Letting nature take its course

Pictured is a pretty cool example of how a beneficial fungus efficiently kills a serious pest of oak tree.  The pest is a type of armored scale, and is very difficult and costly to control.  Costly control is due to the protective cover it develops over its body, protecting it from insecticde treatments.  This particular armored scale is commonly called “Obscure Scale”, as it is very small and is well camouflaged – so it is “obscure”.

The orange color that you can see on the pictured oak, is a fungus that feeds upon the scale, and as you can see, is aggressively attacking the armored scale.  By recognizing a beneficial organism when it occurs, and in so doing letting nature takes its course, a more efficient and cost effective means of controlling a pests may be realized.  Also, if beneficial organisms such as the pictured fungus are recognized, a management plan that protects the beneficial can be implemented.

The picture was taken during month of February, a few years back.  So be on the look out for it during next several weeks, and if you find it, make sure that it does a thorough job of killing the scale.


Obscure Scale - parasitised

Parasitised Obscure Scale


Earthies, then and now

No doubt about it, when it comes to opinions regarding the impact that mankind has had on mother earth, there are some extremes.

Most of my life, I’ve been a straight laced buttoned down type that didn’t have much regard for the perspective of “earthy people” whom favored more of a holistic and chemical free society.  Having inherited genetics from good hard headed men that sacrificed much for me, I didn’t spend much of my early adulthood entertaining the thought that with some issues, I might be wrong.  I considered myself of academia, and in those days, academia looked at the “earthies” like I look at a teenager that has to hold his pants up for lack of a fitting belt.  But as time has passed, so did some of my former opinions about those earthy folks and some of what they had to say.  Eventually, I came to believe that the best landscape care includes relying upon natural systems and having an understanding of and appreciation for the web of life.

Fortunately, there are some good landscape care companies that are managed by folks that take this whole issue seriously and do a good job.  Of course, there is plenty of the other type too.  But that’s the way it goes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still rely on the use of “chemicals”, and in coming days intend to make an argument as to why their use is often the most environment friendly approach that’s available.  I’m also going to share some real life examples of how tuning into that web of life, can allow for more economical, more effective, and more sustainable landscape management.  You will not want to miss it.


Straight flight

January 14, 2012

Nowadays, I like to know where a person “stands” when I’m considering their opinion, be it with regards to the environment or anything else.  That way I can watch out for any sneaky attempts to insert their “agenda” in a cleverly disguised way.  I tend to like to talk about elements of the landscape and how they impact the environment.  So to “cut to the chase”, I want to share where I stand on matters pertaining to mother earth.

I’m a “right wing environmentalist”, and as such, tend to alienate most everyone sooner or later.

I believe:

–       in God, and that He created the land, the oceans, plants, animals, light, and all things good

–       that God gave us dominion over living things on earth

–       We have been careless with much of that which we have been given dominion over

–       God had a reason for creating everything that He did, and that all of His creation is important to balance a web of life

–       a species or an environment shouldn’t be considered unimportant, just because we don’t understand its role within the web of life

–       that bigger government is ultimately detrimental to the environment

–       that education, ingenuity, and free enterprise are essential with regards to our environment

Now I guess that for the purpose of understanding my position with regard to the environment, it isn’t necessary to say this, but I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that the only way to reach heaven is to accept the salvation offered through him.  Admittedly, part of the reason that I mention this is because so many times in the past, I’ve been afraid to.  I’m trying to stop being a spiritual wimp.

So there you have it.

By the way, I have no intent of making this a “religious” blog, so this will be the most appropriate time to criticize me for my core beliefs, if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading and I hope you return.