It’s partly cloudy and the spots of sky that are visible are milky with high cloud. 38, wind at 0mph, although Bayshore is reporting 7-10mph, AQI32, UV1. We should have a dry early part of the day, but showers are likely starting this afternoon and turning into rain overnight, tapering off in the later parts of Sunday. Monday should be dry and then we have some possible significant rain…. like 5 inches in a few days….
Everything caught up to me yesterday, despite the day off! Other than class-time I spent the day sleepy and trying to keep going. I did get some writing done, sorted pictures, made a new batch of cacik (a cucumber salad that I love), sorted the rest of the cookies and candy, put albums up online, talked plans with various friends and generally kept busy, but I also took two long naps and went to bed around 10pm. I did take a book and embroidery to bed with me, but crashed very, very early, for me.
I saw this picture and went, “Oh, *yes*!” It’s a much better version of one of the common things that we talk about, perspective, better than the tired old cliche of moss on a tree.
Today’s plant is Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea. It’s a rather wild shrub that can be trained into a small tree, with icky-smelling white flowers that then produce dark fruits that appear blue because of a whitish coating on them. In Oregon it grows mostly from the valley out to the coast with some isolated pockets in the Eastern part of the state. There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the tree. “In some areas, the “elder tree” was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, while other beliefs say that witches often congregate under the plant, especially when it is full of fruit. In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in witchcraft customs the elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” – A rhyme from the Wiccan rede-poem. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.”From Wikipedia– Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers are used for Crossing the Bridge rituals. Carry for protection and to prevent rheumatism and toothache. Dried berries are helpful in sleep pillows. All parts are good for protection. Grow near the home for prosperity. Magic wands and flutes are often made from this wood.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_ceruleaorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus
Kwanzaa, African-American holiday (Dec 26 – Jan 1); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) This is the 3rd day of this modern festival for those of African heritage. There’s a really good article explaining the traditions and where they come from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa
The shop opens at 11am today. Holiday hours – closed 1/2 and 1/7-15. Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at email@example.com If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 1/10 at 11:12am. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 12/30 at 9:13am.
Although the Moon passed between the Sun and Earth just two days ago, its rapid orbital motion has already brought it back into view in the southwestern sky after sunset. As a bonus, brilliant Venus appears just 2° above Luna’s slender crescent. The two brightest objects in the night sky make a stunning pair from early twilight until they set shortly after 7 p.m. local time.
Sirius and Procyon in balance? Sirius, the Dog Star, sparkles low in the east-southeast after dinnertime. Procyon, the Little Dog Star, shines to Sirius’s left by about two fist-widths at arm’s length. If you live around latitude 30° (Tijuana, New Orleans, Jacksonville), the two canine stars will be at the same height above your horizon soon after they rise. If you’re north of that latitude, Procyon will be higher. If you’re south of there, Sirius will be the higher one.
Saturn (magnitude +0.6) is sinking away into the sunset, farther and farther to the lower right of Venus — which outshines it by 60 times. Saturn is 11° from Venus on December 20th but a wide 19° by the 27th. Binoculars help.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky map for December – https://www.almanac.com/sky-map-december-2019
Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth Birch Dec 24 – Jan 20
Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books
©2019 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch – The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch. The three trees in my front yard form root sprouts that would take over the bed where they are planted if I didn’t cut them back. The common birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) is almost as widespread as the silver birch, but grows primarily on acid or peaty soils. It can reach 20 m (65 feet) in height. Birches are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae). Curtis Clark
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 28 High 2:16 AM 7.2 7:52 AM Rise 9:57 AM 2
~ 28 Low 7:34 AM 3.3 4:44 PM Set 7:21 PM
~ 28 High 1:14 PM 8.4
~ 28 Low 8:18 PM -0.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – She who smiles first smiles best!
~ Heaven is full of answers to prayer for which no one bothered to ask. – Billy Graham (submitted by Rebecca Shirley)
~ …most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it. – Seth Grodin
~ It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear… – Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) US President (19)
~ A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not. – Ernest Hemingway
We’ve had some pleasant rambles,
And merry Christmas gambols,
And roses with our brambles,
Adieu, old year, adieu! – –George Lunt (1801–85)
MAKE YOUR OWN BIRD FOOD
Here are some great homemade bird food recipes that can be used at any time of the year, but especially in the cold winter months, when natural resources are scarce.
For many of us, it’s a great joy to watch and study our feathered friends. In the winter, experts maintain the best way to birdwatch is in a comfortable chair by the window. By keeping a feeder stocked with bird food, you can attract birds that will stay with you until spring.
IS IT GOOD TO FEED THE BIRDS IN WINTER?
Rest assured that it’s fine to feed birds during the cold winter months. Supplemental food actually helps birds during especially tough winters—and this will not affect bird migration. A number of factors trigger the urge for birds to migrate, but the most significant one is day length. When the days get shorter, certain birds move on, regardless of whether there are still filled feeders available for them.
BIRD FOOD RECIPES
If you really want to impress your avian friends, here are a few recipes you can concoct:
A suet–peanut butter concoction that will drive all the wild birds, well, wild!
Here is a recipe for the birds!
- 8 pounds suet
- 2 pounds peanut butter
- 8-ounce bottle corn syrup
- 2 pounds rolled oats
Melt the suet in a canning kettle or other large container, pouring the melted fat into another kettle as it cooks down. While the fat is still hot, add the peanut butter, corn syrup, and oats, stirring constantly until mixture is well blended. Put the pudding into old soup cans to cool and harden, and store in a cool place. To use, warm the can until the pudding is soft enough to handle. Drill a number of 1 ½ inch holes in a 4 inch diameter birch log (leave the bark intact to provide good toeholds for the birds), spread the pudding into the holes, and hang the log outdoors where it is accessible to the birds.
SOURCE: The 1984 Old Farmer’s Almanac
Packed with nuts and seeds, this mix is a feathered-friend favorite.
>>>>> A snowy bird feeder in my front yard. – Annette McCarthy >>>>>>>>>>>
Try this bird food recipe to attract your feathered friends!
- 3 parts melted fat (suet preferred)
- 1 part cornmeal or finely cracked corn
- 1 part peanut butter or other nut butter
- 1 part sunflower kernels or chopped nuts
- 1 part brown sugar
- 1 part chopped dried fruit (currants, raisins, prunes, etc.)
Combine all of the ingredients with enough water to get the consistency of cooked oatmeal. Cook in double boiler until well blended. Put into small containers like tuna fish cans that can be securely attached to feeders or trees.
SOURCE: The 1984 Old Farmer’s Almanac
This simple baked cornbread is quite literally for the birds—and boy, do they enjoy it!
> Birds at my feeders. – Claudia Dobson >>
Try this bird food recipe—just place in mesh bags and hang outdoors!
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup fat (meaning drippings or lard)
- 3 cups water
Mix all the ingredients together and bake in a deep pan at 375ºF for 30 to 35 minutes. Reduce heat if bread looks as if it is forming a hard crust. May be doubled or halved.
– A simple suet recipe that is beloved by woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and many more backyard birds. BIRD FOOD RECIPE: SUET
>>>>>> Photo by Cornell Labs >>>>>>
Suet is the perfect bird food for the winter months, when birds’ food sources start to dwindle. Here’s how to make suet for your backyard birds!
Suet is especially loved by nuthatches and most insect-eating birds.
WHAT IS BIRD SUET?
Suet is essentially a solidified mix of fats, which birds eat to stay warm. Particularly in winter, suet is a valuable bird food.
You can use almost any seed or grain, mixed with beef fat, lard, or natural peanut butter. A basic suet combines equal parts of beef fat and assorted birdseed.
Put it in a tuna or cat food can to chill (or freeze) until it’s hard enough to hold its shape, then release it into a wire suet cage or sturdy mesh bag.
For a fancier suet, add natural peanut butter to the mix. You can also bind cornmeal or oatmeal with natural peanut butter and spread it into holes drilled in a post or log.
Birds also like dried fruits, so consider adding raisins, currants, apricots, or citron.
SUET CAKE RECIPE
- 2 parts melted fat (beef fat or lard)
- 2 parts yellow cornmeal
- 1 part natural peanut butter
Mix all ingredients together and cook for a few minutes. Pour into small containers (tuna fish cans are good), and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Mixture can also be stuffed into 1-inch holes drilled in small logs to hang from trees. The recipe can be made all year long as long as you accumulate fat. Fasten containers securely to trees or feeders.
Note: Suet should be used only in very cold weather so that it does not become rancid. If you live in a warm climate, we do not recommend using homemade suet because it will spoil too quickly. In this case, it is safer to purchase commercial suet cakes (which are already treated so they won’t spoil).
Enjoy watching your feathered friends warm up by your window!
What’s most important is that you keep birds safe by keeping your bird feeders clean. Scrub out feeders with a 10 percent non-chlorinated bleach solution at least a few times a year, and certainly between seasons. Remove suet in hot weather because it may spoil quickly.
SOURCE – The 1984 Old Farmer’s Almanac
Silliness – Snow Riddles – Q: What does a Snowman take when he is sick? A: A Chill Pill.