Sunday, June 16, 2024

Summer on Thursday

Astronomical summer will officially begin this Thursday, June 20. I hear that it will hot and humid around Philadelphia and South Jersey -- a perfect day for the beach.

It should also be good weather to look for interesting insects, like this Golden Northern Bumblebee -- the plushy teddy bear of bees, and my personal favorite. Click to enlarge.

And here's a thought to remember from John Lubbock, who said: "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time."

Sunday, June 9, 2024

White Squirrels


I was on a road trip from New Jersey to St. Louis, Missouri, last week. Of all the roadside attractions along the way, the white squirrels of Olney, Illinois, were the best. Behold the white squirrel! Click to enlarge.

Here's more.

The town promotes and protects its special squirrel population. The road through the city park where many of the squirrels live is named White Squirrel Drive. There's a law that grants right-of-way to white squirrels on streets and sidewalks.

There are also regular Eastern Gray Squirrels in Olney; white ones are pink-eyed albinos of that species.

You can find white squirrel images all over town, like on the wall of a donut shop.

In the corner of a mural.

There are statues.

And this!

And souvenirs.

I bought myself a white squirrel cookie cutter. I'll show off what I bake with it in a later blog. White and pink icing will be involved.

Olney, Illinois, is worth a visit.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Brood XIX Hits St. Louis


I have the good luck to be in St. Louis, Missouri, while a big emergence of periodical cicadas is happening. There are billions of buzzing cicadas out there. People are calling it "Cicadageddon." This brood emerges every 13 years, so they were last seen in 2011. They'll be back in 2037. Click here to read my eyewitness account of the emergence of a periodical cicada brood. Click on the photo to enlarge. Gotta love that face, right?