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Friday, July 12, 2013




Friday 8:30 AM.  70 degrees F on the porch, cooler at the lakefront.  Wind N, light with occasional stronger gusts.  The sky is mostly clear with a few high, thin clouds.  there is the usual haze in the east, quite heavy over Madeline Island. The humidity is 84% and the barometer is still high but trending down, currently at 30.01".  It will be a nice summer day.
   The bears are out and about;  two nights ago one visited  Mayor MacDonald's yard on 6th and Manypenny, and we saw a large bear last evening about 8:00 PM, probably a boar, crossing Washington Ave., just west of the cemetery.  He was ambling along unconcerned, after  descending Bear Ridge.
   Last night was moonless but starry, and the fireflies flitting through  the treetops could have been mistaken for shooting stars.
   The  American vetch, Vicea americana, in the legume family, is a common roadside plant.  It has quite colorful panicles of small, blue plea-like flowers.  It creeps and climbs by tendrils and can be somewhat weedy by is not very aggressive.  Blue wildflowers are a summer rarity, and it adds color and interest to our roadsides.
   Blog reader Norman Freeman asks how to get rid of black knot of plum (see April 23, 2013 blog).  I know of no satisfactory control for this disease except to prune out the diseased portions, being sure to sterilize the pruning tools in bleach or alchohol after each cut.  Also, burn or bury any affected fruit or plant parts.  I would contact the local Extension Agent for advice regarding the disease in fruit orchards.

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