happier and healthier after a brief absence from the Monday Jamboree at the Treehouse.

Moon from the Treehouse

Have you ever noticed how many people are persuaded to judge, and wish harm to someone they actually know nothing about, other than what they have heard on the news?

Lovely oleander flower, (blossom?)

Tonight is the Shasta Blues Society Jam. Bass player, Billy Strong will play with the Phil Seymour Band tonight, after recuperating from a back injury. It will be nice to see him able to play again.

Corn as high as a baby elephant’s eye

If you like to read books written by Janet Evanovich, you won’t want to miss, “The Heist”,  co-written with Lee Goldberg. It is a good read and didn’t disappoint this fan.

In the light of day

Here in Redding, it is a nice, hot, 100+ Fahrenheit degree day. Good for sunflowers.

I hope your day is filled with life and love, wherever you may be.

Today’s Video Presentation;

Character Development