Tonight I'm supposed to have the Observatory open for a public "stargazing" event. Actually, we're scheduled to look at the Moon and the planet Jupiter. Both of those objects look great in the grand old telescope. Unfortunately it is cloudy and rainy and prospects appear poor that we'll be able to look at either the Moon or the planet. If we must cancel, we must but this will be three months in a row that we've canceled due to weather or sky conditions! It gets frustrating for all concerned after a while! I suppose, on the "up" side, it creates a pent-up desire and appreciation on the part of our visitors. Still, serial cancellations are not good for your reputation even if the reasons for canceling are not your fault! In a few hours we'll see how it really turns out.
This day we did our usual provisioning. On our way for groceries we spotted an Eastern Box Turtle trundling along on the concrete median separating four lanes of speedy traffic. Fortunately we were able to stop safely, pack the beautiful creature into the car, and whisk him off to a new and hopefully safer home in the nearby Metropark. (Sorry, no photo! I should have had my camera with me.) Long ago I would have wanted to keep him as a pet but not nowadays. I have to believe he has a much better chance at a long and happy life where we left him than where we found him! I smiled as I watched the turtle moving away through the leaf litter of the woods. After a quick shop at Heinen's we dropped our goods at home and took a trip out to the Fairlawn shopping district. We were to look for digital TV converter boxes for Her mother and a few food items at the Mustard Seed Market. Lunch at Panera Bread was excellent with entertainment provided by Mother Nature in the form of a downpour — entertaining if you're enjoying warm soup at a dry table! We didn't buy a converter since we've not heard of any of the manufacturers! At least we now know what stores have what boxes and we have plenty of time to make a choice.
While doing a few light chores I had occasion to go outdoors. It had been raining and the humidity was sky-high (see above… sky high!?) leaving flowers and leaves with beads of rain sparkling in the muted sunshine. There, amongst the other gems, was a Japanese beetle. I know, I know, they're considered a pest. Quite a few "bad" things, however, have a beauty about them and the Japanese beetle with its iridescent shell is one of them. Looking the beetle up on Wikipedia, I did learn one interesting fact about them… Japanese beetles have a curious, identifying defense: they lift their hind legs up in the air, even when simply approached. These hind legs are spiny, and the behavior is probably intended to ward off predators. By George if our little bug didn't raise its spiny legs in protest as I pushed the camera ever closer to its tiny body!