Birds visiting our two bird feeders frequently cause the bird seed to drop to the ground. Other birds as well as squirrels will forage for that seed. We are trying to grow grass in that area, and it has begun to sprout very nicely with the arrival of spring. The birds and squirrels cannot eat grass, since they cannot digest it, but in their constant search for fallen seeds, they wear it down, killing it. So I built a "Negative Squirrel Cage", not to keep squirrels in, but to keep them out. The 1/2" screen allows light, air, and rain in to nourish the lawn, but the falling seed also passes through it. The squirrels and birds can see the seed, but not reach it. The birds quickly give up, but one squirrel has already spent hours trying to get into the cage, in just the past two days since I built it and put it in place under the closer of the two feeders.
Note that the two feeders are about 6 feet apart. If the area under the further feeder gets too worn, I will make a second cage.
This is the same squirrel that climbs from a tree limb down the wire to a bird-feeder, or literally launches himself from a tree limb through 5-10 feet of air onto a bird-feeder. He is very ingenious, and refuses to be beaten by anything mere humans put in his way. But all his efforts to beat this new trick also mean that he has not so far resumed his direct assault on the bird-feeders five feet above.
The patches of sand-colored or light-green-colored stuff is a light-green mat like you can buy at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc. We put it on top of some new "Deep Shade" grass seed (so it says) and some topsoil, on top of newly-aerated South Carolina red clay, and we have been watering it 1-2 times a day, in some hope of giving the grass half a chance at a life under the shade of a Pin Oak tree. Wish it luck.
It's Springtime at the Crosby birdfeeders! Lately this has been happening several times each day. A lot of the birds are little mamas, with oversize round bellies, so for each one 3 or 4 eggs are on their way very soon, in some nest nearby. The frenzy gets pretty intense, and our usual once-a-day replenishing of the bird-feeders each morning is no longer enough. Almost every day we have to add some more birdseed once or twice more.
As part of Union Pacific's celebration of the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad completion, the newly restored Big Boy No. 4014 met No. 844 in Ogden as a ceremonial golden spike was tapped on May 9, 2019.
The School of Athens was painted in 1510, on a wall in the Pope's personal apartments in the Vatican, soon after the use of perspective was invented. The use of perspective is clearly central to the representation of the painting's theme.
Most notably, Plato and Aristotle are at the painting's center, as founders of the two primary systems of philosphical thought.
Plato, 428 BC - 328 BC, taught that reality was elsewhere, beyond this world, represented in the painting by his hand pointing upwards, and that this world is only a poor reflection. Learning, he said, occurs through revelations about that reality. Plato was the first to systematize philosophy.
Religion is inherently Platonic, and Christian doctrine in particular is heavily influenced by Plato.
Aristotle, 384 BC - 322 BC, taught that this world is itself reality, represented by his hand held forward, with palm downward, towards the Earth. Learning occurs through evidence, study, and rational thought. Aristotle was the second to put forward a systematic philosophy.
The sciences, technology, and all that makes up our modern way of life, in contrast to Plato, are directly descended from Aristotle's works. Although there were natural philosophers prior to Aristotle, his writings were far more comprehensive, and are the predominant foundation for all of the scientific advances made since the Renaissance.
In fact, it can be argued that the Renaissance itself (~1300-1600) resulted from the introduction of Aristotle's writings (most of which had been thought to be lost) into Europe, brought there from Moslem libraries and from the Byzantine Empire, primarily during the period 1000-1215, and rationalized with Christianity by Thomas Aquinas about 1275.
Knowledge of Aristotle's works had been absent in the European part of the Roman Empire, and did not survive Rome's fall in 476. The only works of Aristotle known and taught during Europe's Dark Ages were those translated from the Greek into Latin by Boethius, 477 AD - 524 AD: Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations.
The introduction of the "rediscovered" writings of Aristotle into Europe was the central spark that ignited the transition from beliefs in revelation, the hallmark of the Dark Ages, to reasoned, reality-based thought, and the scientific principles of causality and logic, the hallmark of the Renaissance.
The works of Aristotle and the other natural philosophers of Classical Greece had been preserved and studied by the Moslems from about 760, sparking the Islamic Golden Age. That came to an end with its total destruction in 1258 by the Mongol invasion, after which the Islamic world sank into its own anti-reason, revelation-based dark ages of savagery and barbarism. It has remained in that state to the present day, except in those locales which have been influenced to various degrees by the reintroduction of rational thought imported from "Western" culture.
Other notables pictured include Hypatia of Alexandria, c.355 AD - 415 AD, in the white robe at lower left, the last natural philosopher at the very end of the Classical period, and even more incredibly, given the mores of that time, a woman. Hypatia was, in fact, murdered by a Christian mob; her dedication to science and her position as a teacher to males were considered heresy both were expressly forbidden by the Bible. Hypatia taught at the famous Library of Alexandria, which was destroyed at about the same time, probably for the same reasons; see the movie Agora.
Immediately in front of and below her, holding a writing slate, is Archimedes, 287 BC - 212 BC, the greatest Mathemtician of the Classical period, and credited by Galileo, 1564-1642, and Newton, 1643-1727, as the foundation for their own mathematical achievements, after interest in science was restored and scientific progress began to reemerge and resume during the later part of the Renaissance period in spite of Christian persecution of Galileo and a number of others.