The Return of a Lost Jersey Tomato. And if you haven’t had a good August Jersey tomato, you haven’t yet experienced heaven on earth.
SF New Mexican:
Colorado: Energy boom alters Rockies’ pristine landscapes. Better see it soon; your “Rocky Mountain High” will be the result of noxious petrochemical fumes in the future, not fresh air. Even better - fight the change!
NY Times Home & Garden:
The Versailles of the North. Even in our most trying economic times, there is a need for beauty to relieve the burden. Longwood Gardens was built by the DuPonts, makers of gunpowder. The parquet tile floor in their organ room is made up of the slivered gunstocks from World War I. Folks walk across those wooden floors daily, never considering each sliver likely represents a life lost in war ... or that the gardens are the result of profits therefrom. Formal gardens tend to overcome their origination stories and become something else. I find this garden a little contemporary for my taste, but I still applaud its creation, notwithstanding.
SF New Mexican:
Monsoon season kicks in to high gear, but data collected at airport tells different story. I can find our local rainfall rates here, thanks to a Weather Underground personal weather station. Not completely accurate, because of the ridges around here, but close. Third of an inch an hour last night, for many hours. Total rainfall was way over an inch. Our aquifers are going to be *very* happy, if this continues.
Santa Fe New Mexican:
Body found in storm’s surge. I was downtown when this storm hit yesterday, and drove past a couple of the flooded, rushing arroyos. It looked bloody dangerous - and bloody close to the tops of the arroyo banks. No way a person caught in the torrent could escape. Three inches of rain in roughly an hour. The city should have a seasonal reservoir west of town to gather runoff - this was a substantial amount of water.
Day later: Madorange’s father got some shots of the Santa Fe River, about to overflow the banks. The water was moving fast. The river’s still flowing today, after last evening’s smaller storm.
NY Times Science:
Country, the City Version: Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest. Anyone familiar with the delivery-of-basic-utilities problems in skyscrapers can tell you this is not feasible at this kind of scale.
Check out MadOrange’s
marmot encounter on Santa Fe Baldy.
In the Gardens of Versailles, A Horticultural Revolution. “Nowadays, we vary the species of trees—beech, hawthorn, poplar, chestnut—to prevent major losses in case of a disease affecting one type of tree.” Not historically accurate, but smart from a long-term management standpoint.
NY Times Op-Ed Contributor:
Bee by Bee. In my extensively flowered garden, I’ve seen two ... TWO ... honeybees so far this YEAR.
NY Times Home & Garden:
Provence in a Plant: Just Inhale. The winter here in NM savaged a lot of the lavender, but we’ve got sage out the wazoo. After I water, I reek of sage.
SF New Mexican:
Officers kill mountain lion that might have attacked man. 125 pounds, that’s a big cat for the desert, though small the for species. I used to see them frequently in Big Bend; the desert dwellers tend to be more compact.
Must be livestock or pronghorn over Pinos Altos way. These cats have very large ranges, especially in food-scarce environments. I’d be careful hiking with kids in the Eldorado Wilderness on those trails with overhanging rock and trees - this was less than 70 miles away as the crow flies. Cats dearly love that jump/neck-break routine.
Correction: I’m thinking of the wrong Pinos Altos. Thanks, Eric.
How to sing like a planet. Om sweet om, we hear a lot about that hereabouts.
Calmly taking a drink from one of the front birdbaths,
I encounter a four-foot Red Racer (or Coachwhip) snake. Beautiful. Startled me, of course. I was walking back from the mailbox. What is it with the Yellow Pages folks? I’ve received like six identical phone books in the last week and a half. What a waste of paper.
Lawmakers fret over health, safety impacts of nanotechnology. “Silver particles are used in a wide range of consumer products, mostly to impart an antimicrobial surface. But two recent studies have found that socks impregnated with nanoparticles of silver leach the particles when laundered. Silver is toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms, and researchers have found the nanoparticles in streambeds. What isn’t known is the extent to which the nanoscale form increases silver’s toxicity.”
“In the summer showdown between lawn-care lobbyists and parents against toxic sprays, whose grass is greener? Connecticut’s finding out.” Look into spinosad. You can find it at most garden centers that support organic farming.
Follow the Silt. Well-meaning but ultimately intrusive human intervention yields endless numbers of gabions throughout America’s waterways. Better to let nature find its own course.
Pine Beetle Devastates Canadian Forest, May Fuel Global Warming. Frosts be damned. If the trees aren’t getting enough water, esp. in the summer, they can’t generate the sap to push the beetles out from under their bark. New Mexico’s lost most of our piñons due to these little perishers. You’re looking at clear evidence of climate change, and there’s naught you can do stop the die-off other than saving a few trees on your own property. Not unless a government’s got the money to do water drops throughout the summer, or put systemic pesticides to work tree by tree.
Junipers/cedars were, in general, not attacked by the species of beetle we had. So we’re not completely denuded. Drive east of SF on 25, you’ll see acres of tree corpses, however. As the trees die and begin to dry out, termite populations explode. Now all the tree carcasses are falling over, breaking at the trunk, moving downhill, rolling into roads and ditches, blown by our high winds. The grey corpses are beginning to diminish in size and magnitude as they dry-rot. I know what you’re thinking. Firewood! You daren’t use these trees for firewood because of the termite/beetle potential they may harbor. Or more specifically, unless you own a true adobe home (no structural wood), you daren’t use these for firewood. Stack logs anywhere near your frame and stucco, and you’re in for serious problems.
SF New Mexican:
Bodies of missing snowboarders found in SW Colo. Tragic. 900 feet between life and death.
NY Times Arts:
The Forest Premeditated: Illusions of Wildness in a Botanical Garden. “That’s what the garden literally is: a cultural institution. Or better, an institution that is about cultivation. All gardens are a form of culture on display, but a botanical garden incorporates scientific culture as well.”
The zebra mussel has a cousin, and it is moving west.
Soon as you saw the photos of flooding in Iowa, you knew this was coming: Midwest floods spur record rise in corn prices. Hope everyone I know in Iowa is AOK.