notes about nature by ~pgadey rss

This is about my indoor garden.

Plant Cam


Arthur is my oldest house plant.He has the most interesting history of my plants. He is, in some sense, and old friend of mine.

  1. Moved from London to Peterborough to attend Trent (in 2006)
  2. Lived in Champlain college
  3. My room was pretty drab
  4. Bought my first plant

  5. Carried the plant around for years

  6. Moved to Robinson

  7. Left the plant at Robinson

  8. Rescued the plant from the punks

  9. Carried around Toronto

  10. Finally repotted on 2016-06-29

Sedum morganianum

Balcony Pigeons

I took some photos of the pigeons that visit my balcony. Hopefully there will be more information on these birds eventually. Last summer we had a pair of pigeons nest on our balcony. This time around, I thought it would be good to get photos of our visitors.


This pigeon showed up recently. I started filling up a small food of tray for it. It is nice to have an outdoor friend again.

Solar Sketching


This gadget was made out of an old pair of binoculars and a tripod I found on the street. It needs a better more stable mount. We're going to take off everything other than the one magnifying lense.

Allan Sketches

These sketches were made at Allan Gardens in Toronto.

Botanical Illustration

[2016 V 29]

As of last Monday, Victoria Day in Canada, I've been on an art kick. Today I spent a couple hours sketching flowers that I found around the neighbourhood. Soon I'll make scans of my illustrations available. For the time being, here are some photos of the specimens that I illustrated.

Purple flower Bleeding heart

Presently I am very interested in learning to improve my abilities in the imitative arts. I especially enjoy attempting anatomical diagrams of plants and architectural drawing. Sticking to my love of simple tools, I am focusing my efforts on pencil sketching, fountain pen calligraphy, and watercolour.

[2016 V 30]

Today I scanned the pieces from my notebook.

[2016 VI 02]

Some additional scans from my notebook. The orchid is on the window sill above my desk. The small yellow flower was drawn through The Amazing Enlarger (a "microscope").

ROM Sketches

These sketches were made at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Reflected Spot Sundial

Last summer I made an uncalibrated reflected spot sundial. It lights up a tiny spot on the living room wall near sunset. Hopefully I'll get it calibrated this summer. The first image shows the reflected spot, about to be devoured by a flying dragon. The second image shows the small mirror, near the top of the white wall, which reflects the spot in to our apartment.

The set up

The reflected spot

Shots with times

[2016-04-24] Used the Plant Cam to take some shots of the reflected spot in action. The total elapsed time is: 12m 53s.

2016-04-23 19-51-52:


2016-04-23 20-04-45:


[2016-04-25] Craig Sinnamon helped me stack the two timed photos in Gimp.


[2016-04-26] Craig and I though that a good next step would be to photograph the reflected spot on some kind of grid background. I printed off some grid paper, and put it in to position, but the resolution of the photos from the webcam is too small to capture the grid.


2015 IX 27 Eclipse
2016-02-11-4 at 00h

Hello! There will be an eclipse tonight.

If you were in the Tycho crater on the moon, on the site of Surveyor 7 at 23:45 ET, the view would look like this. A remarkable sight. Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, and Saturn will all be hanging around the ecliptic; surrounding the sunset encircled Earth.

NASA has all put up all the technical details here (local mirror).

There are many quotations related to eclipses and arranged by David Le Conte are available here.

 At a Lunar Eclipse (1906)
 By Thomas Hardy

 Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
 Now steals along upon the Moon's meek shine
 In even monochrome and curving line
 Of imperturbable serenity.

 How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry
 With the torn troubled form I know as thine,
 That profile, placid as a brow divine,
 With continents of moil and misery?

 And can immense Mortality but throw
 So small a shade, and Heaven's high human scheme
 Be hemmed within the coasts yon arc implies?

 Is such the stellar gauge of earthly show,
 Nation at war with nation, brains that teem,
 Heroes, and women fairer than the skies? 
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