Articles (Blog)
Posted on August 7, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Look who was hanging out at our house tonight.  It is a Luna moth, Actias luna.  
You can see how easy it was to spot her, because she's so big!!  Typical wingspan is about 4 inches.  They have hairy, white bodies, and vestigial mouthparts, as they don't feed.  They only live a week as adults, and get energy from fat stored when in the caterpillar stage.  Their sole purpose as adults is to breed and lay eggs.  Luna moths are not uncommon, but since their adult life is so short, we don't often see them.
Luna moth was named by Linnaeus in 1758, after Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon.  
It always feels special to see a Luna moth.  I hope you get the chance to see one.  
Posted on August 6, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I was thinking today as I was walking:  it's camping, hiking, outdoor season.  You need to know about poison ivy!!!!  I  have a very personal relationship with poison ivy.  We've been acquaintances for years.  Too many years.
Rather than my rewriting what I wrote last year, I'd like you to practice a new skill.  
Go back to the main menu, and scroll down to Searching the Site.  Put in poison ivy and you'll see several articles I wrote on the subject.  If you're interested.....
Posted on August 1, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
First of all:  it's called "a mess of beans"
And the beans are called "rattlesnake beans"
Neither of which I understand.  Don't care. 
This is a mess of rattlesnake beans from our garden.  They are the BEST beans ever.  They are heirloom seeds from my friend at Ingles in Blairsville.  They reproduce true year after year.  And they just keep on producing all summer!!!  
Posted on July 31, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
See the butterfly?  It is a Tiger Swallowtail, Pterourus glaucus.  Isn't it beautiful!!!  
We love our Echinacea plants, and so do the butterflies.  And the bees, and the grasshoppers, and the hummingbirds.  They love it for the nectar.  Lots in our yard!!  They love lots of different flowers for nectar.
They are a little more picky when it comes to host plants.  Not just any plant will do for raising babies.
The female butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves of willow, some cherries, and tulip poplars.  Lots of those in our woods too!!!   The caterpillars emerge and eat the leaves.  They grow and grow until they make their chrysalids.  After a few weeks they break out and are beautiful butterflies.
We often see Tiger Swallowtails early in spring.  They hang around the apple trees, sipping the nectar and pollinating the flowers.  I was surprised to see one this late, but I just read that they have 1-3 broods a year, spring-autumn.  So there you go......your science lesson for the day.
See, growing pretty flowers in our gardens serves more than the singular purpose of "pretty," they also attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.  And while they are using the flowers for food, they are also pollinating them for fruit production.  Everybody wins!!!
Posted on July 30, 2018 6:00 AM by Jon Opsahl
Mercury Retrograde
I will have to apologize to all of my star-power friends. Mercury went retrograde last Thursday, the 26th and I was remiss in notifying everyone. When a planet goes retrograde physically from the perspective of Earth it appears to be going backward. Now how can that be you ask? When you are driving your car and overtaking the car that is in front of you, it appears that that car is moving backward from your perspective of gaining on it. It is the same principle with the planets. Astrologically when a planet goes retro the attributes and characteristics represented by the planet go inward. This is equivalent to taking a recent experience and going inside to think it over. It’s like the digestive process in extracting energy from the food that you consume.
Of all the planets Mercury is the most notable when going retrograde. It is also the only planet that has more than one retrograde period each year. In fact it usually has three. Since Mercury primarily deals with all forms of communications and the mental/logical processes, when it goes retro it is very noticeable throughout our modern business oriented society. Here is what you can expect from retro Mercury.
You can expect indecision and changes in plans. These periods require much caution and orderly thinking. It is a good time for research, planning, examination of resources, and completion of projects already begun. During this period we might reconsider waylaid projects from the past or go back to old ideas or plans.
Avoid beginning important new projects while Mercury is retrograde. These should be postponed until it goes direct in motion. Projects begun during Mercury retrograde often develop differently than expected. To avoid disappointments expect disruptions. There will be delays in business matters, especially communications or transportation.
People ruled by Mercury retrograde, or whose charts have prominent mercurial signs (check with your local astrologer for details) are more strongly affected than others by the Mercury retrograde periods. Don’t expect people, especially Geminis and Virgos, to be able to make up their minds at this time.
While Mercury is retrograde, it is important to give greater attention to accuracy, details and daily routine.
It is not a good time to make important business decisions, sign contracts, wills or other prominent or important documents. It is not a good time to make any large purchases like property/home or buying an automobile. And above all expect breakdown in communications with others. It will often be that what you say to a person will be completely misconstrued and a complete misunderstanding of your communication will ensue.
People born with Mercury retrograde in their charts always think before they speak.
Mercury will go back to direct motion on August 19th.
Posted on July 28, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Aren’t these beautiful?  
They are Dr. Wyches heirloom tomatoes.  We grew them from seeds this year, and they are doing great. 
Oh, yeah, they taste good too.  I’m just more about “pretty.”
Posted on July 27, 2018 2:00 PM by Jon Opsahl
To all my friends who look to the stars and the heavens for their guidance and inner/outer reality.
Here is a short review of the cycles of the Moon.
The stages of the Moon are symbolic to planting a garden. The first stage is the planning or planting stage. The second stage is the working or growing stage. In this stage you tend the garden, keep the weeds out, water and nurture it. The third stage is the harvest. Here you reap what you sow, which is karma or destiny in action. The last stage is the plowing under and preparing for the next cycle.
The cycle of the moon is symbolic of the 3 stages of manifestation: plan, execute, harvest.
The new moon is the beginning of the cycle: plan.
The first quarter is the working or tending stage, leading up to the full moon.
The full moon is analogous to the harvesting phase. This is where you reap the benefits of your creation - where you digest your endeavors - judge/analyze them to see if you got everything that you needed, or if you need more clarification.
The last quarter is the wrapping up of the harvesting phase in preparation for the next planning or creation stage. This is equivalent to the elimination process. Here you keep what you need and eliminate the waste.
Today is the full Moon in the sign of Aquarius.  The exact time is 4:20 pm. The Sun is 180 degrees, in the opposite sign of Leo.  
Here is what Aquarius is about:
Aquarius’s key phrase: I know and keyword: imagination
Positive characteristics: independent – inventive – tolerant – individualistic – progressive – artistic – scientific – logical – humane – intellectual – altruistic
Negative characteristics: unpredictable – temperamental – bored by detail – cold – too fixed in opinions – shy – eccentric – radical – impersonal – rebellious
Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and represents the freedom urge (“divine discontent”). Its keyword: the awakener
We are now entering the Age of Aquarius, just as the 70s song sung by the Fifth Dimension. Primarily it is about the age of information....and it is accelerating my advice is to buckle up and stay tuned and stay aware, because we are only on the tip of the sword when it comes to technology.
Aquarius is about the coming together of humanity in a cooperative, harmonious, and peaceful manner of love and brotherhood. It is when the whole of humanity works for the good of ALL and the Earth itself.
Aquarius is also about high technology.....and that is why our technology has been literally exploding for the past 100 years, especially the past 50 years.
Computers and the Internet are a perfect example of the Aquarian age. Via the Internet all of humanity can network together and share information......albeit truthful or deceptive.......all Air signs.....Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are neutral in their information that is available to is the manner in which the information is used by mankind that determines if it is positively or negatively used........and as always the sword cuts both ways.
Here is a great definition of the now emerging Age of Aquarius:
Humanity is now entering the Age of Aquarius...….a time when a new civilization will be born, based on enlightened humanitarianism and on a science using new technology and new forms of energy.  This will mark the beginning of a thousand years of peace, which was spoken of in the biblical Book of Revelation.  The intuitive, clairvoyant faculties of humanity will be highly developed, and universal brotherhood will be established in practical reality.
As for when our solar system will be fully aligned with the constellation of Aquarius......that won't occur until the around the year we have a ways to go, but as it is plain to see, right now humanity is struggling with releasing the old Age of Pisces (Old Testament) and trying to adjust to what is coming (New Testament). The struggle will continue until humanity will eventually split into two groups......those who can release their past of the things that have stalled their evolutionary consciousness development and embrace the New Order of consciousness …..and those who can't release that which impedes their evolving consciousness into the next higher paradigm of our rightful place in the order of the cosmos.
One more thing to consider when examining the Age of Aquarius.......there are two different and distinct forms of high technology.......the obvious outer technology of our physical world.......and the less considered but just as important inner technology, or spiritualism/religion. That is the true technology of humanity that will lead him out of the wondering desert and back to the garden of Eden.
Now, let's put these together: Full Moon and Aquarius.
The full Moon is the time of harvest. Whatever you started at the previous New Moon cycle, it is now time to collect the efforts of your work and enjoy them. If you accomplished everything that you set out to do.....then can now start planning for the next New Moon cycle. If you only accomplished part of what you wanted to do, now is the time to evaluate what needs to be done in order to fulfill your plans and endeavors. If, on the other hand, something went wrong during the two week period between the New Moon and the Full Moon.......or you were attempting to fix something that was previously a problem or a challenge, then it's a good time to see if you have the necessary understanding to “zero” out any misunderstandings or matter what they may be......relationships, financial, not enough time to do what you want, problems at work, not sticking to a diet, not getting enough exercise, negative habits.......essentially not accomplishing what you set out to do.
The main themes with Aquarius are technology and working with groups of people.......the group creativity and compatibility.
One final note.....a perfect example of an Aquarian society is either a beehive or an anthill. Each bee or ant has a unique function........but they work for the BETTERMENT of the whole beehive or anthill. Just think about the state of our current society in comparison.......we have a very long way to go!  
Posted on July 17, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
We were at Meeks Park on Sunday , and saw this little family out on the water.  We asked to take their picture, and they all smiled.  They were having a great time, and Dad was doing ALL the work.
What a fun way to spend a summer day!! 
Happy Fathers Day!!  Oh, wait, that was in June.  Well, for these kids, it was Sunday.
Posted on July 16, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
The Echinacea this year is BEAUTIFUL!!  It's all the way across the front of our house and down the stairs to the bottom deck.  
Best of all:  the deer don't seem to bother it (too much.)
Posted on July 15, 2018 8:55 AM by Mark Conde
This morning we were treated with the antics of four fawns coming together to hang out in our yard. It seems the moms brought them together to hang in a day care unit.
Here are the four of them mowing my lawn!
And this buck from last year is going to have one heck of a rack!
and not to be outdone, Mr turkey showed up for his share of corn!