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Late Evening Open Thread: The Baby Pandaing!

Apparently the Peoples Republic of China has decided to subvert our way of life with weaponized cuteness.

On Friday, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda rolled out 36 panda cubs for no other purpose than public enjoyment.

 “Instead of introducing the pandas one by one, the center opted for making one huge good news blast by debuting all of the babies to the public at once,” writes People.

These are 36 out of 42 total pandas bred at the Research Center this year, its most productive panda year yet. Baby pandas appear to be good at lining up in rows and meowing, not so much motor skills, which means that if you were in charge of one, it would need you to carry it around everywhere. “For 2 months after birth, baby pandas basically only feed on milk, sleep, and poo,” we learn from As America’s beloved baby Fiona the Hippo verges on her disillusioned rebel teen phase and (I hate to say this but) sexual maturity, that’s a comforting thought.

Open thread!

Return to Cockroach Mountain

This morning, we hiked up to the lofty summit of Cockroach Mountain. I took the dogs so they could help haul my lazy ass up the steep incline; I just held the leashes and said, “Mush, you huskies!” At the top, there is a helluva view of the paddling trails that lead out to Tampa Bay:

You can see St. Petersburg and Tampa from the summit, and also Port Manatee:

There were many red dragonflies, including this one, whose wing looks a bit bedraggled:

Here’s the view to the northeast:

According to the parks and rec people, Cockroach Bay got its name when early explorers observed horseshoe crabs in the area. Sounds like Chamber of Commerce mythology to me; the explorers were probably swarmed by flying roaches and said, “Let’s get the fuck outta this Cockroach Bay!”

Open thread!

Upstate NY Man! Sharks Without Frikkin Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads Edition

NBC New York has the details:

Seven live sharks and three dead ones have been seized from a pool in the basement of a home in the Hudson Valley.

Officers searching a home in the Dutchess County hamlet of LaGrangeville last month found a 15-foot-diameter aboveground basement pool with seven live sandbar sharks, two dead leopard sharks and one dead hammerhead shark, officials said Wednesday.

All the sharks were 2 feet to 4 feet long, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Marine wildlife experts took blood samples and measured and tagged the sharks before transferring them to the Long Island Aquarium in a truck equipped with water tanks, oxygen and climate control.

 No one has been charged. An investigation is continuing.

I Am Vengeance! I Am the Night! Oooooh That’s the Spot! Right There! Don’t Stop!!!!!

Open Thread!

Squirrel! (Open Thread)

This squirrel was hanging out on a post near one of the bird feeders. It kept staring at me for some reason, even though I was minding my own business inside the house and am famously tolerant of squirrels raiding my feeders:

I figured if I pulled out my camera, it would go away, and sure enough, it did, just after I took the above photo. Bye, Squirrely McSquirrelpants. Open thread!

A Fish Called Lefty (Open Thread)

Here’s Lefty, who is a dwarf gourami, pictured with some neon tetra friends lurking in the background as well as a panda cory acquaintance:

He’s called “Lefty” because his political identity is based on opposition to whatever nominated or elected Democrats and their supporters do. If you took his policy wishlist and made it the party platform, he’d just keep moving the goddamned goalposts. Don’t even try to bring him into the fold — this fucking fish will never be satisfied because he doesn’t derive satisfaction from political victories but rather from feeling morally superior to the likes of grubby, compromised you.

Nah, I’m just kidding — the fish is named Lefty because I have two male dwarf gouramis (not recommended), and they dislike each another. In a manner that is remarkably mature for fish, they divide up the tank between them. One fish, Right Side Fred, lives on the starboard side of the tank, and Lefty lives on the port side.

The photo doesn’t fully capture the beauty of his colors, but trust me, he’s gorgeous. And yes, I am aware I have a snail issue. Open thread!

There be dragons…

Here’s a dragonfly perched on a bamboo limb high above my yard:

We’ve had a bumper crop of dragonflies this year, maybe because of all the rain. I wasn’t able to focus on this specimen properly because of the angle of the sun and his or her speedy departure, but you can see the intricate pattern in the wings.

Open thread!