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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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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Maple Syrup Wisdom


After staring into a pot of boiling sap for eight hours, I finally poured off a pint of rich amber maple syrup. The flavor is incredibly intense but slightly different from other maple syrup I’ve had – probably because I used red maple trees instead of the traditional sugar maples. Anyway the yield was pretty good (6 gallons of sap to 1 pint of syrup) and the color is fantastic. It does take a good deal of effort though, and ...

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New Puppy and Focus (or not)


My new puppy is intrigued by every leaf, acorn, pile of moss, and stump in the East Woods. Any attempt at walking a straight line is thrown off by spontaneous lunges toward new, apparently life-altering odors and smells. This constant deviation from a (hoped for) simple walk along a path reminds me of some of the companies I spoke with at this week’s Eastern Analytical Symposium. Though seemingly well-intentioned in their path, they nevertheless seem to sometimes chase opportunities without ...

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Orange Fungus and Focus


The other day I came across the most conspicuous thing I’ve ever seen in the East Woods – the bright orange Chicken-of-the-Woods mushroom, [tastes like chicken, they say...]. It is about a foot and a half across and covered in brilliant lobes stretching out in all directions – a bizarre sight amidst the deep greens of mid-summer. With these sections of orange going in apparently every direction, it reminds me of the struggle that many growing companies face as they ...

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