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Sunday, July 23, 2017




Sunday, 8:45 AM.  57 degrees F at both the ferry dock and on the back porch.  Wind variable and mostly calm, with occasional light gusts.  The sky is overcast, the humidity 99%.  The barometer is rising, now at 29.84".  The high today will be around 60, warming into the mid-seventies thereafter.  Chance of thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday, and mixed skies for the rest of the week.  It is a very quiet morning.
   Yesterday around mid-day a cop car sat outside the house with whistle blowing, and I immediately looked for a bear but saw none.  I found out from neighbors this morning that the cops were indeed chasing a bear out of downtown, where they cause considerable havoc among the tourists buying ice cream at The Candy Shop.  It evidently ran through the yard but I missed it.
   Another neighbor had a bear cub in her garage going after garbage after she forgot to close the garage door.  That reminds me to keep the garage door closed, as they have been known to open a freezer to steal the contents.  Buddy was barking and growling and patrolling around the house about 3:00 this morning so we probably have a bear on the prowl again.
   Cattails are in bloom. The flowers are similar to those of the grasses, and have no colorful floral parts. They are rather unusual, the male parts being produced above the female, on the same flowering stalk. This is quite evident, particularly before the “cat tail” sets seed.
    Cattails are in the genus Typha, and are quite primitive plants, just a step above the Gymnosperms, or conifers. They are monocots, like grasses, sedges and lilies. T. latifolia (wide leaved) and T. angustifolia (narrow leaved) are both native, that pictured probably being the latter. They may grow together, and often hybridize. There are perhaps ten species of cattails, growing throughout much of the world. These are along Compton Road.
   When we were kids we used to smoke the ripe cattails, which burn like punk and produce a heavy white smoke.  The seed stalk is hollow and when sucked on, the burning cattails smolder brightly, like a cigar.  My mother would have given me a good licking had she found out.
   The first hay crop is in, and with all the wet weather it looks like a good crop.  There should be a good second crop as well.

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