hide, spider!

Elwha would happily hunt the spider if it was on the inside.

As an amateur spider identifier, I think this is a Cross Orb-Weaver. Here is a site about Washington State Spiders: https://spiderid.com/locations/united-states/washington/. See the Ragtag Daily Prompt for a close up.

Where do the spiderlings go when it snows? Here is Sol Duc exploring the snow very early on the first morning of new snow.

And here is Over the Rhine. The third song includes the line “Let it fall like snow.”

be careful out there

Whew, the storm hitting in the United States is scary, with the really low temperatures, some people having lost power, and temperatures dropping super fast. Be careful! Here is my house, looking cosy in the snow this week. So far so good with power.

Ok, want to guess what the lights are supposed to be?

Please stay warm and be careful. In the southern states people don’t have the winter gear. I had some patients who were living in homes with no heat, so I hope they can go to a warming station.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: icicle.

Frosted

Ok, it’s not frost, is it? It’s snow.

I went out each morning to get the frozen feeder and wrap a hot towel around it until TicTok could drink. TicTok would yell at me if I didn’t fix it as soon as it was light.

The Anna’s hummingbirds can overwinter here. It got well below freezing. They can slow their metabolism and do an overnight mini-hibernation. They are hungry as bears when they wake up!

Taken in 2019.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: frost.

Upstage

I am reading Kim Addonizio’s Ordinary Genius, A Guide for the Poet Within, for a class. In the chapter about cliches, she suggests choosing a cliche and playing with it. The first example on her list is “A sudden fear gripped me”, so she inspired this:

Upstage

A sudden fear gripped me by my nipples
I hear my mother: Colder than a witch’s titty
Why must the witch’s titties be cold?
Must they dance naked even in the bitter winter?
Can a witch retire at a certain age
Sit warm, clothed, with her cat and tea
By a fire with enough fuel for winter?
You’d think they’d get pneumonia dancing naked
In any weather; yet witches are usually old.
Maybe it acts like jumping in to cold water
To dance around a Beltane fire; maybe witchery
is hot work and they aren’t cold at all.
Maybe a witch’s titty is warm all the time
And meanwhile the fear is gone, upstaged by titties.

Dinosaurs got colds too

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2022-02-11/dolly-diplodocid-dinosaur-pneumonia-disease-respiratory-illness/100817258

Dolly the Dinosaur shows evidence of a respiratory infection: aka a “cold”. And a chronic cold. She died at age 15, about half way through her lifespan. I suspect a little guesswork there. Do old dinosaurs turn grey?

There are dinosaur bone changes in Dolly from chronic infection. The scientist posted photographs on the internet and other bone experts said, that is infection. That is evidence of respiratory infection. “A lot of the times when any disease or trauma is found in a dinosaur skeleton, it’s often in limb bones where you expect it to happen,” Dr Poropat said. “Seeing it where the air sacs penetrate the vertebrae in a sauropod is quite unusual.” Also, she didn’t die of volcanic ash: “Inhalation of volcanic ash can cause a disease similar to mesothelioma.” Who knew? I haven’t kept up on my dinosaur medicine. The pattern of lesions also didn’t fit with lung cancer. Instead, Dr Woodruff and his colleagues think bacterial or fungal infections such as chlamydiosis and aspergillosis are prime suspects. These respiratory infections are common in birds today. “We don’t know for sure if the infection was bad enough to ultimately do Dolly in.”

Dolly, with her long neck, had neck arthritis from a chronic cold. She thought it was allergies.

Coronoviruses are colds. We are have a pandemic of a really really nasty killer cold and a cold that is doing long term damage in way too many people. That seems hugely ironic to me. I thought it would be influenza. After flu nearly killed me in 2003 I read about it and have enormous respect for it. And influenza is endemic and is always circling the world, in the colder regions.

My ideas about allergies and asthma are changing. We define asthma by whether people respond to albuterol. I do not respond to albuterol so I do not have asthma. However, I respond to other adrenaline like molecules: coffee caffeine and terbutaline. So do I have an asthma like illness? My allergy testing in 2014 was resoundingly negative. I tested for celiac in 2020, because I just did not feel well. Negative. I have not retested yet, but even if that antibody testing is negative, it was gluten that flared up diverticulitis in me. The thing is, there could be other antibodies. Loads of them. We all make different ones.

I am thinking about tubulin. Tubulin powers our muscles and cilia and flagella. It is mitochondrial. We inherit mitochondria from the mother only: it is in the egg but not the sperm. Mitochondria is matrolineal. My son and daughter both have my mitochondria. I have a photograph of my maternal grandmother’s mother. Her expression is amazingly like my daughter’s expression when she is thinking. My daughter has my poor spelling skills, my attitude towards work, and her father’s muscular endurance. During college, her father’s goal was five sports a day. In high school my daughter said that she “just didn’t feel good” when the pool was closed. She was used to swimming 3-5 miles a day and lifting weights. Her father can get on a bicycle and ride at the speed of talking all day. He also has pioneered “jog golfing” in his area. When the golf course is empty in the winter, he plays golf and jogs from one hole to the next with his bag. Yes, he is nuts, I agree. I am jealous of that endurance.

The inheritance of antibodies would be from both parents, because they are made by the white blood cells. Do parents and children make the same antibodies or are they entirely different? I do not know that. I took an immunology course when I worked at NIH in the 1980s. I also had some immunology in medical school, but not nearly to the level that I am interested in now. I think I am hunting for a really good immunology course. And maybe more information about dinosaur medicine.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: thread. This post follows the thread of my thoughts this morning

freezing level

Yesterday a trip to Forks is in order. There is snow around Lake Crescent and you can see the freezing level part way up the mountain. It is beautiful as we rise into the pass between the Elwha Valley and the Sol Duc Valley. In the Sol Duc Valley there is less snow at road level, but it’s still in the mountains. A gorgeous day.

In the Sol Duc Valley.