This topic of recent interest holds the potential for a vastly expanded ramble, with a point and even a conclusion perhaps, in another life time. But for now… Suffice it to say that I have been revisiting the mysteries of memory, and the various historical ways humans have possessed it, or lost it–individually and collectively. And so, beyond the arcane details of the “Major System” of phonetic numeric memory, the Locus System of memory palaces, the Vaughn Memory Cube, the Peg System and the …

Landscape, Place and Memory Read more »

I looked up from the kitchen window about 10 minutes before we were to depart for a hike and pot-luck across the county. WhatDaWhat! There not thirty feet away was a cluster of bittersweet (you never find just ONE Oriental Bittersweet vine because hundreds of seeds have fallen from the plant the year before, and many new sprouts also strangle the host tree and twine around others of their kind as well. I reached for the loppers, since cutting the sapling at the base …

Even At The Gates Read more »

Yes, it does sound like a medieval incantation of doom. This is one for you from Nature’s Book of Bad Dreams. Seems we have among us a fungus that infects periodic cicadas in a most bizarre and ghoulishly effective way. So if you find said insect with its back half white, it is a flying salt-shaker of death to others of its kind. It will not turn you into anything more or less than what you have been. OTOH… The white pustule is a …

A Cicadian Pox of Conidial Pustules Read more »

We rounded the bend on Griffith Creek last week to find a hundred yards of creekside lined thickly with a flat-topped pink-flowered shrub I recognized as Spirea, a member of the rose family. But the members of the genus I was familiar with are knee-high wildflowers, not shrubs. And seeing the extent of this population, I suspected it was spreading without threat of disease or predators, because it was “not from these parts.” I sometimes wish I did not notice the invasives that are …

What Native Plants? Read more »