…or a liberal hoax after all. Granted, human memory can be a leaky sieve and the tendency to make things markedly WORSE or BETTER “when I was a boy” is pretty common. But here is a way to put facts (remember those? They were once in everyday use) behind your avuncular stories to the kiddies about it being cooler of a summer back in the Old Days. Want to see how summer temps have changed in your home town over your lifetime? Go to …

Hotter Than It Was: Not Your Imagination Read more »

Where are we headed in the love-hate relationship of HumanKind with Nature (that is: the biotic and abiotic parts of the only planet we have from which all our resources are drawn)?   It can’t be much farther in the current direction. So who will turn the ship, and how? The WHEN of the matter must be NOW!   So I gave some thought to our evolving place in the natural scheme of things, and doodled it out on the back of a digital …

Humankind: Finding Our Place in the Natural World Read more »

Labor Day for many marks (or used to mark) the end of summer and the return of the kids to school. By that time, Floyd County students will have been in sweltering classrooms for almost a month. But that is not the point. Labor Day may also be at or near the end of the outdoor grilling season. And that brings us to today’s burning questions: â–º Where does my charcoal come from? â–º What is my BarBeQue Footprint? and… â–º What is this …

What is Your Barbeque Footprint? Read more »

I recently had the opportunity to ask one of the most knowledgeable botanists I know as many pertinent questions out of my confused and confusing plants folder as I could tastefully work into the conversation. “Have you run across Giant Hogweed on your place?” He lives on a sizable parcel of Floyd County property that he knows well, both as a farmer and as a retired botany-educated professional. He said “Why yes I have.” It had recently been observed in Virginia, but not the …

Giant Hogweed is Here Read more »

Neither of these words in the title are likely too familiar, and less so in these parts the tree that sometimes goes by that common name. Balm of course is a soothing ointment, and Gilead is in Israel. There is a haunting African American Spiritual that centers on this “universal healing” that arose from that piece of geography long ago. See and hear the video at the end of this post. It is quite well done. “SO what is this tree?” a friend asked …

Balm of Gilead Read more »