Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring...ah, Spring!

You can feel the change in the air. It's not as biting as it was last week. Sure, we were deceived by the mild temperatures, but I can FEEL a change in the air...more moisture, more warmth...and that means SPRING!!

Our geese have started their mating season. A lot of shagging, a lot of fighting, a lot of egg-laying. I try to stay out of the way as much as possible. Severus got me yesterday because I picked him up and his wing got me in the nose. I'm not sure if he's trying to mate with me or fight with me, but he's failing both!

An adorable picture of a goosie girl arranging her nest in the chicken coop. Normally, she'd be alerted to my presence behind her and get all cranky. She'd come at me hissing and honking with wings out to defend her eggs, but she was busy.

There's 3 gals laying in that nest, so Dave decided it was time to put up the nesting boxes in the goose pen. They're a bit smaller this year because it seemed as though the girls had too much room. We also put shorter boards up in front so baby geese can get in and out better.  It's a learning process for us.

One of our gals laid this egg the other day. Even for a goose egg, it's big! They'll lay one every other day for about a month now and our serious girls will then start brooding them. The un-serious girls will just lay their eggs in a serious girls' nest and expect her to  brood those babies. Naughty girls!

There's a couple of raccoons out there we need to get rid of as well before they realize those eggs are there. Once that happens, they will decimate a nest in minutes.  Can't have that!

Knitting wise: while reading my books for school, I'm still knitting. The stole is getting longer and I knocked out a bath mat because the one I knitted a few years ago has sprouted holes.

Interesting design on that, isn't it. It's not intentional. In the knitting trade, it's called 'pooling' when one color makes a design in the knitting of it.

The right side is where I pulled out a few rows and redid it because I was trying to end the thing too fast. It's a JoAnn fabrics big-ass ball of yarn bought on sale, held double and knitted on size 17 needles. I don't recall the amount of stitches,  I held the yarn out about a yard and a half then cast on that many. Five stitches on the left and right edge are knitted garter, the rest is stockinette. There's also garter stitch rows at the start and finish..about 6 rows. It's a standard go-to pattern for anything of practical use. The garter on the edges keeps the thing from rolling.

One of the things you do as a Medical Laboratory Technician is to take samples of someone's blood, smear it on a microscope slide properly...which isn't as easy as it sounds. You need to have a spot in that slide where you have one level of cells, not several. It takes practice.  Then after that, you use different dyes to dye the stuff different colors. What you're seeing above is my own blood properly smeared and stained.  

So the big purple squiggly thing is a neutrophil, one of the cells in your body to fight infection. The little purple dots are platelets, which clot holes in your body. The light pink stuff all over is my red blood cells. Those two things that are showing pink and purple are basophils. Usually, basophils are rare to see in blood because they are the cells known for causing allergic reactions. I'm allergic to pretty much everything, so I'm not surprised to see a few more than usual in my blood.

My platelets are a bit bigger than usual too, which means they are young platelets. Like most things, the older something gets, the smaller it is. I've had a nasty upper-respiratory virus for a few weeks now and it was really rough on my lungs. I'm pretty sure there is tissue damage from that...both from horking up a lung to whatever damage the virus did. So my body made more platelets to make up for the ones sacrificed in my illness.

It's awesome to see the delicate, yet hardy balance of the body and it's systems. It's amazing, actually...and every time I hear more and more about how our body works, I cannot help but think that it was the work of a very wise and very divine creator. Wierd, eh? People claim that the more science you know, the less you rely on a divine faith. But in my case, it's the opposite.