?

Log in

Esquivarience
Printed in copper on water

Gwynedd
Date: 2016-07-24 21:02
Subject: Mail-order monarchs update
Security: Public
Tags:monarch butterflies
All the eggs seem to have hatched and most of the caterpillars have more than doubled in size and started to get stripey. A few were abseiling off their original plant when I checked on them this morning, but I had a second one that I was able to transfer them to.

More pix on Flickr now, including:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/batwrangler/28243097500/

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-07-23 15:29
Subject: Mail-order monarchs
Security: Public
Tags:monarch butterflies
When I was young, we regularly had monarch caterpillars/butterflies around, but, despite my encouraging the growth of native milkweed and not using pesticides, I haven't seen any at my house in years. (I have tiger swallowtails, fritillaries, a million skippers, and lots of bees, though.)

This year, I had the brilliant idea of mail-ordering monarchs. They arrived as eggs on a potted milkweed on Thursday. This morning, the dark heads of the first instars became visible through their shells. This afternoon, they started hatching:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/batwrangler/albums/72157671357060626

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-07-21 22:00
Subject: 50 Books 2016-29: Penric and the Shaman (eBook)
Security: Public
Tags:50books
Penric & Desdemona Book 2
by Lois McMaster Bujold

Four years after the events in Penric and the Demon, Penric finds himself in the company of an impatient Senior Locator on the trail of a possibly murderous shaman and encounters some very usual dogs. Another lovely Penric novella.

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-06-26 09:17
Subject: Briard family reunion
Security: Public
Tags:shine
Shine and I visited her breeder yesterday and had a mini-reunion with her sister Taize and her brother Cai. We did some clicker shaping for free-stacking and took the dogs on a couple of long walks* between training sessions. It ought not to be a surprise, but it's remarkable how alike the three of them are.



*As a result, I can barely walk myself, though at the time my hip was not particularly painful.

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-05-27 01:27
Subject: 50 Books 2016-28: The End of the Sentence
Security: Public
Tags:50books
The End of the Sentence
by Maria Dahvana Headley & Kat Howard

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link






Gwynedd
Date: 2016-05-21 20:26
Subject: 50 Books 2016-27: Every Heart a Doorway
Security: Public
Tags:50books
by Seanan McGuire

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
2 Comments | Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-05-20 19:14
Subject: Thermal decomposition of sugar (aka caramel)
Security: Public
Tags:baking, cooking, food science
I saw this article on Boing Boing three days ago and decided to give it a try, first preheating my oven to 300F* and spreading out about a quarter of a bag of sugar over a silicon liner on a cookie sheet, then baking the sugar for nearly five hours. (I found the "official" recipe after I'd started.)

I suspect my oven was a little below 300 and I could have gone a little bit longer without hitting the liquification point, but the experiment seems successful.

A couple of notes: the color change, especially for the first couple of hours, is very subtle, and, for me at least, best seen by comparing it to untoasted sugar. After than tthe overall color didn't darken a lot more, but the texture when I periodically stirred seemed more "crumbly" like brown sugar as the time increased. Just before five hours (by the clock) had passed, small clumps on the edge of liquifying seemed to be developing, which is when I decided to stop. I spread it as evenly as I could across the cookie sheet and left it alone for about twenty minutes.

As the caramel sugar cooled, it quickly became a hard loaf, but I was able to pound on it gently with a wooden spoon to break it up again while it was still warmish.

While toasting, the sugar had a faint, nearly subliminal, floral smell, reminiscent of cotton candy.

I think the granulated mouth-feel tends to disguise the flavor change if you are simply tasting it, though if I crunch it a bit while drawing air through my mouth (sort of like tasting wine), the caramel notes are certainly there.


*Having previously noticed that oven temperature goes high enough to char paper during pre-heating and not wanting to the sugar to deliquesce straight off by accident.

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-05-20 18:32
Subject: 50 Books 2016-26: Roses and Rot
Security: Public
Tags:50books, faeries
by Kat Howard

This is a Tam-Lin story featuring two sisters who have used art (writing and dance respectively) to (mostly) escape their narcissist mother and are now in residence at an extraordinary artist colony.

Kat did a signing at the Toadstool in Milford last night before the SF Readers' Group -- it was great to meet her, I'm only sorry I hadn't somehow (through time travel, perhaps?) read the book first!

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-04-25 21:01
Subject: 50 Books 2016-22 through 25 (more catching up)
Security: Public
Tags:50books
2016-22
Crenshaw (unabridged audiobook)
by Katherine Applegate, read by Kirby Heyborne
A really good YA book about a boy whose family is on the verge of being homeless for a second time and the return of his imaginary friend, a large, black and white cat named Crenshaw.

2016-23:
3 Below (unabridged audiobook)
Floors Series, Book 2
by Patrick Carman, read by Jesse Bernstein

2016-24:
The Field of Wacky Inventions (unabridged audiobook)
Floors Series, Book 3
by Patrick Carman, read by Jesse Bernstein
I ended up finishing the series despite having numerous issues with it, chiefly that the fabulously wealthy, eccentric genius running things is rather too fey, despite some handwaving at the end about his level of supervision; the main antagonist's scene chewing; the number of sympathetic human female characters; some timeline/continuity wobbles; some klunky word choices; and a running gag involving burping that permeated the second book and had call backs in the third.

2016-25:
Wynonna Earp: Strange Inheritance (graphic novel)
by Beau Smith (Author), Enrique Villagran (Artist), Manual Vidal (Artist), Pat Lee (Artist), Carlos Ferreira (Artist), Luis Diaz (Artist), Joyce Chin (Artist)
I've been enjoying the tv series. It doesn't have a lot in common with its source material. I like the tv property more.

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link



Gwynedd
Date: 2016-04-20 17:52
Subject: 50 Books 2016-18 through 21 (catching up)
Security: Public
Tags:50books
2016-18:
Dragonbreath
Dragonbreath #1
written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon
I'm reading these prior to handing them off to my six-year-old nephew. They are fun. I hope he likes them.

2016-19:
Floors (unabridged audiobook)
Floors Series, Book 1
by Patrick Carman, read by Jesse Bernstein
This is the first in a series. I'm not sure it manages to be whimsical enough in its wackiness for me, but it's probably a hit with younger readers. I started book two immediately after book one, but stalled out and switched to another audiobook.

2016-20:
Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs
Dragonbreath #2
written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon

2016-21:
Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-wiener
Dragonbreath #3
written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon

You can also read this entry on Dreamwidth (comment count unavailable comments)
Post A Comment | Share | Link






browse
my journal
links
July 2016