Posted by: David | July 16, 2010

To The Moon

It was on this day, July 16th, in 1969, that Apollo 11 left Florida for its appointment in the Sea of Tranquility. Forty one years ago. Not very tranquil times those. I was just a kid. Four days later, when they finally were ready to step out onto the lunar surface, late at night in the Eastern Time Zone, I was nodding off on the couch at my father’s apartment. I missed the entire movie-length First Ever Moon Walk. Fell asleep. I was so mad about that. For years. I think I finally made up for it when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the 50th time some time in the 1970s. And, after all, I had actually visited the Kennedy Space Center on a 7th (or 8th) grade field trip a year or so earlier. I stood in the Vehicle Assembly Building. It was awesome.

Back to more earthly concerns …

This sunflower was actually facing away from the sun when I took this picture.

In the previous post there was brief mention of some kind of hornets working on the leek flowers. Well today I made a point of getting some better shots of these impressive insects. Besides the orange ones, there were some even longer (over an inch) blue-black iridescent hornets we believed to be mud daubers. Didn’t get pictures of the mud daubers, but look at these.

And finally, if, like me, you just cannot get enough of watching this amazingness, there is some video to see. I guess the insects are harvesting pollen from these leek flowers.

A coworker gave me this horseradish plant today. I need to figure out where to plant it.


  1. mmmmmmm….horseradish!!!

    Hey Maleesha, thanks for your comment. I wonder if you grow horseradish too. Here’s a photo of where I planted it. It’s behind the horse barn where we grow our corn, squash and tomatoes. My wife suggested this spot between 3 boulders, and after a little digging (about 2 feet down) I decided it was a good spot.

    Horseradish lives here, behind the horse barn.

  2. A sunflower facing AWAY from the sun? That seems a bit rebellious, no? Maybe it’s the sunflower in the pack who’s trying to act out for attention? 😉

    PS: wow…I was scared to see the hornets so close up, but it’s fascinating! The hornets are very “leggy”, I can see this now. Definitely the type of insects that would thrive on the fashion runway, if insects engage in such activities.

    I know right? That sunflower is facing east all the time. It really is a rebel.

    And yeah, those hornets are pretty scary. They’re so damn big. When my wife were first checking them out, we both got a little goosebumpy and started backing away. It was early evening, hot and sunny, and the flowers were absolutely crawling with all kinds of large stinging insects.

  3. Well, now, hornets and wasps are where we are going to have our parting of the ways. You grab a camera and go looking for them if you want. I’ll be moving rapidly in the opposite direction. Those things have hurt me more than once and they’ve hurt my dog. And a mere bee caused my eye to swell shut for two days. So yes, if it flies and it stings, I’m outta there!

    As for the rebel sunflower, I’m charmed. Maybe the poor thing wrenched it’s neck, turning too fast, and now can’t turn at all …. 😉

    Yeah, all the buzzing gave us goosebumps too. “Let’s get outa here” we agreed before I went in to get the camera. Both our kids were allergic to hornet stings and had close calls.

    Ha ha! That’s probably exactly what’s wrong with this exotic sunflower. It’s got a bad neck problem. Too much breeding. It faces sternly eastward.

  4. Cool pics and video. Too bad you couldn’t get Oprah Winfrey to narrate it for you. I’m a sucker for a nature show. 😛

    Yeah Oprah was busy. Jeez and it’s only a 30 second video. Whatever.

    We used to watch a lot more nature shows. I guess we get a fair amount of nature in real life. So we watch stupid crap like Burn Notice, House, Medium, HawthoRNe, Leverage, Lie to Me, etc. I finally gave up on Bones, my wife and I agreed that it’s just gotten too stupid, even for us.

  5. This is the biggest bullshit I have ever read.

    And how.

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