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Friday, September 30, 2016

FALLCOLOR IS PERHAPS A WEEK BEHIND

to
SUGAR MAPLE ON CORNER OF NINTH AND WILSON OCT. 30, 2016
DITTO 0CT. 27, 2014
SUMAC FALL COLOR IS PERHAPS A WEEK BEHIND  OTHER YEARS

Friday, 8:45 AM.  54 degrees F at the ferry dock, 51 on the back porch.  Wind NE, calm with some light gusts.  The sky is overcast, the humidity still 91% (no wonder my arm aches).  The barometer is falling gradually, now at 30.45", predicting rain again by the middle of next week, with seasonal temperatures.
   I have been saying that fall color is late this year and it will probably be more muted  than most other falls.  According to my photos of past  fall color I would say about a week behind.  Only time will tell for certain.  We have had no dips in nightly temperatures, and plenty of rain: nothing to hasten the arrival of Jack Frost.
VOTE THE PRO CHILD, PRO FAMILY, PRO WORKER MOVEMENT

Thursday, September 29, 2016

WHY?

TWO LARGE WHITE PINES STOODAT THE CORNER OF 9TH ST. AND MANYPENNY AVE...

THE OWNER HAD THEM TOPPED AND TAKEN DOWN...

LOGS REMOVED AND BRANCHES CHIPPED...


LEAVING 3' DIA. STUMPS...

WHICH ARE GROUND OUT, THE HOUSE LEFT WITHOUT ITS TREES






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

NOT THAT ADVENTURESOM ANYMORE (and all my exes live in Texas)


WHAT'S THIS STRANGE OBJECT A COUPLE OF HUNDRED YARDS OFF THE MOUTH OF THE SIOUX RIVER?

A WADING FISHERMAN, OF COURSE!
Tuesday, 10: AM.  56 degrees F at the ferry dock, 53 on the back porch.  Wind NE, gusty atd times.  The sky is overcast but clearing, the humidity 86%.  The barometer is rising, now at 30.15". The skies should clear the rest of the week, with the temperatures around 60.  Fall colors are late and will be muted.
   Yesterday afternoon it stopped raining, so I took Buddy to the beach for a run.  There was a small object in the water about 200 yards off the mouth of the Sioux River and it took a minute to determine what it was; an adventurous fisherman, wading out to cast for salmon and trout.  Personally, I think it's too early, but maybe not, and I'm not that adventuresome anymore anyway.
   Joan and I have been watching the Brewers play the Texas Rangers, and there are so many Brewer players that have been traded to Texas recently that we don't know whom to root for.
   Reminds me of that Country song, "All my Exes Live in Texas."

ELECT A BUSINESSMAN...POLITICIANS ARE ALL TALK AND NO ACTION

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A BIG JOB WELL DONE

PLANTING SITE AS VIEWED FROM BROWNSTONE TRAIL, WITH PLASTIC MATTING TO DISCOURAGE WEED GROWTH.  NOTE UTILITY MARKINGS

REMOVING STRING, WIRE AND BURLAP...

...DITTO...

FINDING THE ROOT FLARE AND REMOVING EXCESS ROOT GROWTH AT TOP OF POT

PLANTED TREES READY TO BE MULCHED


TREES AND BLUEBERRIES ARE PLANTED; OWNER WILL PLANT PERENNIALS THROUGH WEED BARRIER...
VIEW OF THE TRAIL PLANTINGS FROM THE HOUSE

DONE: HOME SHELTERED FROM TRAIL

Tuesday, 9:30 AM.  50 degrees F at the ferry dock, 46 oN the back porch.  Wind variable with light gusts.  The sky is  overcast and it is raining; an eighth of an inch has fallen.  The humidity is 90% and the barometer is still steady at 29.64".  Rainy weather will persist for the next few days and then skies should clear.
  We wrapped up what is probably the last planting job of the season yesterday, in the rain.  We planted 12 8'-10' conifers (white fir, white spruce and Black Hills spruce) and 6 large native blueberry bushes, which make nice landscape shrubs in a northern environment, plus a 15 gallon  potted 3" DBH hybrid maple, 'Autumn Blaze.'
   The primary objective was to create a privacy screen between the residence and The Brownstone Trail, a very popular hiking trail that passes close by the front of the property.  The conifers were B&B, in wire baskets.  The lower branches were tied to keep them safe from damage during delivery and planting.  The earth balls are 3' in diameter, about 24" in depth and weigh around 1500 lbs.
   First, and of utmost importance, was to call Diggers' Hotline to have all utilities marked.  Never put a shovel in the ground without doing so, as it is impossible to know where lines and services are, and they are often very shallow,  and memory of where things may be fades quickly.
   About 20 yards of topsoil was added to the planting site, graded, and each tree planted in a planting hole about 5' in diameter.  Care was taken to expose the root flare of each tree to be sure it was planted at the same level as in the nursery.  All string, burlap and wire were removed from each tree.  The trees were backfilled with topsoil and watered in with ten to fifteen gallons of water each.  Additional backfill was added where necessary and several inches of mulch spread over the entire planting area, taking care to keep mulch away from the trunks of the tree (to discourage rodents from nesting there).  Finally, the trees were staked to keep them plumb, and to steady the root ball to prevent the breakage of new feeder roots as they develop.
   Potted trees and shrubs. such as the maple and blueberries, must have the pots removed, of course, and the roots that have encircled the root ball cut or roughed up to prevent the growth of  girdling roots and promote the development of new feeder roots.  In addition, roots of plants grown in pots usually grow in excess towards the top of the pot, and must be carefully removed.
   All in all, this was a big job well done.


Monday, September 26, 2016

CHALK ONE UP FOR THE BEARS

SEEN BEFORE BEAR SEASON

ECHO VALLEY BEAR HUNTERS' DEN

BEAR DOG HOUSES

Monday, 9:00 AM.  52 degrees F at the ferry dock, 50 on the back porch.  Wind WSW, light with occasional strong gusts.  The sky is cloudy and overcast and it is raining lightly, the humidity 82%.  The barometer is more-or-less steady, now at 29.64".  Today and tomorrow will be rainy, then it should clear.  We still have some finish work to do on the tree planting job, but the rainy weather is good for the new plantings.
   The bear season is on, and under normal circumstances we would be more or less in the midst of the fray while grouse hunting; but not this year. Two years ago Buddy and I had a bear, dogs and hunters on ATVs milling all around us on the trail; kind of stimulating, actually, as long as we could keep out of the way.  That time the bear doubled back on its trail and left dogs and hunters charging off in the wrong direction.  Chalk one up for the bears.
   Oh well, we wish them all luck:  the hunters that they have fun chasing down the back roads; the dogs that they get plenty of exercise and don't get hurt; and the bears, who usually are only guilty of being bears, that they outsmart the hounds.  The bears are already probably smarter than the humans.
  The Wisconsin bear season with dogs is complicated and I won't get into that, except that it is on now and lasts through Oct. 11.  Bayfield county has more bears than any other county in the state, and hunting doesn't affect the population negatively under current regulations.
   Bears are too much like humans for me to shoot one unless it threatened me , my dog or  my property.  I have no objection to others hunting them, but I sure wouldn't want to pay the vet bills when the dogs get torn up.
DON'T FORGET TO WATCH TONIGHT'S DEBATE

Sunday, September 25, 2016

AMERICAN CHESTNUT TREES

AMERICAN CHESTNUTS ARE RIPE...

CHESTNUT BUR OPENING...

REVEALING (USUALLY) THREE  EDIBLE NUTS...

FLOWER CATKINS BLOOM IN EARLY TO MID JULY.

YOUNG AMERICAN CHESTNUT TREE ON TENTH AND MANYPENNY AVE. IN BLOOM LAST MAY
Sunday, 9:00 AM.  Wind variable and calm, with occasional light gusts.  The sky is overcast and it is raining lightly.  Humidity 92%, barometer mostly steady at 30.19".  Rainy weather is forecast through Tuesday, then clearing.
   The American chestnut, as most people know, was until around a century ago a major component of the temperate deciduous forest of northeastern North America east of the Mississippi River.  It grew in close association with sugar maple, beech, and red oak. It was a major timber and food species. The trees were so numerous that it was said that a squirrel could travel from chestnut tree to chestnut tree from the east coast to the Mississippi  River without interruption.
   The native population was decimated by an invasive Eurasian fungal disease that wiped out all but a few outlier populations of the species.  Those in and around Bayfield were either isolated enough to escape the disease or may have some immunity to it, I suspect the former.  In any case, a few of these trees have been propagated and planted around Bayfield, or have grown spontaneously, and the one pictured is a street tree located on the corner of Ninth Street and Mannypenny Ave.   
  The male flowers are long and filamentous, and are a creamy light green in color.  They have a very distinctive, pungent odor, akin to that of freshly turned earth. The female flower, which develops into the chestnut upon fertilization, is a minuscule catkin which subtends the male flower bract, or develops in the axils of nearby leaves.  The trees bloom in early to mid July.  The edible nuts are released from the opening burr in late September or October, either while the burr is still attached to the tree or when it falls to the ground, where they sprout and begin to grow immediately, if not eaten by squirrels.
   The tree on Ninth St.  is full of fruit now and well worth a look if you are in Bayfield. A mature tree, unfortunately much in decline, is located on Seventh St. and Manypenny Ave., and more large trees are located in a ravine on the Apostle Highlands Golf Course, and here and there throughout the area.
DON'T FORGET TO WATCH THE DEBATE

Saturday, September 24, 2016

FALSE SOLOMON'S SEAL BERRIES ARE RIPE.

FALSE SOLOMON'S SEAL RACEME OF FLOWERS...
...RIPE BERRIES
Saturday, 8:45 AM.  60 degrees F at the ferry dock, 58 on the back porch.  Wind variable, with light gusts.  The sky is filled with a low overcast and the humidity is 82%. The barometer stands steady, ai 30.19".  There is a chance of rain tomorrow and Monday, then clearing.
   I saw a large flock of migrating geese yesterday morning, flying very high and fast. I have seen no more hummingbirds and believe they are all gone now. The big planting job is almost done, to be finished up Monday morning. Turned out great, although I was frustrated by my still-bad arm; I'm lucky to have Jay's Tree Care and his crew to partner with.
     False Solomon's seal, Smilacina racemosa, in the Lily Family, is a widespread plant native to every state in the US except Hawaii.  Its creamy white flowers are, as the species name implies, borne in terminal racemes, and are followed by edible berries that turn from a spotted orange to bright red when fully ripe.
   The berries have a rather pleasant taste and I think would make good preserves (seems to me I tasted some a few years back), and for the first time I found plants this year in great enough number in a large colony that it would be feasible to do so (I have eaten them with no ill effect, but don't you  do so without further investigation). Bears eat them, but then bears eat almost anything.  En mass they are almost as beautiful and effective as a woods full of Trilliums.
   The true Solomon's seal,  several species in the genus Polygonatum,  have flowers and blue colored berries in pairs along the stem at each leaf node.
DON'T FORGET TO WATCH THE DEBATE MONDAY NIGHT