Merry Christmas and Happy New Year #MerryXmas #MerryChristmas2021

Christmas 2021, ornaments hung on an agave flower stalk

This year, I hung my ornaments on an agave flower stalk from my yard here in Southwest New Mexico, USA. Agave put out amazing flowers, but only once. The plant dies but its single dried stalk remains, sometimes for years. I cut off at least eight feet of stalk below the side arms where the flowers bloom, and it’s still eight feet tall.

Best wishes to you and yours throughout the holiday season.

Do Not Fire Up Your Spaceship and Leave Earth

I don’t usually pass on jokes because humor is a dangerous thing, but I couldn’t resist:

This is a joke, it is only a joke. If FB were about to destroy the planet, you wouldn’t get a warning. (Another joke! Come on, people. Oh, and Happy Solstice – one of Earth’s annually reoccurring orientations we humans particularly enjoy.)

Thanks to Bob Riddle and his Que Tal in the Current Skies.

Happy Thanksgiving #turkeyday

Happy American Thanksgiving, and to our Canadian friends, why not roast another turkey?

Birds in my backyard, in the mountains of Southwest New Mexico, stay alert and escape the dinner table.

Enjoy your holiday 🙂

Ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties – where do they come from? #halloween2021 #ghost

What will you see Halloween night, either when you’re out Trick-or-Treating or just walking the dog?

We’ve all seen this explanation:

“If you’re walking in the woods and you see movement, you can make two errors,” says Michiel van Elk, a professor of social psychology at Leiden University. “You can either think it’s nothing, and it could be a potential predator, or you can think there’s a predator, and there’s nothing.” Psychologists suspect humans evolved a cognitive bias toward the latter mistake for good reason: Our ancestors had to keep a constant lookout for stealthy hazards like leopards and snakes, and folks with a “better safe than sorry” attitude were more likely to survive and reproduce. That’s why a snapping twig can activate the fight-or-flight reflexes that make us scream. Popular Science

The article offers more explanations for seeing spirits:

Zhong Kui, the vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings, painted sometime before 1304 A.D. by Gong Kai
  • We want to believe, to be part of the great ghost-hunting tribe.
  • Ghosts aren’t all bad, so why not? “In a 1995 survey in The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 91% of participants said their encounter had at least one upside, such as a sense of connection to others.”
  • Our brain is having problems from seizures or schizophrenia to drugs (recreational and otherwise.)
  • Infrasound! That’s as weird as any ghost. Sounds that are “inaudible to human ears, whose range bottoms out at 20 Hz, the interval creates some fairly insidious side effects.”
  • Geological phenomena where someone knows the explanation, but it’s not me and you. Here’s a fun name for the effect: “the devil’s magic.”

No one’s ever proved ghosts exist, at least not scientifically, and – no – listening to faint garbled radio signals on a device with no proper antenna or frequency tuning is not proof. Neither are those green-lighted night-vision offerings on cable.

Still looking over your shoulder? Here’s a solution from my past, tried and true:

When I was a kid, the door to our home’s attic was in my bedroom. Eek! Every night as darkness fell and the house cooled, creaks and groans floated down to me. I outwitted the monsters by lining all my stuffed animals up facing the door. I know the scary thrill and the sweet relief.

Thanks to Popular Science for their article at