Bonus Video: Solving Baby Penguin’s Problem

(This is seven and a half minutes long… but sweet.)

What do you do with a baby penguin that has a phobia for water? I mean, that won’t work!

Well, here are a few people who go to a lot of trouble for this one little penguin; and they’re able to lead her out of her phobia. I consider that proof that, for all its faults, the human race is not entirely devoid of grace.

Which is the gift of God.

Something Different: Fun With Newts

Okay, they’re not furry or cuddly and they’re also very small. They’re newts. And the fact that we can have mutually pleasant interactions with them is, I think, evidence that we’re not all bad. And I think they have cute little faces.

I wonder what this person’s feeding them. Nobody I ever heard of makes Newt Chow.

Crows In, Predators Out

Country diary: carrion crows construct their high-rise abode | Birds | The  Guardian

Jambo, Mr. Nature here! And I haven’t seen any predators in our neighborhood lately. Especially hawks. Where have our hawks gone?

Well, we now have crows. Lot and lots of crows. And crows don’t like predators. Instead of just putting their names on a registry, the crows chase them out. This seems to work very well. Maybe the crows are smarter than we are.

Spring Has Sprung

Dead nettle Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Our new dead-nettles

Overnight, a host of brilliant yellow dandelions have bloomed all over our lawn, punctuated by a crop of brilliant purple dead-nettles. The squirrels have not eaten our tulips, so we have a dash of bright red, too. Is it any wonder that most people love the spring.

And then the bells of St. Francis, across the street, chimed in with For the Beauty of the Earth.

The flowers tell us: God is nigh.

‘A New “T. Rex”… with Feathers’ (2015)

Can we take up a collection for this poor creature?

I don’t know if they still have their 2015 reconstruction of Tyrannosaurus rex, but one can always hope they came to their senses and got rid of it.

A New ‘T. rex’… with Feathers?

As in everything else, there are fads in dinosaur science. The latest fad was feathers. By and by something else will take its place, if it hasn’t already. Maybe it’ll be clothes. Dinosaurs in clothes.

I’m sorry, but that reconstruction made the great Tyrannosaur look like something that the cat dragged in.

‘This Is My Father’s World’

It’s positively freezing, up here in Jersey-land; and yet all the trees are suddenly in bud, and even our ancient dogwood tree has opened up its blossoms. God’s stuff is on the move.

Here’s a new rendition of a classic hymn, This Is My Father’s World, performed by Keith & Kristyn Getty… with plenty of beautiful things to enjoy.

Possum Promenade

My wife had a pet possum, years ago, and is still a possum fan. I had a young possum in my room for a couple of days… until my mother saw it. Such a fuss she made.

Here’s a mommy possum on the hunt for human food scraps, with five or six babies riding piggy-back. Wolf spiders do that, too. Just thought I’d mention it.

Hero Rooster

Wow! This rooster heard the hen’s cries for help and came out with guns blazing! That was a full-grown hawk he tackled, and he totally walloped him. He didn’t hesitate a second. Inspiring!

I once saw a group of sparrows drive off a hawk who should’ve known better. Feisty little beggars!

‘Splat! Goes the Writer’ (2012)

54,075 Slipping On Ice Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

It’s been brutally cold out here in Jersey-land, these last few days of March. But then we always seem to have bad weather in March. Like this:

Splat! Goes the Writer

I was probably lucky the doorstep wasn’t iced, too. A few days ago in Pennsylvania, snow and ice and fog combined to create a horrendous pileup on Route I-81. People were killed. Dozens of cars and trucks were wrecked.

We’re supposed to get some warm weather today, finally. But somewhere I’ll bet it’s snowing.

Did ‘Java Man’ Draw or Paint?

The Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook of Meet Your Ancestors: A  Biography of Primitive Man, by Roy Chapman Andrews.

When I was a boy, Homo erectus was called Pithecanthropus (“Ape Man”) or “Java Man”–this head-to-toe furry guy with a brain about the size of a golf ball. The illustration above is about the most kind treatment he ever got.

Now we know he made stone tools, walked fully erect, and had a brain capacity which, at least in some examples, equaled ours. Not that that seems particularly hard to do, these days.

Ah! But was he fully human? Well, how can he be, if he can’t produce some kind of art?

But evidence is seeping in that he could and he did.

No, we haven’t found the first Mona Lisa. It’s just some clam shells with lines scratched into them, found in Java. When they were new, the shells would’ve been dark brown and the scratches vividly white. The shells have turned white with great age, but you can still see the scratchings–including what looks like a capital M.

Homo erectus shell carving photo

Now don’t get into an uproar over the dates cited by scientists who are studying this. Whatever dates you assign to them, a) the shells are very old, b) they have clearly been engraved, and c) they’ve been found where traces of Homo erectus have been found.

Could it be that H. erectus was… us? Just people? with some superficial differences that set them apart from people today.

Sheesh. What if they liked to draw and paint on sheets of bark, or animal skins, or some other perishable material? We’d never know. It wouldn’t be Arnolfini’s Wedding, but it might be more impressive than doodlings on a clam shell. Navaho sand paintings are exquisite works of art requiring great skill; but they’d never show up in the archaeological record.

What if it really was a letter M?