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January 27th, 2011

Sticky Snow

nancy-80x80I love snow! The 11-inch blanket of snow that coated everything in the Lehigh Valley this morning was just wet enough not to blow off of objects but just dry enough not to pack down—which made for some sculptural-looking forms in my neighbors’ yards.

Here’s how the pine tree outside my kitchen window looked at 7 a.m.:

Frosted evergreen

Frosted evergreen

Frosted branch

Frosted branch

A chemist may be able to explain what keeps the snow from collapsing; as a nonchemist, I just appreciate its beauty:

A birdbath caldera!

A birdbath caldera!

Each lantern wears its own jaunty little cap:

Snow tuques

Snow tuques

The snow clung like shaving cream to the picket fence…

Iced pickets

Iced pickets

…and the boughs of a white pine.

Frosted pine boughs

Frosted pine boughs

And bird feeders were transformed into wedding cakes:

Snow chalet

Snow chalet

Snowy wedding cake

Snowy wedding cake

Did I say that I love snow?

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January 14th, 2011

New leadership for a new year

nancy-80x80 The Agriculture Committees in both houses of Congress will be under new leadership this year. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) will chair the House Agriculture Committee, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will chair the Senate Agriculture Committee. Rep. Lucas has a history of supporting subsidies for large-scale industrial farmers who produce commodity crops, whereas Sen. Stabenow has argued against these subsidies as being unfair to small producers and those who produce specialty crops like fruits and vegetables. It will be interesting to see how the debate plays out within these committees and between the two houses of Congress as the 2012 Farm Bill is being crafted during the next year.

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