Archive for April 27th, 2008

Many parks in cities are areas that result in crime.

[No, areas themselves do not result in crime. Some areas become places where crimes can occur, but usually the responsibility falls on the people who enter those areas.]

Policy makers and community leaders are having a growing appreciation for the positive effects urban trees provide.

[The professor, on the other hand, is having a fit.]

Manure that is excreted from farm animals is far less significant than the nitrogen that is introduced versus fertilizers which are much more harmful.


I think the lack of attendance at school games is an issue for the University, I being one of those people.

[Where does one begin?]

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You’ve seen the lawn out there; you know I want less of it.  A student of mine has found a Yellow wood I could have installed, and since the Bluestone order arrived earlier this month, I’ve been digging up sections of the yard, culling out the pebbles [and occassional bricks, marbles, and rusted iron], and then backfilling with LeafGro, peat moss, dirt, and assorted new plants.  The varigated willow looks pretty happy next to the big black elderberry shrub in their new bed, and next week a quince, two blueberry bushes, and some asters will join them.  Maybe some daisies and black-eyed susans from next door; my neighbors said they’d like theirs thinned out a bit.

Those would be human neighbors, of course.  The insect neighbors don’t talk, per se.  But I have been getting messages from the local bees.

The big bumbles have told me, in elaborate pantomime, that the daffodils will NOT DO.  They blundered around the flowers, trying to find exactly where the nectar was hiding, and what they were supposed to hang onto inside the trumpet, since obviously there was no space for hovering in there.

A honeybee mentioned that it was very lost and not likely to find its way home, landing on the ledge of my second floor window and sheltering in the channel where a screen would normally fit [that’s another story].  There was no pollen in its leg sacs, and I don’t think the clover has started blooming yet.  So I went downstairs and got a drop of honey from the larder….stuck my finger out the window and gave the bee a snack.  It tanked up [yes, bee tongues tickle] and buzzed away.

And then there are the other bees….who truly surprised me by demonstrating the truth of a NY Times article about native bees only hours after I started puzzling over the idea of bees building with clay.  I’d dug a pit in the front yard where I was going to amend the soil and plant a star magnolia tree.  I’d poured a bucket of water in the night before so I could get a sense of how the drainage was.  And then when I came out after my morning news reading….I looked in the hole and …there were bees.  Slightly larger and much fuzzier than honeybees, each scrabbling away at the damp clay, flying off somewhere, and then coming back for more.  Oh dear.  Now I’ll have to find a way to keep some of the clay available where they can find it, and make sure no one is nesting down there before I put the tree in.

For more information on how to help native bees, go here:  Xerces Society

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“What we’re doing is we’re going to finalize everything we agree to.”

— Sheila Dixon, Mayor of Baltimore

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