Submerge that carbon


Look at the stored carbon in Kitch-iti-kipi, near Manistique, Michigan (2005 photo).

I think I have this right. Carbon levels in the air are affected by how much is emitted into the air. Reduce the amount entering the air (or reduce the amount already in the air), and we’re ahead.

So, one way to keep carbon out of the air: dead trees that don’t emit the carbon they hold. This article says by keeping dead trees emerged in water stores their carbon. Makes sense, they’re still trees, albeit waterlogged, and still holding their carbon.

What they don’t say is that if the trees are converted into building material or sculptures or whatever, it seems to me that stores carbon, too. It’s not decaying, so it’s not releasing its carbon….

Lesson? Cut more trees and keep the wood around.* Either submerged—or in your coffee table?

The difference, I guess, is that you can sell the fact that you’ve submerged the trees as carbon credits, but not that you’ve turned logs into lumber and into furniture, etc. Those you have to sell as material objects.

* Damage to the environment…priceless?

Strange practices


I snapped this while I was at the Bot Garden the other week. I didn’t look for an ID on this plant because I was mesmerized by a leaf apparently having a bloom attached to it. I saw others with a similar leaf-bloom morphology, but this is the best snapshot. The flower is not very large, maybe 2 cm tall.

Sad note: Uga VI died on Friday (WashPost); he was almost 10. No mention of whether he’ll be planted with the other Ugas adjacent to Sanford Stadium—or if he leaves progeny—an Uga VII.

Price of precip?


I’m not even going to comment on the willpower it took not to nab this ’mater.

Our neighbors are out of town, and I went over this morning to check how their veggies were doing. Sadly, in combo with the lack of rain, the bright sun has hammered them—all the leaves were terribly limp. So, I took the dishwater over (remember, watering restrictions and drought in these parts). It wasn’t much. I am happier now, since we one of those summer-afternoon pop-up storms nailed us this afternoon, delivering some blessed precip (not much, but we’ll take whatever arrives!).

The beautiful rain had another impact, however. The Blue Tarp is showing its age, and JCB spread a plastic dust cloth on the dining room floor to catch the drips….

Light and air


The Demo Guys get busy, and this is what your dining room starts to look like: it has a new skylight that was never in the architectural plans.

When they go away for lunch, the clouds come and chase them back. But the rain doesn’t stay long, and they crank up the boombox and sawzall some more (thump thump*).

* Me, I’m calling it quits to head out to do some errands.

Sounds of deconstruction


While the shade is still on their work area, the Demo Guys began filling The Dumpster this morning. New sounds in my work area: thump, crash, thud, scrunch (nail removal), low tones of talk radio.

“Progress is made….”*


As KayakWoman has observed from their own tree-fall-on-house reconstruction this spring/summer, the progress of a major construction project is directly related to the presence/absence of…tada!…The Dumpster. And, today The Dumpster arrived.

The Dumpster arrival time had been set on Tuesday for today between 11 am and 1 pm. Actual arrival time: 4:30 pm. I hope this is not an omen; perhaps, instead, it’s the last time we have a huge delay (fingers and toes crossed).

Along with the arrival of The Dumpster, we welcomed the Demo Guys, and this is what our master bathroom sink area now looks like. All the cabinets came out without damage, whew, and so did my beloved soaking tub.

Now, the damaged area is even more exposed to the afternoon sun. With temps in the upper 80s outdoors, the AC unit’s struggles have against all odds increased to make the closed part of the upstairs even marginally inhabitable.

Ah, adventure!

* Certain phrases seem to lend themselves particularly to passive voice, although I usually try to avoid it.

Are cupolas apotropaic?


…the cupola of an octagon barn in west-central Georgia.

The first octagon structure I remember exploring was a house in Ord, Nebraska (a bit of googling suggests it’s for sale, in fact, if you’re interested…). I was working up the road near Burwell, but that’s another story from long before there were digital cameras.

Today’s vocabulary—apotropaic

supposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck

In a sentence: We need a drawerful of effective, proven, apotropaic goodies these days, or perhaps just a cupola….

News from the Real World


Pan from ATL Bot Garden

I understand that the US builds flood control barriers for what is at the time of construction (and that this assessment is not regularly adjusted is part of the problem) thought to be a “100-year” flood. Of course, that’s theoretical, but it is a label that provides perspective. I also understand that in Holland they build for 1000-year flood events.

HUGE difference.

Meanwhile, at one earthen levee along the Mississippi River:

Officials spent nearly six hours choking off the leak caused by a muskrat burrowing in the soft ground early Monday.*

Six hours, mind you. Now, I’m not the most knowledgeable at natural history, but a muskrat? This is not an unexpected species (Wikipedia has its range as across the continental US), and its habits are well-known. Will we soon be hearing that we taxpayers must ante up X-gajillion dollars because of ONE MUSKRAT?

This from an AP story in the NYTimes this afternoon, dateline Winfield, Missouri.

Spoiler is right….


When the body shop saw the Prius after the tree hugged it, they said it’d take two-and-a-half weeks to fix it. Well, they had it four, and must have decided that they just wanted to divest themselves of it. I don’t even remember that the spoiler needed any work, but this is what the right end of it looked like when we picked it up (blobs on top of paint, holes through paint). Yeah, we need it, so we took it like this, with the assurance that they will fix it NEXT TIME. I’m sad!

Freestone vs. Clingstone


The other day I had some lovely south Georgia freestone peaches. Right now, I’m eating my way through some tasty clingstones, grown on an in-town otherwise-ornamental peachtree.

My dad always grew freestones; although I see several places on the web claim that freestones tend to have a harder flesh, Dad’s freestones were always super-juicy. I remember coming home from school in the fall and heading out to the trees directly from the school bus, and selecting an especially huge, red specimen, then bending over to eat it so the juice dripped harmlessly off my chin into the grass instead of on my school clothes**.

Despite the fact that Georgia continues to be (proudly, in some quarters) nicknamed “The Peach State*,” the USDA statistics record that for some years the state with the biggest peach crop has been California. In 2004, CA grew 76% of the US peach crop, up from 75% in 2003.

Peaches are from China. They weren’t in the New World until the arrival of European-types. Thus, finding peach pits on an archaeological site of indeterminant age in the Southeast, for example, means it dates to the historic period.

* Sam Henry Rumph, of Macon County, developed a peach he named Elberta for his wife. Apparently, this lead to the state taking the Peach State moniker.

** Other than the obvious uniforms, do kids even have “school clothes” any more?