Sam WHITBY #204
Letters to the Editor
in CMO #204
I have seen the latest CMO web page and enjoyed especially the
sketches. When Hellas was at its brightest, it was indeed impressive.
Thinking about it makes me long to get started observing the Red Planet
Finally I had a fairly good look at Jupiter. I have read that MIYAZAKI
has found that the long enduring ovals BC and DE have merged. The new
oval is tentatively called BE. Now that is big news! Having watched the
classical 3 ovals for a number of years, I feel almost a sense of grief
at the loss of one of them.
The young man who was struck by lightning here in Hopewell survived
and seems to have sustained no permanent damage. The school nurse no
doubt saved his life by starting CPR immediately. As a small boy I was
standing near some ponies who were struck and killed by lightning on
top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke, VA. My parents were distraught because
my brother and I and my cousins would have been riding the ponies if it
had not just begun to rain. That incident left a vivid awareness of the
danger of lightning.
(27 May 1998 email)
I have collected some newspaper clippings about flowers native
to our area. I plan to mail them to you and hope that you will forward
them to Mr. MURAKAMI. We are unsure how much he reads English, but
perhaps, even if the writing is difficult, the pictures may be
interesting. The pink lady's slipper is a flower that I knew in my
youth but did not see for many years. We were very pleased to find many
of the flowers near our home when we lived in Prince George County.
They bloomed in the middle of April. I have a less certain memory of
having seen yellow slippers also. We would not try to move the flowers
unless they were certain to be destroyed by development. I once read
that pink lady slippers can be successfully moved if one tries doing so
when the ground is frozen and the whole root system can be transplanted
in a frozen block without damaging any part of it. The roots are said
to be as fine as human hair and to be barely below the surface of the
ground. One problem with moving them when frozen is that the plants are
dormant then, so one would have to mark their location months ahead of
time. Another problem is that the oak trees that provide the symbiotic
organisms are themselves no longer as common as they once were, having
been replaced by trees that grow faster, such as pines. Still, I would
try to move the plants if they were going to certainly die anyway.
I would like to add a P.S. to the previous message, in which I
mentioned Isao MIYAZAKI's observations of Jupiter. Having seen the
images published on Skyline, I am less certain that one of the classic
big 3 ovals has disappeared for good. On the later of the 2 images
there is one bright and well-defined oval. Preceding that oval,
however, there is also an area that may be an oval that is not
presently white. It may be, to use John Rogers' phrase, "morphing". I
think we had better wait and see, studying the drift lines and
gathering more observations, before we write a final obituary to one of
the big 3. In other words, maybe BC is reddening, and perhaps it may
even change back to white. With no academic tenure riding on the
outcome, I am free to make such speculations, as long as they are
identified as such. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what will
happen on Jupiter.
(1 June 1998 email)
Thank you for the news that the clippings reached you safely.
Thank you also for sending CMO 203. ......
You are right that many people here enjoy gardening. I think that
vegetable gardening is one of the most popular hobbies. Fewer people
seem interested in wild flowers, but there is enough interest for the
Richmond newspaper to often publish articles about wild flowers.
I wish you success in your driving. My relatives who moved to VA from
New York City had a similar experience, for public transportation was
available there (and parking space was not). When they moved to VA they
had to buy cars and learn to drive them.
Today I am taking compensatory leave in order to be at home to care
for Tyler. His Grandmother, who usually cares for him, is having
surgery on her eye today. The surgery is minor and is not expected to
have any complications. We will all feel relieved when the surgery has
been successfully completed. In spite of living in a culture in which
it is customary to complain about one's mother-in-law, I will gladly
tell you that I have a wonderful mother-in-law who has been very kind
and generous to us.
I look forward to being able to observe Mars again.
(8 June 1998 email)
Samuel WHITBY ( VA, USA ) : firstname.lastname@example.org