November 10, 2020

After making our preparations for the cold winter months, the weather has warmed up.  I mentioned we had several nights at or near freezing, but now it is up in the high 40’s and 50’s.  Setting your heater on 65F does no good when it is 75F outside.  Rather than removing and replacing the ground cloth over the outside beds I have chosen to keep them covered.  The cloth is designed to let the light through and when we do get a light rain, it tends to run off the netting rather than soaking the succulent roots.  While the nets help keep the plants warm, they do not seem to heat them up.  Worst case scenario, the succulents will just not go dormant.  Either way, they will survive.

The history of virology (study of viruses) began in the closing years of the 19th century. Although earlier vaccines were used to protect against viral infections, it was not known what caused them.  The first evidence of the existence of viruses came from experiments with filters that had pores small enough to retain bacteria.  In 1892, Dmitri Ivanovsky used one of these filters to show that sap from a diseased tobacco plant remained infectious to healthy tobacco plants despite having been filtered.  Martinus Beijerinck called the filtered substance a “virus.”  Even knowing viruses existed, little else was known for a long time.  We knew viral infections increased in the winter months (i.e., Flu) but were not sure why.  What we finally realized is the increase is a direct result of the crowds in proximity gathered inside.   Another wave of the pandemic is spreading as we gather inside.

While we have kept the inside heat on low, Melissa has been running the fans and keeping the doors open to reduce the humidity and cool her plants down.  We can remove or open the plastic over the screens on the porch, but it is easier to just keep the door propped open.  That came back to haunt us today, when a mockingbird decided she wanted to check out the porch garden.  I would not have minded her excursion, but seeing the back door open she came in the house.  Luckily, we had the blinds raised on the bay window and that is where she went to escape.   I used the pool straining net to trap her against the window, then Melissa secured the net and took her outside.  She seemed happy to leave.

Thoughts:  I have never liked the inside of my house kept warm during the winter.  It is easier to put on extra clothes than to regulate the heat.  I mentioned previously how this allows me to think I am saving energy (even if it is minimal).  I found it ironic the bird wanted to come inside while the nation is seeking ways to get out.  The problem the bird had was once she got in; it was more difficult to find a way out.  Our nation had a similar choice in January when there were few known cases of the virus.  We chose to ignore the pandemic and it quickly got out of control.  Like my bird, we are finding it more difficult to get out.  This will be a long battle unless we decide to work together, as a country and for the world.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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