Search This Blog

Total Pageviews

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"IT AIN'T JUST APPLES"

MOUNTAIN ASH

AMERICAN HIGH BUSH CRANBERRY...

...BRIGHT RED BERRIES AND TRI-LOBED LEAVES
Sunday, 8;30 AM.  60 degrees F, wind SE, with filmy low clouds scudding along on moderate gusts of wind.  The humidity is 92% and the barometer is again trending down, now at 29.90".
   There are at least three species of mountain ash in the northland; the European mountain ash, or Rowan tree,  Sorbus aucuparia; the American mountain ash, Sorbus americana; and the showy mountain ash, Sorbus decora. They are members of the rose family, the Rosaceae. The European and American mountain ash are rather difficult to tell apart and for landscape purposes are pretty much the same, the fruit of both usually  being orange when ripe.  The showy mountain ash, with red berries, is a more handsome tree in almost every way than either of the others, and is often grown by nurseries as a premium landscape plant.  The berries of all the species are valuable wild life food, and very attractive to birds.  In Europe the Rowan tree berries are still sometimes used to make a beer.  The fruits of all three are edible but quite bland.  The American species are plants of the eastern mixed forest and and  the northern boreal forest.
   Mountain ash, which are in  the genus Sorbus, are so-called because their leaves are feather-compound, as are the leaves of true ash trees,  in the olive family (the Oleaceaea).   The two genera, however,  are totally unrelated.
   The high bush cranberry, Viburnum americanum, is not a cranberry at all but is in the honeysuckle family, the Caprifoliaceae.  Its common name indicates the similarity in taste of the berries to cranberries, which are plants of acid bogs and are in the heath family, the Ericaceae.  The ripe berries of the high bush cranberry are edible but very acid and astringent. They are good wildlife food, as they hang on the bush throughout the winter.  They are also useful for jams and jellies if enough sugar is added.  The high bush cranberry is also a plant of the far north, and where conditions are suitable makes an excellent landscape bush, with decorative berries, handsome leaves and brilliant fall color.  The deer love it, however.
   Both high bush cranberry and mountain ash berries were used as food by Native Americans. The former had some medicinal uses as a "blood purifier"and liver tonic by the Indians, and the latter some European folk medicine use as a febrifuge.
   The fruits of fall "ain't just apples," and we will find some more to talk about as fall progresses.
   


Saturday, August 30, 2014

ANDY AND BARNEY, WHERE ARE YOU, NOW THAT WE NEED YOU?

RUSSIAN TANKS... 

THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, 1956


EVEN SMALL AMERICAN TOWNS ARE RECEIVING MILITARY WEAPONS 

DO WE REALLY WANT BARNEY DRIVING AN EMRAP?
Saturday, 8:00 AM.  61 degrees F, wind NE, with light gusts.  The sky is still overcast after a soggy 24 hrs. that left 1.2" of rain in the garden gage.  The humidity is 95% but the barometer, now at 29.81", has turned upwards, and maybe it will dry out enough today for me to mow the lawn.
   The scenes of heavily armed police with armored equipment confronting rioters in Ferguson, MO, was a more than disturbing sight.  Protests should be peaceful, of course, but confronting any of our citizens with the actual machines of warfare is untenable, to say the least. If riots get out of hand the Guard should be called in to quell them, thus maintaining the distinction between civilian police and the military.
   I remember the Hungarian revolution against the Soviet occupiers in 1956 and the photos of unarmed youths, who were my own age,  confronting tanks.  It was chilling then, and is more so now, that it is literally happening in our own land.
    Back in those days we often got in minor trouble with the cops, and you weren't confronted with a gun or an arrest warrant.  You were given a swift kick in the pants and if necessary a cuff alongside the head and sent home, where you were sure to get the same from your parents.
   Remember the Andy Griffith show, with Andy as Mayberry Sheriff and Barney as Deputy?  Barney had an empty gun in his holster and one bullet, which he kept in his shirt pocket.  It was a comedy show of  course, but not all that unbelievable for a small town like Mayberry, USA.
   Certainly times have changed, and we have all lost our innocence, but do we really wish to continue down this gruesome path?  Why don't we send the excess military weaponry to the Ukrainians, who will soon be confronting Russian tanks with Molotov cocktails?  We have lost our way, and perhaps our freedom.
   Andy and Barney, where are you, now that we need you?

Friday, August 29, 2014

WILD CUCUMBER: LIKE A BAD HAIRCUT

WILD CUCUMBER VINES RAMBLING OVER TREES AND SHRUBS

FLOWERS AND LEAVES OF WILD CUCUMBER
WILD CUCUMBER FRUIT
Friday, 8:00 AM.   62 degrees F, wind W, calm to light.  The sky is overcast and it is raining heavily.  The humidity is 90% and the barometer stands at 29.86".   I doubt I will get the lawn mowed today.
   Wild cucumber vines are rambling over trees and shrubs in wet spots, making many woods edges look like they have a bad haircut.  The vines are pretty in an unkempt way, and are sometimes planted to climb on arbors, but I wouldn't want them to eat my house.
  Wild cucumber, Echinocystis lobata, in the gourd family, the Cucurbitaceae, is common throughout much of southern Canada and the lower 48 states of the US. The latin genus name refers to the prickly fruit, and the species name to the distinctly lobed leaves. Since wild cucumber  has at times been used as an ornamental vine, it is also escaped from cultivation.  It is an annual that climbs by tendrils like the garden cucumber, but is not related to it.  Each "cucumber" or "balsam apple" bears four seeds, which reportedly were used as beads by American Indians.
   The plant is said to have had some use among Native Americans as an analgesic and a bitter tonic, and as a love potion.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

FALL IS COMING ON FAST

APPLES HANG LIKE GRAPES ON ROADSIDE TREES

PAGODA DOGWOODS ARE STREAKS OF CRIMSON IN THE WOODS

 RED MAPLES ARE  EXCLAMATION MARKS IN THE SWAMPS


LOT OF THISTLE SEED FOR THE GOLDFINCHES
Thursday, 8:45 AM.  59 degrees at the ferry dock, 55 on the back porch.  Wind SSW, with occasional gusts, changing to SE.  The sky is clear with some haze on the eastern horizon.  The humidity is 77% and the barometer is trending down, now at 30.12".  It should be another beautiful day with perhaps some rain tonight.

   Apples hang like grapes on roadside trees.
   Pagoda dogwoods streak the woods with crimson
   Red maples become bold exclamation marks in nearby swamps.
   Goldfinches feast on thistle seed.
   Fall is coming on fast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SKY BLUE ASTER

RAIN-ROILED CHEQUAMAGEN BAY AT ASHLAND

SKY BLUE ASTER
Wednesday, 8:30 AM.  60 degrees F at the ferry dock, 56 on the back porch.  The wind is mainly from the N and calm to light.  The sky is mostly cloudless.  The humidity is 77% and the barometer is still rising, currently at 30.19".
   Buddy and I went to the beach this morning, I for a walk, he for a much needed leg stretch.  We met a fisherman in full regalia, anxious for the fall run of steelhead and coho to begin going up the Sioux River. He was probably a a week or two early.
   The Chequamegon Bay is silted and roiled from the torrential thunder storms we had on Sunday night. This is a sight usually seen in early spring from snow melt runoff.
   The sky blue aster, Aster azureus, has joined the ranks of fall asters now in bloom. It is a tall, strong aster, very floriferous, with flower colors from light to somewhat darker sky blue.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CHICORY

CHICORY ALONG THE ROADSIDE...




...CHICORY FLOWER
Tuesday, 7:00 AM.  57 degrees F at the ferry dock, 53 on the back porch.  Wind SW, light with some gusts.  The sky has some scattered clouds, the humidity is 80% and the barometer is rising, now at 30.07".  We should be in for some nice weather.
   Chicory, Chicorium intybus, in the  Compositae family, is one of my favorite roadside weeds, as it is one of only a very few truly blue wildflowers of summer.  It thrives along sterile roadsides where little else will grow. Unfortunately it usually ends up being mowed as soon as it flowers, as It flowers just about the time all the roadsides get mowed, and also,  I don’t see as much of it north as further south.  It is of European and Middle-eastern  origin, where it is (or at least was) much used as a winter salad, the roots dug up, potted and grown indoors and deprived of light, producing tender, blanched leaves.  The roasted and ground roots have long been added to coffee, both in Europe and in  the US South, and commercial mixtures of coffee and chicory are, I believe, still available. I have tried it over the years with mixed reviews and will try it again if I can find it in the store.  Its usual habitat, on the absolute edge of the road, makes it difficult to dig and not very appetizing.   It imparts a slightly bitter flavor to coffee but makes it less acid.  Chicory also was used in the treatment of tuberculosis in the past, before antibiotics.  Its English name is "blue sailors," and the name Chicory is derived from the Arabic name for the plant.

Monday, August 25, 2014

WISCONSIN IS ALL GREEN AND GOLD, LIKE A PACKERS FOOTBALL JERSEY

GOLDENROD...
BLACK-EYED SUSAN

THE GARDEN IN LATE SUMMER...A GLORIOUS JUMBLE
Monday, 8:00 AM.  70 degrees at the ferry dock, 67 on the back porch.  The sky is partly cloudy, the humidity is 95% and everything is sopping wet from the 1.75" of rain last night's thunderstorms left us. The barometer is steady, now at 29.82" and hopefully we will get some nice weather.
   Our trip to Milwaukee was quick, down and back.  I am beginning to feel like a yo-yo, but we had a an excellent time at the family 90th birthday party and had a good visit with cousins, second cousins and lots of children we hadn't as yet met.  The extended family is a blessing indeed.
   The effects of last winter's extreme cold, ice, snow and wind are virtually gone, new needles replacing the brown on evergreens, and dead trees engulfed by new life.  Nature heals herself. An interesting phenomena I have noted, however, is that our tamaracks in the back yard never produced any cones so far this year, and it is too late now to do so.  Tamarack, Larix decidua, is a far northern species, so it is well within its natural habitat, although we are getting close to the southwestern edge of its range in northwestern Wisconsin.  I suspect it was the vicious winds that killed the buds of the new cones.
   The garden suddenly looks like late summer, with cone flowers and tall Phlox now dominating the glorious jumble.   Wisconsin is a lush, green carpet from north to south, the roads lined with yellow ribbons of mostly golden rods of different species, and black-eyed Susans. The entire state is all green and gold, like a Packers football jersey.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

FROST ASTERS ARE BLOOMING

SMALL WHITE FLOWERS WITH GOLDEN CENTERS...
...FROST ASTER AND GOLDENROD IN DITCH ON VALLEY ROAD

Saturday, 8:30 AM.  64 degrees F, wind ENE, light with stronger gusts.  The sky is overcast and it is foggy.  The humidity is 94% and the barometer has risen to 30.03" so maybe it will clear up, but it is likely to be damp and humid as long as we have an easterly wind off the big lake.
   We are heading for Milwaukee shortly for a family birthday party, so there will be no Sunday blog.  The trip will give us an updated look at approaching fall across the state.
   The first of the fall asters are suddenly blooming.  Aster pilosis, the frost aster, in the Compositae family is a vigorous plant with clusters of small white flowers and diminutive leaves.
   The genus name translates directly from the Greek to "star,"which the aster flowers are reminiscent of, and the species name to the stems being softly hairy.   Frost Aster is native to sandy, damp locations in the eastern and upper Mid-Western US.  The combination of frost aster and goldenrod is a stunning reminder that fall is just around the corner.

Friday, August 22, 2014

SOPIDERWORT

SPIDERWORT PLANT GROWING IN DITCH ON S. TENTH ST.

LILY-LIKE LEAVES, PINK TO PURPLE THREE-PETALED FLOWERS 
Friday,  8:30 AM.  63 degrees F, wind ENE, light to moderate.  The sky is overcast and it is foggy and misty, and we have had a trace of rain.  The humidity is 97% and the barometer is rising, currently at 29.93".
   Spiderwort, in the genus Tradescantia, that pictured probably being the species ohiensis, is not rare, but niether do I find it very common.  This species is native to the northeastern US and is found mostly in wet sandy areas.  The plant is very robust, with lily-like leaves (it is a monocotyledon, as are the grasses and other plants with simple, parallel-veined leaves).  Most folks are familiar with the house-plant called spiderwort, in the same genus.  Spiderworts are in the spiderwort family, the Commelinaceae.  Most plants in the family are tropical, but the genus Tradescantia is mostly North American and there are several species native to the North American prairie.
   Spiderworts are interesting plants and there are some garden varieties.  I count this plant as a native rather than a garden escape since it has also been found a few miles south of Bayfield between the Sioux and Onion rivers and is so documented in the Freckman herbarium at the UW Stevens Point.    
   The genus Tradescantia is named after John Tradescant, a Seventeenth Century  English royal gardener.  I don't know the derivation of the common name, although I suspect it relates to the appearance of the clusters of  flower buds.  "Wort" simply means plant, or herb, in Old English.  There is some reference to American Indian use of the plant for food and some medicinal uses but little information beyond that.
   All-in-all, the spiderwort is an interesting, rather attractive perennial  wild plant that is not much encountered.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

EVENING PRIMROSE IS BLOOMING

EVENING PRIMROSE FLOWER STEM...

...WITH MULTIPLE FLOWERS AND RIPENING SEED PODS
Thursday, 8:00 AM. 63 degrees F, wind ENE, calm to very light.  The sky is cloudy and overcast, the humidity is 94% and the barometer is trending down, now at 29.93".  It looks like we will get more rain latter.  I need to mow the lawn, so I wish it would hold off.
   The preparation for our rummage sale proceeds apace, and is looking fairly organized but it has been an ordeal.  Yesterday I took a whole pickup truck full non-recyclable junk and garbage to the landfill.  It cost $25 but was a relief to be rid of it all.  I hope it is the last load.
   The country and the world are in such a mess I often  try to forget about it, thus little commentary.  I will say this about the situation in Ferguson, MO, outside of St. Louis: justice cannot be obtained for the individuals involved or the community under the threat of rioting and violence.  I have been watching the same scenario for sixty years and nothing is ever learned or accomplished, while neighborhoods are burned out and all promises of a better future for their residents trashed. The agitators, including Attorney General Eric Holder, need to leave and allow the community to heal.  On the other hand, local police in the US have become  far too militarized, armed with the  threatening weapons and equipment of warfare.  This type of intimidation, verging on oppression, has to be rolled back all across the country or there will be broader and more serious uprisings.
   Oenothera biennis, the evening primrose, is in the same family, the Onagraceae, as fireweed (Epilobium).  The two genera of plants share the quality of bearing flowers and ripening seed pods at the same time on their flowering stems.  In fact, the genus name Oenothera is an ancient  name for a species of fireweed.  The species name biennis refers to the plant being a biennial.  The first year of growth is a rosette of leaves which does not flower.
   Evening primrose flowers, which are rather pretty, open towards evening, giving the plant its common name.  The highly perfumed flowers are mostly pollinated by evening-flying insects.  The North American genus has seventeen species and the species biennis has numerous varieties, all interbreed and are hopelessly mixed up taxonomically, so evening primroses can be found in many habitats and almost everywhere.  They were introduced very early from America to Europe where they were much hybridized, and there are some very beautiful garden introductions.
   Evening primrose has a long history of medicinal use in both European and American Indian herbal medicine.  Infusions of the bark and leaves are considered a sedative and strong anti-biotic, useful in various internal complaints and skin infections.   Oil of the seeds also has  very strong antibiotic properties and reportedly is still used to good effect for ear infections in children.  The roots are considered edible and highly nutritious, although I have no personal experience with them and do not recommend consuming most wild plants.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

FALL WEB WORMS

FALL WEBWORM ON ALDER BUSH ALONG HWY. 13...

...LARVAE FEEDING WITHIN WEB
FALL WEBWORM MOTH (Google file photo)

FALL WEBWORM LARVAE (Google file photo)


Wednesday, 8:00 AM.  61 degrees at the ferry dock, 57 on the back porch.  The sky has a
high overcast, the humidity is 97% and we received a trace of rain last night.  The barometer
is trending up, now at 29.86".  It should clear up later.
 The fall web worms  are  caterpillars  of the species Hyphantria cunea, that feed on apple and other mostly hardwood trees while protected inside a silken web that they spin.  They are yet another sign of approaching fall.  
   There are several quite similar races of these insects, and if the season is long enough there can be more than one generation which feeds on tree foliage. The adult of the aforementioned species is a white moth about an  inch-and-a-half in length.  The insects overwinter in the pupal stage, in leaf litter.
   Like the tent caterpillars that appear in spring, they do little real damage to their host trees
 other than causing them to be unsightly.  The spring tent caterpillars feed under silken
"tents" as well, but the webbing is located at the crotches of young branches, the "worms" 
emerging to feed on host foliage and retreating to their webs for safety.  The fall web worms 
feed within their webbing, which encompasses terminal branches and leaves.  
 The easiest and most environmentally neutral control of both tent caterpillars and fall web worms is to cut out the branches and foliage covered by the tent or web and burn or bury them.  Insecticides are hard to use on these pests because they are so well protected.  If one is not squeamish they are also easy to destroy by by crushing them by hand inside their webs, if they are within reach. 



NO COMMENTS:


POST A COMMENT



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TURTLE HEADS AND OTHER STUFF

TURTLE HEAD PLANTS IN DITCH ON TURNER RD...

...CLUSTER OF TURTLE HEAD FLOWERS

Tuesday, 7:45 AM.  60 degrees, wind variable, mainly light.  The sky has a low overcast,  and it is foggy and misty.  The humidity is 97%, but the barometer, which stands at 29.66", is beginning to turn upward.
    Joan and I are in the middle of a common but quite arduous task; cleaning out the basement and deciding what to keep, what to sell or give away and what to take to the dump.  Over a long marriage we have accumulated things from our parents and other relatives, things left by our now grown children, and memorabilia and accumulated things from our own lives.  Just getting things up the stairs and into the garage was a Herculerian task.  What kinds of things?  Old clothes, ("Did I ever really fit into those?"); old photographs, ("Who is that sitting next to grandma?"); old appliances and office equipment, ("What do you suppose that was used for?"); and in general, ("Who do you suppose left that here?").
     We have so much stuff we have rented a storage unit to accommodate the overflow and serve as a place to sort things out. There are things I have already transported both directions. Twice.  It is a brutal process, and I can already hear our kids and others complaining, "How could you have gotten rid of that?"  To which I will answer, "Because you never came and got it!" 
    And I am telling anyone over forty who will listen, "Stop buying stuff!"
    Turtle head, Chelone glabra, in the figwort family, the Scrophulariaceae, is native to eastern Canada and the northeastern US, and can be found sparingly in roadside ditches, lowlands, stream banks and other wet areas.  It is overall a rather undistinguished plant, growing in height from two to four feet with simple opposite leaves, but the clusters of unusual, creamy white flowers (sometimes tinged with purple) are rather attractive.  It is not necessarily uncommon, but is probably most often overlooked by the casual observer.  The genus name means "turtle" in Greek, and the species name refers to the leaves being smooth, or hairless.  Another common name is "snake head," the flowers being reminiscent of a reptile head, either turtle or snake.
   Its leaves are extremely bitter, and were used in both English herbal medicine and in American Indian medicine as a tonic, purgative for children's worms, for liver complaints, dropsy, jaundice and so forth.  I do not know if it is still so used today.  It is browsed heavily by deer (rather amazing, since it is so bitter) and that is probably another reason for its relative scarcity.

Monday, August 18, 2014

JOE-PYE WEED IS BLOOMING

JOE-PYE WEED ALONG TURNER ROAD...
...LARGE, BEAUTIFUL COMPOUND FLOWER HEADS

Monday, 8:30 AM.  60 degrees F, wind S, light.  The sky is overcast and it rained most of the night, leaving .6" of rain in the gage.  It is still misting lightly, the humidity is 94% and the barometer is still trending down, presently at 29.78".  It looks like we are in for a couple of days of wet weather.  That's fine, as it had become quite dry and I had begun to do some serious watering.  If I had also washed the car we would have had a monsoon.
   I saw, close up but very fleetingly, what was either an uncommon humming bird or more likely an unusual hawk-moth.  It was black with bright red wing markings, and about 2.5"-3" in length.  If anyone has any ideas as to what it might have been, please let me know.
 Joe-Pye weed, also known as gravel root, Eupatorium maculatum, in the  sun flower family, the Compositae, is just beginning to bloom.  The flowers are about on time, and they will last several weeks. There is a lot of Joe-Pye weed in our roadside ditches and wet meadows. It is a tall (up to 4' and more in height) handsome plant with whorled leaves and large blooms, and should be used more in the garden, but it needs a wet spot. 
   It has a long tradition in both Native American and Western herbal medicine as a diuretic for the treatment of kidney ailments, gout, rheumatism and respiratory complaints.  We can attest to a tea made of its dried roots being very efficacious in breaking up kidney stones (thus the common name, gravel root).  But once again, do not use any plant internally without knowing exactly what you are using and doing.
   The plant is named after a legendary 18th or 19th Century American Indian healer, Joe Pye.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE: AN ENVIRONMENTAL SUCCESS STORY


SMALL STAND OF PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE...

...I'M NOT SEEING MUCH OF IT AROUND BAYFIELD ANYMORE!

Sunday, 8:30 AM.  56 degrees F, wind ENE, light to moderate.  The sky is overcast and the east wind made for a chilly walk with Buddy at the beach earlier this morning.  The humidity is 86% and the barometer now stands at 30.07" and is trying to decide where it is heading.  No porch-settin' today, I am afraid.
   Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, in the loosestrife family, the  Lythraceae, is a European native long used as a garden perennial and now escaped into the wild, where it has become an invasive nuisance which over-competes with native wetland vegetation.  There was a time when it was so pervasive that it appeared to be taking over many of our Wisconsin cattail marshes and was present in every roadside ditch.  Beautiful as it may be, it became too much of a good thing.
   Efforts to control it have been many, including herbicides and mechanical destruction, but it wasn't until biological controls were introduced (several European weevils and beetles and their larvae that feed on loosestrife roots, leaves or flowers) about twenty years ago that progress was made.  I can attest  that since these controls were introduced into our local loosestrife populations  the once very large areas occupied by purple loosestrife have receded significantly, and it is becoming much less obvious in the Bayfield area.
   Biological control of loosestrife or any other plant population is a complicated and expensive undertaking, but it is ultimately more effective and environmentally neutral than chemicals and mechanical eradication.  In Wisconsin and elsewhere much of the hands-on work has been done by volunteers and school groups, although the effort needs professional planning and guidance.  The following paragraphs are quoted from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources web site:

 "The DNR and University of Wisconsin-Extension (UWEX), along with hundreds of citizen cooperators, have been introducing natural insect enemies of purple loosestrife, from its home in Europe, to infested wetlands in the state since 1994. Careful research has shown that these insects are dependent on purple loosestrife and are not a threat to other plants. Insect releases monitored in Wisconsin and elsewhere have shown that these insects can effectively decrease purple loosestrife's size and seed output, thus letting native plants reduce its numbers naturally through enhanced competition."
   "A suite of four different insect species has been released as biological control organisms for purple loosestrife in North America and Wisconsin. Two leaf beetle species called "Cella" beetles that feed primarily on shoots and leaves were the first control insects to be released in Wisconsin, and are the insects available from DNR for citizens to propagate and release into their local wetlands. A root-mining weevil species and a type of flower-eating weevil have also been released and are slowly spreading naturally. The Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Program offers cooperative support, including free equipment and starter beetles from DNR and UWEX, to all state citizens who wish to use these insects to reduce their local purple loosestrife."
   "The length of time required for effective biological control of purple loosestrife in any particular wetland ranges from one to several years depending on such factors as site size and loosestrife densitys. The process offers effective and environmentally sound control of the plant, not elimination in most cases. It is also typically best done in some combination with occasional use of more traditional control methods such as digging and herbicide use.
   "Though purple loosestrife is almost certainly here to stay in Wisconsin, we should be able to efficiently protect our wetland ecosystems from domination by purple loosestrife by simply restoring some of the natural checks and balances that can result in diverse, healthy environments."
   One of the virtues of biological control of plant and other invasive populations is that complete eradication of the target population is neither necessary nor desirable, as the biological agents being utilized need a residual host population to maintain their own numbers.  It is not like trying to eliminate every dandelion in a lawn, which creates a monoculture that itself is unnatural and therefore vulnerable to other destructive agents.  Biological controls seek a natural balance, which in the long run is the most economical and least intrusive of efforts.
   I often criticize the environmental bureaucracies, both federal and state, for being overly controlling and intrusive in our society.  The biological control of purple loosestrife is, however,  a very positive story.