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The Book of Mu

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Friday
Jan302015

Rattan Ensō

Six different species of rattan cane rolled up and carefully laid out on the Ledo Road in Shimbweyeng, Kachin State, Myanmar (see Packing Up In Shimbweyeng). Love the different colors and sizes. Reminds me of those Zen circles (ensōs) that symbolize "a moment when the mind is completely spacious and unfettered and true reality is allowed to manifest itself". Which may or may not describe my state of mind in January 2005 after finishing up six weeks of fieldwork in the Hukaung Valley (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey). 

Thursday
Jan292015

OTS Specialty Course

I am co-teaching an OTS (Organization for Tropical Studies) course on palms this summer at the Las Cruces Biological Station in Costa Rica. My part will focus on the conservation and management of wild palm populations.  Should be fun. [NOTE: Contact andres.santana@ots.cr if you would like to learn a little more about palms and have some free time in late May-early June].

Tuesday
Jan272015

Blizzard?

Well, it wasn't the largest blizzard in the history of New York, and we didn't get two to three feet of snow, and there weren't 50 to 60 mph winds with tree limbs and power lines crashing down – and I am grateful for all of these things. We did, however, get 5 to 6 inches of fluffy white snow, it's 28 degrees outside, and my Adirondack chair is no longer an inviting reading spot. Minor inconveniences. And the snow is really beautiful.  

Monday
Jan262015

Ansel Adams

Gelatin silver print of Ansel Adams taken by Williard Van Dyke. From the Oakland Museum of California (see Oakland Museum of California).Van Dyke recalled that Adams was suffering from a hangover at the time (1933) of the photograph.
Friday
Jan232015

Drawing Histograms

Sitting on the front porch of U Aung Than's house in Nam Sabi taking advantage of the light provided by his generator. U Myint Thein (see Collaboration) draws diameter-distribution histograms using data from the first two inventory transects from the VMA (see VMA Inventory) to present in the village meeting that will happen in about 15 minutes - or as soon as we finish the histograms. Daw Myint Myint Oo looks on and checks for errors while I flip through the data sheets and try to find all the big thin bone trees (see Measuring the Diameter of a Tree). [NOTE: I guess Sein Day Le took the photo (thx)].