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Tuesday, July 31, 2012




Tuesday, 8:00 AM.  70 degrees F, wind N, calm.  The sky is crystal clear except for the usual haze over the Islands.  The humidity is high at 84% but the barometer is rising so it should be a seasonably warm but pleasant day.
    The Oregon grape holly, Mahonia aquifolia, in the herb garden has borne its grape-like fruit again this year.  I am continually amazed at the beauty of this plant, which has tough, shiny dark green leaves which resemble those of American holly, although it is in the barberry family (Berberidaceae).  It has fragrant, bright yellow flower spikes in early summer, which the bees love.  It  is native to British Columbia and the Oregon Cascade Mountains and is hardy to zone five.  The only word of caution in its use is that it can grow very large. I have seen it growing wild in the mountains, where it tumbles among the rocks . Its fruit is very bitter and has had some medicinal uses as an astringent and mouth wash, and was even used as food by Northwest Indian tribes, although it must have been starvation fare.  The roots were used to produce a yellow dye.

Sunday, July 29, 2012





Monday, 8:00 AM.  71 degrees F, wind WNW, calm to very light.  The sky is mostly overcast with high, thin gray clouds and the humidity is 94%.  The barometer predicts rain, of which we had a brief shower last night that left everything wet this morning
    We went to Washburn yesterday to see the annual car show and were disappointed that it was on Saturday only.  The disappointment quickly turned to glee when we decided to stop in for lunch in a new Washburn establishment, The Snug, an Irish wannabe pub with Guinness and Woodchuck Hard Cider, along with local brews, on tap.  The sandwiches were very good, accompanied by truly great homemade potato chips, thick cut and well anointed with vinegar and salt.  I had a Woodchuck, Joan a Guinness…total bill $20.  We’ll stop again, and next time I’ll have a Guinness and toast my  many Irish friends, most of  whom have either gone to their reward, or have imbibed their lifetime limit of the frothy stout.
    Washburn is a real homey town, as evidenced by the inline skater being towed by his dog, and the kids playing in the police department fountain.
    About five o’clock yesterday afternoon we heard police sirens down the street at the Seagull Bay Motel Annex.  Turns out the cops were escorting a really naughty bear out of town.  He had broken  through the office screen door to raid a cookie jar filled with candy bars.  A good reminder to close the patio doors at night.
    The UN mandate on small arms control, which appeared to myself and many others to be no more than a ploy by the world’s dictators to emasculate any opposition, and which was a real threat to our own Second Amendment rights, did not pass because of US reluctance, led by bipartisan congressional opposition.  Gee, President Obama, Americans really do cling to their guns and bibles, don’t they?  And their Constitution as well.






Sunday, 9:00 AM.  72 degrees F, 72% humidity.  The wind is NW, calm at present.  The sky is partly overcast and the barometer predicts rain, but I think no time soon,.
    The perennials we brought home from Northwoods Nursery are all planted and I must say things look better, or at least more interesting.  I still need to do more weeding, put down mulch, and cut back some overgrown plants, but when all that’s done the perennial garden will be greatly improved.  Things still look rather shaggy.  I guess "naturalistic" is just my style.   I still have not planted the shrubs, which will get done today.
    The grass on the grading and seeding job on 6th street is finally germinating and starting to look like something, but it will take another week of growth before success will be obvious.  In the meantime I am watering several times a day and monitoring the job closely.
    Joan and I will walk around the art show later, and also go to Washburn for the car show that is part of Washburn’s Brownstone Days, this weekend;s  celebration of its cultural and architectural history.              Washburn has a number of historic structures dating to the time of quarrying the native brownstone (a hard sandstone) from the lake shore cliffs and the  Islands.  Brownstone was shipped to Milwaukee, Chicago and other Great Lakes cities.  It was a big business from the late Nineteenth Century until the earl 1920’s, when the Brownstone lost out to other building materials.
    Now environmental laws prohibit its quarrying (go figure).  No mining, no quarrying, no pipelines, no power plants,,, Nine, Alles Verboten!…be wealthy and drive your hybrid Lexus up from the big city, or be poor and on welfare. Oops, sorry, it is Sunday, after all.

Saturday, July 28, 2012






Saturday. 8:00 AM.  65 degrees F, wind WNW, calm.  The humidity is 75%, the sky is clear with some haze over the lake, and the barometer is way up.  What a day!
    This is the Bayfield Arts Festival weekend, and the lake front park will be filled with exhibitors, and the town with tourists.  It is a juried exhibit, which ensures high quality art work.  We hold our breath until it’s over, as several years ago we had a freak windstorm which blew tents, artwork and dollar bills all into the harbor (luckily no people).  Looks like we should be O.K. weather-wise.
    The trip to Norhwoods Nursery was uneventful and pleasant, a nice drive. We did see the usual roadside flocks of wild turkeys on hwy 51, in the Mercer area.  The fall goldenrods (species of Solidago) are noticeable now, a little earlier than usual. The hot weather and drought has evidently favored at least two species of plants, which seem to dominate the roadsides; Queen Anne’s lace, AKA wild carrot, and spotted knapweed.
     Now I have to plant the sixteen potted perennials and three shrubs that we brought back. The main purpose of the trip was to get enough summer blooming perennials to freshen up the perennial garden, which has become rather monochromatic and unexciting in  the past few years, sort of a blood transfusion if you will.  We are adding Rudbeckia, Monarda, Liartris, Russian sage, Hyssop, Achillea and bellflower, plus some Hydrangea and a Sorbaria for the front yard.
    I see that an Indiana manufacturer of medical equipment is canceling plans to expand and hire more employees because of the uncertainty of Obamacare and its tax on medical devices.  Damn those businesses!  Force them to hire! Who do they think they are? They didn't build that!  Are we beginning to see a revolt of the productive class in this country?  Hold onto your seat, and read Ayn Rand's 1950's creepy tale of the future, Atlas Shrugged.

Friday, July 27, 2012





Friday, 7:45 AM.  66 degrees F, wind N, light with stronger gusts.  The sky is partly cloudy with dark clouds moving in from the north.  The humidity is 85% but the barometer predicts clearing skies.  It should be a nice day for a trip to Northwood Nursery in Rhinelander to pick up plants.
    Raspberries have been too much affected by the drought for me to bother with, but blackberries, which are a little latter, are plumping up nicely and should be worth picking over the weekend.
    Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis, in the evening primrose family,has a pretty golden yellow flower, but most of our native species of Oenothera (there are many)are not floriferous enough to be garden standouts.  Nice, but no cigar, as they say.  They are easy to grow in most soils in full sun.  There are hybrids with large flowers that make beautiful low border plants.
    Oenothera species have a long history in herbal medicine as an astringent and analgesic, and American Indian tribes used it in much the same way.  I have read that oil of evening primrose is an effective, safe and gentle treatment for childhood ear infections, which often cause children much pain and discomfort.  It is available commercially but I have no experience with it.
    It appears that the Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is as much a bully boy as ever, threatening to ban Chic-Fil-A restaurants from the city because of the views of its corporate founder favoring traditional marriage.  Unconstitutional? most certainly.  Will that stop Emanuel?  Probably not, as it would be a politically popular stance to present to his  ultra-liberal supporters.

Thursday, July 26, 2012





Thursday, 8:00 AM.  68 degrees F, wind N, calm at present.  The sky is overcast, the humidity is 85%.  The barometer is trending up.  The day is a tossup.
    Many trees are showing heat stressed leaves, such as the yellowing of the leaves on this young birch.  Heat stressed leaves may also turn brown around the edges or even fall off.  The rain and cooler temperatures will reduce leaf stress greatly.
    We told you about a bad accident on Hwy. 13 on Monday at noon, but didn’t know the details.  Turns out a 23 year old woman lost control of the vehicle, it rolled over, and all five occupants were thrown out.  A two year old girl died, and two other young children are in critical condition.  A fifteen year old girl and the driver were seriously injured.  None were wearing seat belts or were in child seats.
    Fall web worm “tents” are beginning to show up on roadside trees.  The caterpillars feed inside the web, which they expand as they eat more leaves.  The webs or tents usually are situated on the ends of branches.  Tent caterpillars appear in the spring and their structures are usually in branch crotches.  Tent caterpillars can be quite destructive since they start feeding early in the season.  Fall web worms usually do limited damage.  The easiest way to control them is to prune off the webbing with the caterpillars inside and burn or bury it.  The adult of the web worm is a small white moth.
    President Obama is still trying to control the controversy over his “you didn’t build that” remark about business owners.  He says that that “that” that he spoke of referred to bridges and roads, not the businesses that owners built.  Bill Clinton said that it all depended upon what the meaning of the word “is” is. Barack Obama says that it all depends on the meaning of that “that.”
    “Is” it time that an English teacher were elected president?
Is ”that” a good idea?  It all depends, I guess.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012






Wednesday, 8:30 AM.  71 degrees F, wind N, calm at present.  The humidity is 95% after a night of terrific thunder storms which dumped 2.5” on desert-dry Bayfield.  The barometer predicts more rain, which reminds me that we just passed the 70th anniversary of the great Bayfield flood of 1942 which devastated the community with 8” of rain in a few hours.  Let’s hope we aren’t in for something like that, although there is excellent tree cover in the surrounding hills and the ravines are now well vegetated and stabilized, a far different environment from earlier times.
    We went to Andy and Judy’s yesterday evening for camp dinner with their visiting family; Scot, Libby, Tyler, Luke and Tyler’s friend Kirron, a fine Irish American lad. The weather cooperated,  the temperature was pleasant and the insects few.
     Andy and I walked some of the trails, with Buddy running furiously around us.  We came across a large field of Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum, in the family Scrophulariaceae.  It is a tall plant with whorled leaves and a very distinctive compound, banched flower head, native to open woodlands and prairies. The woodland Indian tribes used it medicinally as a tonic and physic, among other uses. I see some evidence that it was also used by early settlers for somewhat the same purposes.  It is also purported to be a liver stimulant.  The fresh roots are reported to be a violent laxative, and such were much used in early America as diets were very poor. The common name is probably that of an early doctor or herbal healer who was a proponent of its use.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012





Tuesday, 8:00 AM.  73 degrees F, 78% humidity.  Wind W, calm to very light.  The sky is mostly blue but the atmosphere  is rather hazy.  It was a nice evening and it is a nice morning, but it will be hot again today and we need rain badly.  The Tree Board volunteers watered all the newly planted city trees yesterday and I think we will have to do so on a weekly basis if the drought keep up.
    We ran errands in Ashland yesterday, and a lot was happening on Hwy. 13, some not so good.  On the way, about 11:30 AM, a rather large young bear dashed across the road in front of us and disappeared into the tall grasses of the Whittlesly Creek Wildlife Area just north of the intersection with US Hwy 2.  Its hard to say what he was up to, but he acted as though he was late for lunch.  There was no time to grab the camera.  He was lean and rangy, looking more like a huge black dog than a bear.  On the way back we pulled over for numerous emergency vehicles heading towards Ashland.  Turns out there was a horrific accident just north of Washburn, which looked like there was only one car involved, that had rolled over numerous times. There must have been multiple serious injuries, I hope no deaths.
    Also on Hwy. 13, between the Sioux and Onion Rivers, I found this patch of purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, a member of the Lythrum family. It is a tall perennial which is very invasive in native wetlands.  It is quite pretty, is of European origin and is a garden escapee that is now on the state Invasive Species Restricted list. The population had been exploding until the rather recent introduction of a beetle that feeds specifically on the species.  Loosestrife populations have obviously been declining since, so the beetle introduction is a success. Like many other things in life, if it would just behave itself we could allow some of it to hang around.  Let’s just hope the beetle doesn’t find another host species after it runs out of purple loosestrife.
    The NRA is getting hammered by the Left for its defense of our Second Amendment rights after the Colorado massacre.  And now we will be asked, over and over again by the same pundits, to empathize with the defendant with the red hair and the creepy stare who has been brought before the bar of justice.  Governor Huckabee had  it right the other night, when he said; “We don’t have a gun problem, we have a sin problem.”

Monday, July 23, 2012





Monday, 8:00 AM. 77 degrees F, wind W, light with moderate gusts.  The humidity is 70%, the sky clear with some haze on the eastern  horizon.  The barometer is way down.  It is a nice morning but it will be a hot day unless the wind changes to the north and clouds move in.  Last evening there was a clealy defined  front stalled over the  Bayfield peninsula, heavy clouds to the north, clear skies to the south of the front line.
    This morning will be spent with the tree board, watering the new city trees.  A number of our young trees are suffering from the drought, and we may well lose some.  It appalls me that a resident can see a young city tree dieing from lack of water in front of their house, leaves drooping and curling, and not give it a drink.  Fortunately this is the exception, not the rule, but we have to check on all the young trees today.  It does not help that the city water wagon, an old fire truck, has a hole in the tank that has not been repaired and we have to carry water by hand.
    On our trip to the beach yesterday we discovered a very pretty native shrub in bloom.  It is meadow sweet, Spirea alba, probably variety latifolia, in the rose family.  It is native to the northeastern US and Canada.  It is not rare but not that often seen either, unless one frequents damp shores and other wet areas. This one was growing right on the crest of the dune, where the beach grass ends and the tree and shrub line begins.
    Old world spirea species were much used in wines,  beers, tea and as strewing herbs, and our native spireas were used by northern Indian tribes for various medicinal purposes.  I will collect some leaves and flowers and use them to flavor tea and let you know how it tastes.
    One fallout from the Colorado massacre will be more calls for anti-gun legislation. Sorry, weak argument, as a can of gasoline and a match would have done worse, and Jack the Ripper terrorized Victorian London with a knife. True evil always finds a way.

Sunday, July 22, 2012



Sunday, 8:45 AM.  73 degrees F, wind W, dead calm.  The sky is virtually  cloudless, the humidity 65%.  The barometer is trending down, but it has been a gorgeous morning at the beach.  The day will be hot by noon but not oppressive.
    Anything I say about the horrific events in Colorado will undoubtedly sound sophomoric and trite, but since everything I have heard said about it thus far by pundits and talking heads also sounds sophomoric and trite, I shall have my say. 
    Like the psychologist who said that as we know more about the perpetrator’s youth and upbringing we will come to understand what caused him to go astray.  Really?  Some small and random, hitherto  insignificant events created a monster out of a nice kid?
    Then there are the many commentators who keep using the word “evil” as though it is some sort of random occurrence, like a lightening strike or something.  Not very enlightening.
    That true evil exists and occurs is pretty evident if one considers even  just  recent history, from Hitler and Nazi Germany to Uncle Joe Stalin on through Lt. Calley and My Lai, Pol Pot, and Islamic terrorism.  Not to mention the University of Texas bell tower shootings and all the homegrown mass murders and serial killings since, up to last Friday (everywhere all around the world, by the way).,
    But why does evil exist, and how does it strike?  Mostly we choose to ignore what the prophets have been saying for at least the last five thousand years and probably many thousands of years before; that the human race, and every human being, contains a deadly flaw, pure evil, the opposite of good.  Some say we are a fallen race; others say we have not yet evolved sufficiently to rid us of the flaw.  Either way, the flaw exists, and any one of us is subject to it and cannot resist it by ourselves. And it certainly does not help when our modern world presents every possible crime and moral degradation to us and our young in graphic and alluring detail, and that even the ancient and universal Ten Commandments are no longer welcome in the courtroom or the classroom. For without external help and guidance we loose the moral, and mortal, struggle between good and evil.  Looking into the eyes of the mass murderer of Colorado  we see our own reflection. 
    My best advice, trite though it may be, is to pray for ourselves, our loved ones, and our race, that God may be give each of us the grace to win the perennial struggle between good and evil in our own hearts. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012




Saturday, 8:00 AM.  78 degrees F, humidity 65%, wind WNW, light with moderate gusts.  The sky is mostly cloudless with some haze in the east, and the barometer is high.  It will most likely be a hot day.
    The countless numbers of sweet-scented common milkweed flowers that have graced the fields and roadsides for weeks have suddenly shriveled and disappeared, as if on cue, to be replaced by developing seed pods. These will grow and ripen until they are full to bursting with seeds, which will be disbursed on the fall and winter winds, floating away to who knows where on silken wings.
    On Thursday I  mentioned the territory of the Ojibwe Indians ceded to the United States by treaty, and their legal right to hunt and gather on those lands under those treaties.  The accompanying map shows the ceded lands in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan covered by the various treaties. Without going into more detail than warranted, it can be said that these rights have been well defined in  case law and court decisions, and there is now a quite sophisticated arrangement for enforcement of treaty rights  between the Ojibwe and the federal and state governments. 
    The tribe has established the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wild Life Commission, which works closely with state and federal agencies to enforce regulations developed under the treaties, and to improve and regulate fish, game and wild rice populations and habitat.    There was a time thirty and more years ago when there was open conflict between Indians and others over those rights, but cooler heads, and reason, prevailed on both sides and there are few conflicts today.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Friday, July 20, 2012





Friday, 8:00 AM.  67 degrees f, wind NW, very light.  The sky is virtually cloudless, the humidity is 83% and there is some haze on the eastern horizon.  It is a beautiful morning, but it may get seasonally warm today.
    Spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe, in the Composit family, is a common thistle-like weed that is very aggressive, particularly on poor soils.  It often forms large patches, and once established can be tough to eradicate because it produces soil toxins which prevent other species from competing with it.  Its flowers are actually quite attractive, but it can be a tough competitor with more desirable native vegetation, and it is on the Wisconsin restricted list of invasive plants.  Some fpeople are allergic to it, so wear gloves when handling it. The best way to keep it out of an existing lawn is to properly water and fertilize lawn grasses, and not mow too short (not less than 2.75") It should be rouged out of the garden on sight.  Maybe it should be called the politician weed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012




Thursday, 8:00 AM.  70 degrees F, wind NNW, calm at ground level.  The humidity is 78% and the sky was overcast earlier, but is rapidly clearing except for clouds and haze on the eastern horizon.  The barometer is high.  It will warm up today if there is no cloud cover.  Yesterday was cool and pleasant, a relief from the hot weather.  It should be a nice day for a trip to Duluth, we will take Buddy along but will have to be sure the car doesn't get too warm if we can't find shade when parked.
    Yesterday evening was the annual meeting of the membership of The Bayfield Regional Conservancy, which has in a dozen short years become the premier non-governmental land conservation organization in northern Wisconsin.  It has had many important conservation and preservation triumphs, the most recent raising funds for and brokering  the return of Frog Bay lands on the Red Cliff Reservation to tribal control, and the consequent creation of the first Tribal National Park in the nation.  Joan and I have been  active members over the years and applaud its success in land acquisition and conservation easements.  A highlight of he evening was a talk by a new board member and lawyer, who explained tribal land  rights under federal law and 19th Century treaties.
    Our neighbors down the block have what I might call a chef’s lawn;  it consists primarily of oregano.  Actually it is more likely wild marjoram, Origanum vulgare, in the Labiatae, the mint family, and not strictly the culinary variety of oregano; but it smells like the cooking herb and I have used the leaves (I have some in my herb garden) in cooking.  Walking through it, especially when it is wet with dew, is evocative of an Italian kitchen.  It is quite attractive in flower and makes a good low ground cover.  It can even stand an occasional mowing, and looks great interspersed with wild flowers.  The greater value of wild oregano, or more properly, wild marjoram has been medicinal, its distilled oil used since Greek times internally as a stimulant and tonic, and externally as a lineament for rheumatism and injuries.   
    The plant is quite hardy and spreads readily.  I have never tried to establish it as a lawn substitute, but one could start with a few plants and let them spread, or even plant seed, but the plants cannot be mowed too short, and not more than a few times each growing season.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012





Wednesday, 8:00 AM.  71 degrees F, wind W, light to calm.  The sky is partly cloudy, and there is the customary haze in the east.  The humidity is 80% but the barometer is way up.  We have had a few sprinkles of rain but nothing much is likely to happen today.
    The heat broke, the rain held off and we (myself and Kenny Hunt, another old-timer)  finished the grading and seeding job on 6th St.  It was not a large job but it had its challenges, and I am convinced we solved some aggravating drainage problems.  Kenny and I both take pride in our work, and each are grateful that we can still do it. 
    What motivates us?  Pride, independence, stubbornness…the will to see a job through to a good conclusion…the desire to do it ourselves, without some government bureaucrat looking over our shoulder, telling us what we can and can't do.  Maybe even make an honest dollar in the process. Are you listening, Mr. President?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012





Tuesday, 7:15 AM.  68 degrees F, wind WNW, light.  The humidity is 78%, the barometer predicts rain and there is dense fog over the channel.  Yesterday was beastly hot and humid and we did little in the afternoon and took our evening convertible ride to cool off.  I have a landscape job to hopefully  finish up today so the change in weather is a real blessing.
    Bigleaf Aster, Aster macrophyllus. In the Composit, i.e. sunflower family, is a common flower of the northern forest understory.  Its large basal leaves often cover swaths of the forest floor, and when in bloom the tall flowering stems with their sky-blue flowers can provide quite a show.  There are at least seven varieties of A. macrophyllus, and I won’t venture which this might be.  I see no reference to medicinal use in folk medicine, but the Ojibwe Indians used the young leaves for food, and smoked the plant as a hunting charm to attract deer (I don’t know if they still do, but I am tempted to try it).
    Political commentary. The President has just issued an executive order that eliminates the work and education requirements for obtaining welfare, a cornerstone of the Clinton era legacy of “ending welfare as we know it.”  Why would President Obama alter this acclaimed program by executive fiat (selective enforcement of the law again), without even consulting Congress?  Read Herman Cain’s analysis:
    “So why would Obama get rid of the work requirements? I can think of two reasons – one ideological and the other political.
    The ideological reason is that liberals hated welfare reform from day one. They predicted it would push millions more children into poverty. When it did exactly the opposite, their hatred was not abated in the slightest. They are convinced that the only way for people to get by is the reliability of a check from the government, and to them, the notion that you would replace this security blanket with this strange thing called a job is simply absurd.   
    The political reason is cynical but simple. People who depend on the government to be their primary benefactor vote Democratic, and if their dependence is permanent, then they vote Democratic for life. Even if these folks don’t vote, expanding the welfare rolls will allow for the expansion of the programs all across the country – and the newly hired welfare bureaucrats will vote Democratic, because their subsistence is dependent on the government as well.”
    Wise words from a brave man, who soldiers on, despite the trashing of his reputation by the Left and its media allies.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Monday, 8:45 AM.  73 degrees F, wind W, calm.  The sky is overcast, the humidity is 83% and the barometer predicts rain.  Maybe, maybe not.
    Soapwort, Saponaria officinalis, AKA bouncing Bet, is a rather attractive perennial herb native to Europe and probably a garden escapee with  us.  The flowers can be pink or rosy as well as white. I have not found it to be aggressive. The common name denotes the presence of saponin in its flowers and roots, which when mixed with water produces a soapy lather.  Whether it was ever actually much used as a soap I am not sure.  Until recent times an extract of the roots was used in the treatment of syphilis.  It is in the Caryophyllaceae, the Pink family, and there  are a number of somewhat similar roadside plants, but soapwort flowers are quite distinctive. The Old English word, wort, simply means herb, or plant.
    The President is truly anti-business, and particularly anti-small business, which he evidently does not understand at all, and certainly has no respect for.  In a speech on Friday he chided business owners, saying, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”  He was alluding to the role of government in building infrastructure, the role of teachers, of the fact that there are many smart and hard working people who aren’t “in business.”  And that is certainly true. 
    But he does not understand, or refuses to believe, that the entrepreneurial spirit is what produces wealth and innovation, and that its spirit thrives in a free society.  He does not understand the motivation of those who want to build something of their very own, to put themselves and all they have and are into something unique and personal.  He obviously does not understand freedom.  He does not understand personal independence.  He does not understand America, and yet we have him, by some quirk of fate, as our President.  It is truly tragic that he never had so much business experience as having a paper route.  Maybe he should start a lemonade stand.  On the White House lawn.

Sunday, July 15, 2012






Sunday, 8:00 AM.  7r degrees F, wind W, light to moderate.  The sky is a cloudless blue with haze on the eastern horizon.  The humidity is 75% and the barometer is on the rise.  It will be a hot day, although pleasant now.
    Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, in the composite family, is in bloom in fields and along roadsides everywhere now.  It is a tall, spreading herb, of Old World origin. Its compound yellow flowers are quite pretty. and its leaves have a strongly bitter, rather acrid smell that I do not find unpleasant; in fact, in England, where it has the very descriptive common name of “golden buttons,” it has been a tradition to make cakes with the leaves to be eaten on Easter Sunday, as a reminder of the bitter herbs eaten at Passover. Tansy leaves are also used to flavor omelets, which I vow I will try myself. There have been numbers of medicinal uses for Tansy in the past, including treating gout and various nervous disorders.  In the Middle Ages it was much used as a strewing herb because of its strong scent. It is established practically everywhere in Northern Wisconsin.  It is not poisonous, nor noxious in any way, and seems no more aggressive than many native plants, but it has been declared an Invasive Species by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and is Restricted, meaning that it is illegal for it to be transported, transferred, sold or introduced.  Good Heavens!  I think perhaps we have a bit of an overreaction here.
    The Northern Edge, a homey restaurant and bar much frequented by locals of Bayfield and the Rez, just down the road on Hwy 13, closed suddenly a few days ago.  Rumor has it that the IRS shut them down because of tax problems.  The owners are good local folks who probably got in over their heads in a tough economy in a tough place to do business. The Northern Edge will be much missed after the tourist season ends, as it was always open, and reasonably priced.
    I hope the Feds did not  overreact, and that they will cut them some slack so they can open again one day.