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14 May 2016


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St George's Mushrooms, which are very good to eat, are named because they usually first appear in the fields around St George's Day - April 23rd (England's national day, and the date of Shakespeare's birth and death).

Through the 70's. 80's and 90's they rarely appeared before May, but, whether it was due to global warming or whatever, for some seven or eight years recently. they appeared for six or seven years bang on St George's Day.

This was, for us, a very mild winter. There have been some light spring frosts but nothing to hold things back. Did the mushrooms appear early? No! They just finally appeared about a week ago.

I know of nothing in Nature more ornery - to use an American phrase - than mushrooms. They are completely unpredictable. All the weather has been perfect for a bumper crop - nothing appears, nowt. Conditions have been terrible, catastrophic even - there they are in abundance.

No one controls Nature.


Out of the thousand of great posts I've read on here, this is one of the best. Good enough to make me finally comment. Yes and Yes.

Ghost ship

I'm just waiting for the reports in Western media that the USG is accusing the Russians of weaponizing dung beetles that are shortly followed by reports from Lockheed Martin that they've developed a new cruise missile that only needs one look at the sky to hit its target 2,500 miles away. Shortly thereafter, CIA analysts are puzzled by large piles of poo that appear just inside the Russian border and the Borg accuse Russia of an "act of aggression"

John Minnerath

Yes, excellent.

Lord Curzon


Thank you - It is indeed and brings the delight of nature into perspective when compared to the inanity of humankind.


And they do all that at night when you think they'd be tired after rolling the sun across the sky from East to West http://www.egyptianmyths.net/khepera.htm

Thanks for this TTG - some much needed perspective.


TTG, Sir

James Heriott was a favorite for my kids when they loved me reading to them.

The grandeur of God's design in molecular biology and in astrophysics is so immense that all I can do is be amazed.

Yet, we humans have not evolved our base instincts in millenia.

Bill H


Jonathan House

At last the answer to Ogden Nash's implicit question
The Turtle
by Ogden Nash
The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile



Excellent work. Again you demonstrate your bona fides as an SF type. Coupling astrophysics with turtle sex reminds me of the odd conversations in the team room that is the main thing that I miss about my active duty in the long ago.


More from nature:

"An ant climbs a blade of grass, over and over, seemingly without purpose, seeking neither nourishment nor home. It persists in its futile climb, explains Daniel C. Dennett at the opening of his new book, "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" (Viking), because its brain has been taken over by a parasite, a lancet fluke, which, over the course of evolution, has found this to be a particularly efficient way to get into the stomach of a grazing sheep or cow where it can flourish and reproduce. The ant is controlled by the worm, which, equally unconscious of purpose, maneuvers the ant into place"

Chris Chuba

Very impressive capability packaged inside of such a small creature, now if we can only figure out how to use that in weapon's system ....


The orioles that nest on my eastern shore farm are very shy. I'm lucky if I see them once a summer. They normally nest in the large hardwoods & I have never found their nest. To my delight they have appeared twice this week in trees close to the house.


Starting from Soviet Project 667-B (NATO--Delta I class) strategic missile submarines and the same goes to US, UK and French subs--the use of fully computerized celestial navigation systems in navigational complexes became a standard. Including radio-sextants. The use of simpler optronic sextants on subs goes even further back in time. Russians also had many missiles, including ballistic ones, which had full capability of mid-course correction by celestial bodies.


We've been marveling at a hummingbird nest. It is in the middle of a bush two feet from our kitchen window. Spotted it by pure luck when seeing the bird fly in and land. She has been incubating for several weeks. No chicks that we've seen.

Being able to observe the wonder of nature is one of life's greatest pleasures.


Thank you for reminding us how glorious is our world and all of the creatures in it!

Allen Thomson


Allen Thomson

Nature is indeed grand and awesome, though sometimes frightening.

BTW and speaking of birds, for the last couple of weeks there has been a major outbreak of cardinals here in San Antonio. Bright red birds are constantly zooming around. On the reptilian side, it also seems to be a bumper year for anoles -- a couple of males had a major standoff(*) on the front porch yesterday.

(*) Well, as much as little green lizards can have a major standoff.

different clue

Many many years ago I was in the woods and realized I was having a "persistent funny feeling". I finally looked down and saw a non-moving box turtle right at my feet. Many years later in a different place I got the same "persistent funny feeling". After a few seconds I remembered this as the same feeling I have many years previous when there was a box turtle at my feet. So I looked down to see a non-moving box turtle beside my right foot. I haven't had that feeling since, nor seen a box turtle since.

For an intersesting book about dung beetles . . .

And images of mainly dung beetles.

Nancy K

There is a beautiful brown and white spotted toad in our backyard. My husband gets up very early and sees in hopping across our patio every morning around 5:30. He loves to hear the morning chorus of birds. I chance upon it in different places in our yard and it makes my heart feel happy, just as it does when I watch geese fly.


Sorry guys, off topic but deadly bloody serious:

Bill Clinton was frequent flier on pedophile’s private jet ‘Lolita Express’:



Not sure I agree!



Thank you posting this, and for once again affirming that SST has always been, in essence, a gathering of renaissance minds. As an unabashed addict of nature documentaries and television, I can just hear Sir David Attenborough narrating the saga of the noble dung beetle, giving him his due dignity and import.

Whenever the mayhem of the world of man becomes too much, I am lucky enough to be able to disappear into the bosom of the Sierra Nevada or the Sonoran Desert, where our human banalities and vanities matter not a whit. In such places, the beetle and I are one and the same, dancing under the stars, grateful for the view. As I welcome my first-born into this world, it will be these kinds of wonders, both small and grand, that give me hope for his soul. Long live Mother Nature.

Allen Thomson

> So I looked down to see a non-moving box turtle beside my right foot. I haven't had that feeling since, nor seen a box turtle since.

Something like that happened to me a long time ago, when I was a lowly grad student holding a stadia pole at a site in the Upper Sonoran Desert. Getting a feeling that I should look down, there was a smallish (like 12-15 inches) Gila monster standing there wondering what I was doing. Not really a problem as I was wearing boots and it seemed to be of pacific nature, but I eased away as soon as practical. I, also, have not encountered a Gila monster since.

different clue

Allen Thomson,

It makes me wonder if brains are biological "radio broadcaster-recievers" on top of everything else that we KNOW that brains are. Brains all over the world sending and recieving "brainio waves", sometimes over long distances and sometimes from only a footstep away.

I am glad and somewhat relieved to know the feeling works for others and can be set off by a gila monster ( or hopefully a rattlesnake if one is near a sneakily silent one). This feeling, if acknowledged and trusted and then worked with and developed, can become another sense.

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