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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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 →

The Pileated Approach

 

The other day I watched a magnificent pileated woodpecker make his way from tree to tree in search of the perfect morsel of ants, larvae, or random wood bugs. It reminded me of how some companies search for the ideal targets for their new products, services, or partnerships. This approach of lightly probing a segment to determine if it holds sufficient monetary nutrition is a good way to grow your business without going too far astray.

Additionally when the pileated finds ...

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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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