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Mine Creek Revelations: Goldenrod Time

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YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out my window on Main Street, and I have been thrilled at the many opportunities to view the planet Mars, lately.

We’ve had enough clear skies at early night or early morning to get a great look at the Red Planet.

And it is red! Well, more like the ‘dusky rose’ I dyed my only set of bedsheets when I was a student. It was by accident. The person who had used the washer in the Fayetteville laundramat before me had left a package of dye in the machine and I didn’t look before dumping the sheets and some towels in.

The result was red-tinted towels and sheets. I told my roommates that I did it on purpose.

So, I’m fairly sure that it is Ancient Aliens or Just Plain Aliens or SEC football officials that have dyed Mars.

You can see Mars in the west, early morning, and in the east, early evening.

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CHICKENS COME HOME to roost, I’ve heard the old saying.

This time it’s a rocket launched 54 years ago.

One of them skywatching perfessers noticed what was first thought to be an ‘asteroid’ in September, and he has now determined that it isn’t a passing space rock but is a part of a multi-stage rocket that was launched in an ill-fated mission to Mars. That part of the rocket was supposed to circle the planet then go around the sun and go flying off to goodness-knows-where in the universe.

Instead it is coming home. Home, at least for a few months, then it’ll be gone again. It’ll orbit Earth for a few months and then slide away. So the perfessers say.

The skywatcher is one of a bunch of amateurs who search space for approaching ‘doomsday rocks,’ and aren’t we glad they do! 

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THE GOOD EARTH. Right now goldenrod is raging along fencerows and fields. It reminds me that I am usually on my annual trip to the Gulf with daughter and granddaughter at this time of the year. We are treated to the goldenrod show all the way to the salty waters.

We’re not going to Gulf Shores this year due to several very good reasons:

• The Gulf Coast has been decimated by hurricanes and they’re just not ready for tourists, yet.

• Isolation due to the virus. I don’t want to be exposed to that whole Gulf crowd.

• Granddaughter has extra responsibilities that come with being on cheer squad for the Maumelle Hornets.

In fact, (3) might be the most influential. I hate that trips with her grandfather are no longer the most important on her table. But that’s life.

Many people mistakenly believe that goldenrod causes allergies. That’s a common mistake. Goldenrod is actually used in some allergy medications. The plant ‘we’ are most likely allergic to is Something Something (I can’t remember the name right now, but it also has yellow blooms). Oh, yeah, the offending plant is ragweed. Ragweed even sounds worse than goldenrod.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. A publication about birds and flowers says that hummingbirds are passing through on migration to South America.

Wait just a minute, magazine writers. In recent years hummers have wintered here in southwest Arkansas. I fact I remember talking to Max Tackett who said one hummer visited his hanging feeder even in freezing weather.

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I PAY TAXES, TOO. Really? Our billionaire president paid less income taxes than me last year? That don’t seem fair.

I personally like that presidential candidates over the last four decades — Republican and Democrats alike — have released their tax returns so that the public can see for themselves to whom the candidates are indebted. Their loss of privacy is balanced by the public’s rightful concern.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) anonymous emails. “The Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.”

I would like to add: Or you are at some place where you don’t want to be seen at all.

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WORD GAMES. Another set of siblings: Straight and Narrow. Sometimes referred to as THE Straight and Narrow. Also known as the Behave Yourself twins.

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HE SAID: “Places are safe until they aren’t. It takes only one moment, one bad actor, one chance crossing of predator and prey to change things.” Harry Bosch, Detective 3, LAPD Hollywood Division.

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SHE SAID: “They might not need me;

but they might.

I’ll let my head be just in sight;

a smile as small as mine might be

precisely their necessity.” Emily Dickinson, poet!

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby