The Awesome Human Brain

There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain, the same number of stars in our galaxy. An estimated 70,000 thoughts are produced by the brain on an average day. After age 30, the brain shrinks a quarter of a percent in mass each year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Private Woodland Owners

Resources abound for private woodland owners in Indiana. We really enjoy the woods on our property, and wanted to learn about how to best care for them. John and I have been taking classes at the Purdue extension (yes, Purdue) on Charlestown Road, in New Albany.

If you are interested in tree planting to reforest open areas and streamsides, the construction of rural windbreaks, timber stand improvement, fencing to keep livestock out of forest and streamside areas, tree identification, forest biology and ecology, managing your woodland investment, marketing timber....I highly recommend looking into this class. It's fun and informative, and economical.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dead Snakes Can Bite

It's hot outside. Critters abound as I set about my yard work chores. Especially the frogs, lizards and snakes. Now, I can tolerate the frogs and lizards no problem, however snakes are a whole different story. In an attempt to identify the snake I came across yesterday, this article came to my attention and I found it to be very informative, so I am going to share it. What I learned today is, A SNAKES BITE REFLEX REMAINS ACTIVE UP TO AN HOUR OR MORE AFTER IT'S DEATH, MEANING A DEAD SNAKE CAN BITE. WOW!!!

BY: Melissa Jeremiah, RN
Director of Hoosier Uplands Home Health and Hospice

With the weather warming up more people will be engaged in outdoor activities. My Dad,
who loves to get out in his yard and go into the woods behind his house, recently saw an
adult copperhead snake, with a nest of smaller copperheads. This prompted me to
research the snake population of Southern Indiana.
There are 3 venomous snakes, which call Southern Indiana home and all are pit vipers. Pit
viper have a sensory pit between their eye and nostril which help them locate warm-
blooded prey, even in the dark. If a snake appears to have four nostrils, it’s a pit viper.
The information in this article on snake identification is only good in Indiana. Venomous
snakes in Indiana have pupils that are vertical slits and are heavy-bodied. They have
broad, spade-shaped heads that are distinctly wider than their narrow necks. The head of
a non-venomous snake is typically the same width as its body. Some non-venomous water
snakes are stout and many snakes flatten their heads when bluffing, making the head look
The Northern Copperhead is the most common poisonous snake in Indiana, and even it has
a restricted range in the hills of Southern Indiana. They live in high, dry, rocky areas and
well forested areas dominated by oaks and hickories, but have been seen in outbuildings
and barns. It has a coppery-red head and an hourglass pattern of 15 - 19 mahogany bands
on its body. Irregular brown spots are often found between the bands and it is 24 - 36
inches long. It’s bands may be confused with a water snake.Copperheads bands are
narrow along the back and wide on either side, where water snake bands are saddle like,
which means wide on the back and narrow on the side. Copperheads are nocturnal, which
means they hunt at night, and they are more likely to bite during the evening hours. This
snake is very secretive and does not tolerate human presence. The bite of this snake is
extremely painful, but rarely life threatening.
The Cottonmouth Water Moccasin is restricted to a single wetland in Dubois County. The
cottonmouth is recognized by the distinctive white lining that it displays when annoyed.
The color patterns are easily confused with those of the northern or midland water snake,
and is 30 - 42 inches long. They are almost never seen, even by those who know exactly
where they should be. Water snakes seen while fishing around the state are simply
common water snakes.
Timber Rattlesnakes are also rare, restricted to some of the forested hills in south-central
Indiana. This snake lives on dry, forested hillsides and hibernates in dens. Colors and
patterns vary from almost black to yellow with dark blotches, it can be up to 5 feet or more
long. It has a distinctive head shape and rattle at the end of the tail. A new rattle segment
is added when the snake sheds its skin 1 - 2 times a year. This snake is not aggressive and
the majority of documented bites occurred while people were trying to pick up the snake.The fourth venomous snake is the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, which lives in
Northern Indiana, in marshy, swampy areas and bogs. It is on occasion found in
woodlands and old fields. It is spotted with dark black or brown blotches on the back and
3 rows of small, dark spots on either side, and is generally 20 - 25 inches long. It is
generally mild mannered and rarely strikes unless stepped on or picked up.
The remaining snakes who make their home in Southern Indiana are non-venomous, and
include the eastern garter snake, north and east ribbon snake, northern ring-necked
snake, kirtlands water snake, queen snake, northern and midland water snake, midland
brown snake, midwest worm snake, rough and smooth green snake, eastern hognose snake,
southern black and blue racer, eastern and red milk snake, black rat snake and black
kingsnake, which are all found in Southern Indiana. The other non-venomous snake from
Indiana is the fox snake, which lives in the northwest corner of the state. Snakes tend to be more active in the middle of the day in the spring and fall when evenings
are cool, and more active in the morning and evening during summer months. A snakes
body temperature is the same as its surroundings. Snakes regulate their body temperature
by basking in the sun when cold, or seeking shade and reducing activity when warm.
Venomous snake bites in Indiana are very rare. Most bites occur when people are trying to
kill or handle the snake. Never get closer than the length of a snake. Never attempt to
handle a snake that is or may be venomous. To avoid being bitten move away from the
snake, as snakes do not actively seek out people and bite them. If given the opportunity
snakes will almost always try to escape an encounter. Snakes will always flee rather than
striking, unless they are harassed or startled. When hiking or fishing you should look
closely before stepping, to avoid stepping on a snake. Be alert and search the area ahead of
you, do not merely look down at your feet. Be wary of areas containing logs or rocks.
Remember that many venomous snakes blend in with their surroundings and may be
difficult to see unless you are alert. If you know you will be in an area known to have
venomous snakes, wear high-topped, leather hiking books. Do not reach under rocks or
logs, and do not step over logs, step on them, then over. You should also be very careful
when handling a dead snake and avoid its head. A snake’s bite reflex remains active up to
an hour or more after it’s death, meaning a dead snake can bite.
The bite of a venomous Indiana snake is dangerous, but rarely fatal. More people die from
bee stings and lightening strikes annually. If you are bitten you should remain calm and
avoid excessive activity, as most snakes are not poisonous. If possible note the snakes
markings, color, behavior and habitat, but do not waste time or risk being bitten again by
capturing or killing the snake. If you think the snake was venomous, or if you are unsure,
have a friend call 911. Do not make any incisions at the bite. Walk, don’t run, when
moving, and keep the bitten part of the body lower than your heart. If the snake is non-
venomous clean the bite area thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible, to avoid
Information for this article was obtained from the Indiana DNR at and
The Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and Management at

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Khan Academy

While watching 60 minutes tonight, I learned about Khan Academy.

This is a wonderfully fun and informative website. The creator, Mr.Khan is dedicated to providing a free world class education to the world.

To find out more, visit 60 Minutes, or better yet, just go to

He even has a section devoted to brainteasers!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Paraproskokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

I ran across a list of these the other day and thought I would share them.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are 4 billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

You don't need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Proposed Falls Landing Park in Jeffersonville

Please be aware that within a 1/4 mile of the proposed location of the new park there are 3 registered sex offenders.

Please be aware that within a 1/2 mile of the proposed location of the new park there are 15 registered sex offenders.

Please be aware that within 1 mile of the proposed location of the new park there are 42 registered sex offenders.

I realize that it would be difficult to find a location suitable for the purpose of Falls Landing where there would be zero registered offenders within a mile radius. Please be mindful and diligent in protecting yourselves and your children.

For those who follow both of my blogs, sorry bout the duplicate post!

Monday, January 23, 2012


It has been said that anger is a self-chosen poison.
Would you agree?
If yes, please explain, if no please explain.

What is her (anger) match/antidote?
Could it be peace or compassion? Do these two virtues go hand in hand?
Or, is the antidote something different?
How do you cultivate the antidote for anger?
(BTW, for this particular question/brainteaser "Letting it go" is not an acceptable answer)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Square Pegs Fab Gift is Done

There are a few pictures on Goliath's forum depicting Square Pegs gift.

Feedback is encouraged, and welcome, as I took artistic license with this one.

If you like it, great! Please tell me why. If you don't like it, thats ok too, just say so, and why.

I will drop this off at Goliath's place unless Sellersburg or Borden is more convenient for you to pick it up. Of course, if you do not want it, then please send me a message/comment and let me know.