|YELLOW LADY SLIPPER ORCHID|
|EMERALD ASH BORER KILLING COLUMBUS TREES...|
|...AND TREES ACROSS OHIO|
|STRAIGHTS OF MACKINAC BRIDGE|
Wednesday, 8:00 AM. 69 degrees F on the porch, 66 downtown. Wind N, light. the sky is partly cloudy and rather hazy but it is clearing rapidly. The humidity is high at 93% and the barometer stands at 29.68". Bayfield and environs evidently got a lot of rain while we were gone, as the lower Chequamegon Bay was rusty red when we drove past it yesterday evening on Hwy. 2. Everything that was not yet blooming is doing so now, and the garden is colorful if somewhat overgrown (that's pretty much my style), The lawn needs mowing, baskets need watering, shrubs need pruning and beds need weeding. There are a couple of work projects that need attention...and family arrives before the 4th of July.
We left Columbus Monday morning. It was a short but pleasant visit with eldest daughter Greta, but she is even busier than we are and we would have mostly kept the three dogs company had we stayed longer. And, we had forgotten how hot an muggy Ohio can get in the summer.
Columbus, Ohio is being badly hit with the Emerald Ash Borer, which is killing its ash trees one by one, and the loss of street trees is very evident and reminiscent of the Dutch elm disease disaster of the mid to late Twentieth Century. Population diversity is the only certain defense against pestilential pandemics. Humans please take note.
We came home through lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, and the highlight of the trip for me was as always, crossing the Mackinac Bridge, across the straights of the same name that connect lakes Michigan and Huron. It is a thing of true architectural an engineering beauty that adds to the awesome natural beauty of the straits as few other human artifacts could.
We stayed just across the bridge Monday night, and walking Buddy the next morning I was amazed and gratified to find several patches of yellow lady slipper orchids, Cypripedium calceolus. I don't believe it is actually rare around the Great Lakes, but I have only seen it a few times in the wild.
President Obama made a major environmental speech today, citing the need for US leadership in combating so-called climate change (cool the earth, calm the storms, stop the rising seas, and all that). He reminds me of King Canute commanding the tides to cease. Lots of luck, Mr. President. One particularly cynical pundit said that the speech was nothing but a "head fake" to disorient his hard core environmentalist supporters as he accepts the inevitability of approving the Keystone pipeline. I think he has spent too much time watching basketball.