Fruiting Bodies and New Business

 

The unmistakable bright yellow fly agaric mushroom stood right in my path as I stepped out for a breath of fresh air in the East Woods last weekend. I had to stop and admire the fantastic color, texture, and symmetry of this fruiting body. Though we usually consider this visible part of the mushroom as the whole plant, in fact it is just the result of a long and arduous process of colonizing the ground with mycelium fibers. Only when ...

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Gypsy Moths, Complexity, and Simplicity

 

Walking through the East Woods on a clear morning today, I noticed the constant sound of a fine rain hitting the leaves – the telltale noise of the droppings of larval gypsy moths and their impending infestation. Most experts are predicting a large outbreak this year with severe defoliation of many native trees and forests – much more than last year’s 100,000 acres across the state.

I’m not looking forward to this, but other experts are saying that the recent spate ...

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The Coyote and Market Dexterity

 

After the coyote leisurely crossed in front of my car the other day, he paused a few feet into the woods and stared back at me. His glower seemed a little too bold for my comfort. These canids have proliferated in recent times – I’m sure many of you encounter them in all sorts of environments. Their adaptability and dexterity have enabled them to become our nearly constant, yet silent, companion.

I am a big fan of focus and discipline, and ...

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USDA Quarantines and Markets

 

The East Woods are under quarantine and the USDA is busily searching for the dreaded Asian long horned beetle. This invasive pest is wiping out ash, maple, and birch trees and could cause havoc in the environment as well as the dependent industries. Thus, we have 5 forest inspectors out back looking at every single tree in the woods for signs of this dreaded pest. The good news is that the boundary of the bugs’ excursions is well defined, ...

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Smoke, Fire, and Relationships

 

I awoke with a start the other morning to the acrid smell of smoke. After a quick search of the house, I determined that the source of the smoke was somewhere out in the East Woods. A call to the fire department followed by an hour traipsing about the woods left me stymied – I still had no idea of what was filling the environs with the thin haze.

Complicating the search was the dead calm air that gave no indication ...

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Diesel Frogs and Market Timing

 

Working in the yard last weekend, I was disturbed by the foreign sound of a diesel engine idling somewhere out in the woods. I checked this out only to be relieved that it was merely the local wood frogs having their annual love fest in the vernal pools. Seems they have the uncanny ability to sense when the timing is just right such that they all migrate to these very large puddles and start their ‘quacking’, which in unison Continue Reading →

Acorns and Leverage

 

I was pelted by acorns as I strolled through the East Woods on a breezy day last weekend. The oaks have decided to gang up on the forest and release a decade’s worth of seed in a couple weeks, overwhelming any chance that they will all be eaten or lie unfruitful. This tremendous outpouring provides leverage over the chipmunks, blue jays, and fungi, insuring that many trees will have seedlings spring up in their shadows come next summer. Similarly this ...

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