Well, it’s been a long time, I know. I hope everyone is staying warm in this cold, snowy and blowy weather. I don’t recall ever letting my faucet drip so often!
The reason for the delay in my posts was due to my laptop power cord fraying and spraying sparks everywhere. The computer is so old that I couldn’t just go to the computer store to buy a replacement. So my friend at work told me to find one on eBay. That was fun, as most were very inexpensive but had to be shipped from China. The cost of shipping was twice the cost of the power cord! I finally found one online and ordered it. Apparently, my poor power cord had a hard time getting from Texas to Ohio, thinking that the most logical way would be via Michigan. So what should have arrived in five days took nearly two weeks. Then, our modem went out. One store said I couldn’t buy a replacement, that everything had to be done online. That wouldn’t do at all. Then another store said they had a modem that I could buy, which I promptly did. I got that all up and running, only to find that it wasn’t working correctly (incidentally, it was operator error that made it not work…) I’ve finally got everything fixed, but I’m sorry for the long delay!
One of the things I read in the latest issue of Sierra was how palm oil is wiping out millions of acres of the rain forest. Palm oil is in half of all packaged products including processed foods, cleaners, and lipstick. According to the article, “the average U.S. consumer uses about eight pounds of palm oil each year.” It has several other names: vegetable oil, palmate, cocoa butter equivalent, sodium lauryl sulfate, and glyceryl stearate. What happens is that farmers take down the natives trees and vegitation to plant palm oil plantations. Losing those forests, in turn, threatens many species such as tigers, leopards and orangutangs. Also, indigenous peopleare pushed off of their land and have to deal with pesticides in their water supply.
So check those labels for palm oil before you buy.
Until next time!
That The Ohio State University’s football team won the national championship this year. (Pete and I finally watched both games, courtesy of YouTube. We don’t have cable, so we ended up listening to the Sugar Bowl and the championship games on the radio. The Alabama game, we both agreed, was the more exciting. But I must admit that watching a game you know the outcome, with all the commercials edited, was pretty sweet!)
So what does this have to do with trees and the Arboretum?
Well, Ohio State’s Chadwick Arboretum Tree Planting team took home a win of its own in Arlington, TX. Horticulturists from Ohio State, Oregon, Florida State, and Alabama competed to see which team could plant the most trees, with the Ohio State team winning first place. The tree planting, which took place at a new park, was part of The Playoff Green program, a group of sustainability projects developed around the college football playoffs. The program is meant to help offset the environmental impact in Arlington of hosting the college football championship.
Apparently, before they left for Texas, the Ohio State team was featured planting a tree in under 60 seconds on Channel 10. (I searched for a video to embed with no luck…)
Here is a photo of the tree planting team. From the left: Mike Boren (father of the 3 Boren Brothers who all play/played on the OSU football team); Christine Voise (Chadwick Arboretum GIS and Accessions Specialist); Mitch Gatewood (OSU Alumni from DFW area); Mike Pfeiffer (Chadwick Arboretum Horticulturist); Ray Kreutzfeld (OSU Alumni from DFW area); Christy Dudgeon (OSU Alumni and VP of Grass Groomers); Steve Schneider (OSU Landscape Planner and ISA Certified Arborist); and our own Dan Struve (Emeritus Professor of Horticulture and Chadwick Arboretum Volunteer).
All I can say is, we could sure use a team like that for LOUA when we are planting trees!
Congratulations on both Ohio State wins!
Until next time!
I had another encounter with a hawk, this time at Ohio State. I was walking down 12th Avenue when I saw a hawk go after a squirrel. Mr. Squirrel got away, although I do think the hawk winged him a bit. The squirrel made his getaway by jumping into a window well that had a grate on it. Mr. Hawk patiently waited on the ground for about one minute, just across the street from where I was standing. I’ve not seen one that close up – he was rather larger than I had expected but so beautiful. Well, I was about to get a much closer view. The hawk took off and flew right in front of me. I stopped short, and had I put out my arm, I could have touched him, he was that close when he went by. Amazing. (I thought about going back to see if the squirrel was okay, but realized that not knowing the answer to that might be best…)
Then our neighborhood hawk was back at it at the Bird Bush Deli across the street, looking for his dinner. The neighbor’s cat was in on the fun, hoping to get a stray bird or two.
Hope your New Year got off to an exciting start, too!
Until next time!
A few years ago, when we went up to see my brother and sister-in-law in Michigan for Christmas, they told us about the hawk that was in their neighborhood, the one that MaryJo named Christmas. He liked to have a meal of the squirrels that came to Mike’s backyard – the very ones Mike was feeding peanuts to! (I know hawks need to eat, too, but it’s one thing when they are eating someone you’ve never met vs. someone you had eat a peanut from your hand…)
Anyhow, the hawk was very beautiful. We weren’t really sure what kind it was, and fortunately, it never managed to catch any prey while we were watching. You could tell it was in the area because immediately, all the birds and squirrels would hide.
I’ve been seeing a lot of a hawk lately There’s one that’s living near Ohio State and the South Oval. I think it’s a Cooper’s hawk. An absolutely stunning bird with a cream breast and dark speckles. It is incredible fast, too. Then today, Pete and I travelled to Springfield, and saw perhaps four more. Finally, a hawk flew down across our street into the neighbor’s privet bush that was full of chirping sparrows. Sure enough, the hawk caught one. All was quiet for a few minutes, then birds when flying everywhere, the hawk in full flight after one of them. All succeeded in getting away; it was a marvel at how quickly the hawk could change direction to follow the sparrow.
As Pete said, “We’ve got wildlife in our neighborhood!”
We got our Christmas tree up (it only took me six hours to decorate!), and it looks lovely, if I do say so myself. I hope that all of your holidays are merry and bright, and that the new year is filled with joy, love and laughter – and wildlife!
Until next time!
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post! November was very busy and just slipped away from me. We spent the first part up in Michigan, staying with my brother in Saginaw for his birthday (always a great time!) then travelling farther north to Grayling and the Lake House with Dan, Mike and Auki. We had a nice dusting of snow (about four inches) that made for the most wonderful walk in the woods. There is something about snow and woods. The silence is so peaceful, and where their house is, there is no traffic sounds, so I could actually hear the snow falling. Amazing!
Then, of course, it was Thanksgiving. My mom came down for a few days, and it was so nice to have her visit. We mostly just spent time eating (and talking in between mouthfuls), although we did venture out on Black Friday for the first time in about 30 years! We went later in the afternoon and had no trouble finding a parking place or having to wait in line; in fact, the most annoying part was the clerk who said I had to take a plastic bag for my purchase. I don’t usually do so, but he said he’d get in trouble for letting me out the door without a bag, so I let it slide. But other than that, it was a nice few hours shopping. To be honest, I most likely won’t do it again for another 30 years!
Next up on Thursday is getting our tree from the Ohio State Forestry student organization. They do have nice trees from Ohio and freshly cut. I managed to find a few more WWII ornaments at Scott’s Antique Market, but Pete and I are beginning to think that I’ve bought most of them in Ohio! I got some in Findlay that are my favorite: red, white, and blue, and the accordion hanger. As I place them on the tree, I always wonder about the person who originally bought them.
Speaking of history and Ohio State, there are so many trees on campus of significance. For example, there is a massive sycamore in front of Hopkins Hall that is estimated to have been there since before the U.S. Constitution was signed. Another tree near Thompson Library was given to Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and two sycamores, near the football stadium, marked the Underground Railroad trail. Another one of my favorites is a beautiful oak planted in honor of a WWII soldier who died in Normandy. Trees have such history and bring so much to future generations. And I’m thankful to have been a part of that with our arboretum. We’ve left a lasting legacy for future residents of Clintonville for generations to come.
Until next time!
Did anyone else see all the migrating buzzards this afternoon over Clintonville? I was outside, putting up the Halloween lights, when I looked up and saw a group of large birds flying overhead. It was really beautiful to watch: a real buzzard ballet! The buzzards were circling and spiraling up and down. Then they went off to the south. I wasn’t sure what the birds were at first because I didn’t see the “fingers” on the wingtips, but Pete said they were buzzards without the wings fully extended.
About 15 minutes later, another group came through. Right now, there are a few that are on their own, just floating around. Wonder if they will fly on All Hallow’s Eve…
Hinckley, Ohio has nothing on Clintonville!
Until next time!
As I sit writing this, the weather is what I like to call a perfect October night. The breeze is brisk, the leaves are dropping from the trees, whose colors are truly spectacular. The clouds clipping through the air are grey and heavy. Eventually, I know the temperatures will fall even more, as will the snow. That’s just fine with me – I love fall and winter!
But as I contemplated cooler temperatures, I got a letter today from Columbia Gas with a Home Energy Report for our house. The report compares our house with other similar houses as well as energy efficient homes. Now our home was built in 1918, and when we moved in, the curtains left by the previous owner would literally wave in the breeze when the wind blew in the winter because the windows were the original ones with weights from when the house was built. There was little insulation in the attic and in some of the walls. In fact, we had a futon in an upstairs room that actually froze to the wall because there was so little insulation. We worked very hard to weatherize the house, adding lots of insulation and new windows. Well, this old house beat out similar houses and even the energy efficient ones. And by quite a significant amount. The similar homes were based on about 100 homes like ours, and the efficient similar homes were those that rated in the top 20%. In full disclosure, we keep our house fairly cool in the winter: 64 degrees during the day, 65 when we are in the house, and 60 at night. And our furnace isn’t the newest, over ten years old. I’ve never felt cold in the house (wool and layers are great!), so we were very proud of our home. And to top it off, the period used included last year’s polar vortex.
At the last LOUA meeting, we discussed the feasibility study we will receive from Benefactor. There are a few steps to be completed in between, but we hope to have the report before year’s end. And so the journey continues…
Reuse, reduce and recycle
For the past several years, I’ve been getting most of my clothing from thrift stores and donating back to them whatever I don’t want anymore. The clothing is inexpensive, and nice things can be found. But I really like that I’m reusing clothing. The latest issue of Sierra offers several sites that will take used clothing such as ThredUp, Yerdle, and Rent the Runway. The magazine gave a lot of statistics: 68 pounds of clothing tossed each year by the average American and that a single t-shirt takes 700 gallons of water to create. I plan to try one of these sites out just to see what they can do.
Until next time!