Monday, December 17, 2007

Giant Rat...

My "otre significante" is scared of rodents. Very scared, which is why I posted this wonderful photo of a Giant Rat that was discovered in Papua Province, Indonesia (I'll find out if she really visits this blog). It's supposedly five times the size of the average urban rat. Came upon the story and above photo in the Australian daily "The Age."

Conservation International also discovered a tiny possum, which they described as one of "the world's smallest marsupials."

Another confession...I have a long history of deriving pleasure from exploiting the nature-related phobias of people. That especially applies to insects (bugs), but also snakes, spiders, and just about any other animal.

At an early age I learned that two aunts (Ginny and Polly Parsons) could be made to cry "eeeek" by chucking a bug in their direction. Repeat it a few times and I could then simply pretend to throw a bug at them and they would still scream. With just a virtual wave of the hand I could command a chorus of shrieks and howls followed by protests and threats. Repeat and run.

And then there were the strategically placed rubber snakes and spiders. One such snake was placed on my cabin porch, specifically in honor of a visit from another Aunt Ginny Parsons (Cooper), who despite being a genuine huckleberry-picking mountain woman was deathly afraid of snakes. Upon seeing my foot-long rubber snake she performed an astoundng vertical jump of nearly five feet, which was about how tall she stood.

I haven't exploited Sherry-baby's fears with either real or rubber rodents. All I need to do to get her totally skeevied out is describe the imaginary rat that just ran behind the refrigerator, including tail length, weight, color, etcetera. Speaking of rats -- is this the quote of the year?

"My job is a decision-making job. And as a result, I make a lot of decisions."
George W. Bush

Okay...that' so reassuring.
I'm sure Bertie the Bunyip made
Bertie The Bunyip
lots of decisions in his/her day too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow on the Toh

Check out L. R. Brunner's recent post from Turkey. She offers some great insights into the universal nature of teens and the travails of an untrained English teacher. Her blog is listed at the top of my links.

The lowhead dam on Tohickon Creek (pictured left) at Ralph Stover State Park has finally been demolished. There is a nice gentle drop and rapid where the dam once stood.

The Tohickon Creek from Stover down to the Delaware River offers some of the best whitewater in the region. This area also has some of the best hiking opportunities, especially on the Bucks County Park side of the creek, where one can walk from High Rocks all the way down to within a half mile of the Delaware River. Not an easy trail, but ideal for rock hoppers.