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The Backyard Science group regularly publishes The Daily Bucket, which features observations of the world around us. Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds, flowers and anything natural or unusual are worthy additions to the Bucket and its comments.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to as we try to understand the patterns that are unwinding around us.
My lands came with a castle tower, guarded by two tall, strong sentries. In the years since I took possession of this domain, the tower has crumbled to the ground, and only one sentry remains alive. Follow me below the winding orange path to hear my tale and heed my warnings.

The original lord of this domain built his young daughter a castle tower for no other reason than she requested he do so, and because he so loved her, he could not refuse. Constructed of wood, it stood tall and strong and included a rampart where one could keep watch.

The next lord brought in two sentries to guard the entrance to the tower, but asked a passing wizard to disguise them as Stark Spire apple trees that provided little fruit or shade, so left many wondering what use they were at all.

Then I took possession of the lands. The young knights and ladies (who behaved more like knights than young ladies) spent much time in the tower, entering properly through the door and climbing the ladder to reach the rampart or savagely scaling the outer walls. The tower was constantly under some sort of siege.  Little attention was paid to the sentries unless the apples were ready to use for sustenance or to repel approaching enemies. Weather and time gradually wore the tower, and it had to come down lest it collapse under the weight of a growing knight.

One sentry eventually died for reasons undetermined. The remaining lone sentry stands in the field guarded by a circle of fencing that affords it some protection from the grazing beasts:

Many of the plants of these lands have been unusually fruitful this year, including this tree, and we are wary of what other spell that transient wizard may have cast upon it. The branch on the left, which should be standing upright with all the others, bows down from the the weight of 34 apples:
So far, the branch is holding, but it will need to be propped up, and the apples, thinned. Truly a pity, for the fruit is comely:
This spell-bound sentry has never fruited like this in the history of its existence. I think the apples (and perhaps the other fruits of the gardens and orchards) are cursed. Those who look upon them or taste their flesh will be seduced into embracing these dry heat waves which plague what used to be the lush and pleasant kingdom of the Pacific Northwest.

There are other untimely happenings likely due to spells (of hot, dry weather): the sunflowers and the pumpkins are ripening up a fortnight--nay, two--earlier than usual:

These are unsure times for the humble gardener. Such spells become more common. We know not when to plant or when harvest time will come or how much water we'll need or will have to sustain our small domains.

I will end my tale here for now. I leave you not with dark thoughts, but with flowers to soothe your souls. A soapwort bloom. Boiling the leaves and stems (and, some say, the roots) of this magical plant in rain water will produce an elixir to cleanse you:

Now the story telling falls to you: What weathery spells have have been woven in your domain? What sorts of creatures haunt your lands?


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Hear ye, Hear ye: "Spotlight on Green News & Views," presented to us by the wise and magical Meteor Blades, will be posted every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. PT and every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PT on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to read, recommend, and comment in the diary--or otherwise be cursed with an ignorance
that dooms us. Far too many have fallen victim to this darkness.
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