Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Catch a Possum on Movie Day!

It's movie day here at The Painted Possum! It's been a long time since the last movie day; as a matter of fact, it's been a while since my last blog post here. But, chalk it up to The Winter Doldrums. Also, life in general is like sliding down a very fast sliding board.

Hoping to find an illustration for you, I Googled "Possum on a sliding board." Oddly enough, I didn't find a possum on a sliding board.

However, here's something interesting I did find, at Handy Tricks From Quatemala, by Tim Anderson:

How to Catch a Possum

Don Filberto explains how his father used to catch small animals. He'd prop a box or basin up on an avacado pit or another smal round object. He'd put a weight, such a a board (or in this case, a machete) on top of the box. The animal would go inside to get some bait, the box would fall down, and 'voila', you got yourself a captive possum. I don't know what 'voila' is in Spanish. But Don Filberto added that his father would move the pan or box around until the animal's tail was poking out, then grab it by the tail.

So, I can identfy with this. While life is INDEED like sliding down a very fast sliding board, there are interludes when life is more like being a possum trapped under a pan with an avacado seed ...
Back to Movie Day!
Today's movie is The Road to El Dorado, one of my favorite movies, an animated comedy film by DreamWorks Pictures. The two main characters, Miguel and Tulio, are voiced by Kenneth Branaugh and Kevin Kline, and the soundtrack features music by Elton John and Tim Rice.
The movie begins in 16th century Spain where two con-artists, Miguel and Tulio, using loaded dice, win a map that shows the location of El Dorado, the city of gold in the New World. They stow away on one of Hernan Cortes' ships, escape with Cortes' war horse, and end up in El Dorado, where they are mistaken for gods. And why not?
According to Wikipedia, the story is inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would be King and Voltaire's Candide.

Also, there is a cute little animal that I like to think of as a possum, although it may be an armadillo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow On the Mountain, Run Boys, Run

Did someone say SNOW? And COLD! In honor of our horrific weather, I'm repeating this informative and eye-opening account from an older post, giving a brief description of the birth of a snowflake. Many snowflakes, to be perfectly honest.

Snowflake formation begins when water vapor condenses on microscopic dust grains. Each snowflake's unique structure is caused by chemical reactions and everchanging temperatures.

Snow actually rises before it falls. As a droplet of water vapor rises higher, it freezes into a six-sided crystal. Because ice forms fastest around the edges, cavities form. Faster growth on corners causes branches to sprout, and cavities create interior lines. As the flake rises, temperatures get colder. At 10.4 degrees Farenheit, branches are wide. At 8.6 degrees, new growth is narrower. When the snowflake grows heavy enough to overcome the force of rising air, it falls. As the snowflake falls, warmer temperatures cause more side branches to sprout with longer and narrower tips. Hence, snow.

Some of us waited until many, many of the weighty formations plummeted to earth, then out we went for a rare frozen frolic.

At least one Mr. Possum found the lure of the soft white stuff irresistable, and trotted out for a brief stroll.

Possum in the Snow
Possum has a snowflake stuck to his nose.
His fur keeps him warm when the cold wind blows.
He's on his way home for tea and puddin'.
I asked him to come to my house, but he wouldn'.