Flock Defense and Joint Ventures

 

On the edge of the East Woods today the junco, the chickadee, and the titmouse are flitting about, displaying a wonderfully collaborative relationship – each benefits from the other while also aiding their fellow feathered friend. This is an ideal joint venture where each partner knows its responsibilities, communicates freely, and enjoys the value created. The chickadee and the titmouse knock seeds to the ground for the junco, the junco is very sensitive to oncoming threats, and together they employ ...

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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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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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Big Oaks and Life Science Platforms

 

As I watched the twitchy red squirrel gather the few remaining acorns on the ground, I realized that a large portion of the living and dying in the East Woods is dependent on a few keystone species, namely oak, maple and pine trees. These platforms provide food, shelter, environment, and nutrition for dozens of plants, fungi, birds, rodents, and even people (my firewood and maple syrup).

Similarly in the life sciences arena, there are a few significant companies that provide technology ...

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Forests and Philanthropy

 

Walking through the East Woods the other day, I stopped to enjoy the solitude of the forest. It became clear to me that this ecosystem provides fresh air and peacefulness to anyone that enters, and asks nothing in return. This is in contrast to most of our encounters in the business and technology world where ROI and WIIFM are constant questions asked by nearly all.

With the Winter Solstice and the Holiday Season upon us, I decided to look at the ...

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