FrizzText’s weekly challenge is now at “O“.
I saw this guy at the Museum. He told me it takes him two hours to get his hair looking like this:
- Flat iron
- Blow dry
- Hair spray
- Hair glue called “Got2B“
I have no idea how he sleeps…
Earlier this year in my post “Unique” my blogging buddy Tara at The Good Villager identified the stick-like plant on my patio as an orchid cactus (Epiphyllum)
This past winter it only produced one flower.
On March 11 2013 my heart sank when I saw these bumps on one of the unhappy looking stick-like stems. I didn’t know whether it was going to be a bunch of friendly flowers or an infestation of a nasty bug…
Two-and-a-half weeks later…
The plant is so top-heavy the only way to lift the stem off the ground was to put a brick underneath it.
There are another twelve buds just about to bloom.
Mr F and I went to Julian in the Cuyamaca Mountains (156 miles south-east of Los Angeles at 4,235 feet) for the Easter weekend.
Julian’s high elevation provides clean air, blue skies and four distinct seasons.
Spring is generally mild with a profusion of daffodils
Julian, which was founded in the 1870’s gold rush, is a well-known apple growing area. There are four bakeries in town all baking and serving apple pie.
After our three-and-a-half mile hike up to Cuyamaca Peak – [elevation 6,512 feet which I’ll describe in another post] – we treated ourselves to a shared warm piece of apple pie with vanilla ice cream.
Full disclosure: it was so delicious that we ordered another piece, and took a pie home. 😀
We stayed at a B and B called The Observer’s Inn,
nestled in the beautiful oak and pine-covered mountains of Julian, is a peaceful, 4.5 acre retreat for those who appreciate nature and wish to rejuvenate their spirits.
It wasn’t just a peaceful place. Mike, who has been fascinated by astronomy since high school, has built an Observatory just below his house, “with a roof that slides open“, and offers tours of the night sky to guests.
The breathtaking starry nights make for the perfect location of our astronomical observatory which houses several research grade telescopes.
Mike Leigh began our tour outside the Observatory using his laser-light to point out the major stars and constellations in the twinkling night sky.
I have never seen such a clear night sky. I now know how to find the Big Dipper, and the North Star.
Once inside the Observatory he explained that there are three types of telescopes: refractor, reflecting and optical.
He has four telescopes. His largest is a 16 inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain LX200 which [according to an article I read on the dining room wall] is the same model used in National Observatories of small countries.
He thinks his fourteen inch is perfect because “you have to know the night sky and find the star yourself” whereas the twelve-inch and sixteen-inch are computerized: punch in the correct codes and they’ll find the stars.
When we looked through his telescopes we saw an open star cluster, a globular cluster, nebulae in the shape of spirals, and a rainbow.
To see some photos taken at the Observatory click here.
Mike speaks very fast and with much passion. A few interesting bits I picked up during his talk:
- The speed of light is 186,282.4 miles per second in a vacuüm.
- Light travels seven-and-a-half times round the earth in one second.
- Theoretically we don’t know what galaxies look like because things we see in the sixteen inch telescope took three to four billion years to reach our eyepiece.
- At the speed that the Space Shuttle flies – 18,500 mph – it would take us humans 160,000 years to get to our closest star (which is Alpha Centauri)
- There are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way.
- One grain of beach sand = 5,000 galaxies
- Around Thanksgiving this year we’ll be able to see the comet of our lifetimes. Called “Ison“, it is predicted to be spectacular and very bright, and so close to earth that we will be able to see it with our naked eyes.
- Ison will be much more powerful than Halley’s Comet the best known of the short-period comets, which is visible from Earth every 75–76 years.
- Click here to read NASA’s explanation.
We’re definitely going to go back to see Ison.