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Friday, August 5, 2011







Friday, 7:00 AM.  69 degrees, wind SW, calm.  The sky is cloudless and the barometer predicts the same.  It is a fine Bafield day.
    Prairie, meadow and beach plants are blooming, these photos taken at the Reiten Boayard Condominiums which I landscaped two yeas ago.
    Big bluestem grass, also called turkey foot because of the appearance of the flower heads, Andopogon gerardi, in the grass (Graminiae) family, is blooming now, It is a tall grass that is easy to use in the landscape because it does not spread by runners.  It has a blue-green summer color and beautiful tawny hues in the fall.  The genus name has recently been changed by the botanists, but I refuse to use the new nomenclature as they will probably just change it back again as soon as I get used to it.
    Asclepias tuberosa, the butterfly weed (milkweed family) is also in bloom, its bright orange flowers not quite like anything else in the landscape or garden.
    Monarda fistulosa, wild bergomot ((mint family) is an excellent  plant in the garden as well as the prairie and meadow landscape.  It also makes a good drink (Oswego tea).
    When is conservation not such a great idea?  When it throws the economics of a system out of balance.  Case in point: currently there are state and federal  water conservation grants being offered to homeowners and small businesses in our community, and there have been major campaigns to reduce water use.  Bayfield has a very new and modern waste treatment facility and ample access to water.  Because the whole system was overbuilt in anticipation of developmemnt that is not happening and probably won’t happen, it is operating at less than 50% capacity and the water and sewer charges are outrageously expensive, further dampening development and efficient use of the system.  What will further water conservation do?  Drive revenues down, spurring greater increases in rates, which will further dampen expansion of the system and render it forever inefficient.  The lesson here is that a community should build no greater and better infrastructure than it truly needs, regardless of the mantra of the day, or it will overburden its tax base and drive a downward economic spiral.  And, in back of all these glorious plans for the future lurk the developers, trying to game the system.

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