Recent Blog Posts

Large population of painted lady butterflies this year

October 12th, 2017

Just about everyone knows what a monarch butterfly is and its amazing migration to and from Mexico. But not nearly as many people have even heard of a painted lady butterfly; until this year that is. Reports of painted lady butterflies seem to be all over the twittersphere. The most popular one I’ve seen is … Continue reading Large population of painted lady butterflies this year

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The amazing salvia flower

October 12th, 2017

You can find some really amazing things in the garden if you know where to look. For example, look closely at a salvia flower and you will see something unique. Like most flowers, salvia produces nectar to lure pollinators such as wild bees, honeybees and others. And as usual the pollinators end up carrying pollen … Continue reading The amazing salvia flower

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Our Failing Naked Emperor

October 06th, 2017

via GIPHY One of the defining characteristics of the Trump campaign and administration is the utter disregard for the facts. There was some hope by Trump supporters that once he transitioned from campaign mode to presidential mode, he would also abandon his strategy of habitual fabrication. That hope died with the inauguration. Trumps inaugural crowds […]

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Sneezeweed is blooming

September 28th, 2017

We were sitting out on the porch earlier this week enjoying that summery weather. One flower caught my eye, it was fresh and bright among the others that were either gone or fading fast. It was one we forgot that we had planted this spring — it was sneezeweed. Sneezeweed, also referred to as Helenium … Continue reading Sneezeweed is blooming

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Same Poison Different Bottle

September 23rd, 2017

via GIPHY   Every time Republicans regroup in an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the proposed legislation gets worse. That in itself should tell you something about the nature of the politics at play here. The proposed Cassidy-Graham bill is the same poison in a different bottle. It shifts health care […]

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Dogbane in prairie area

September 19th, 2017

When I was aroud ten years old, back when all kids were free-range, I spotted spotted a plant during my wanderings that impressed me so much that I’m intrigued by it to this day. I didn’t know what it was called at the time. It wasn’t until later, when I was in college, that I … Continue reading Dogbane in prairie area

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Tar spot on maple trees

September 19th, 2017

In many cases, diagnosing plant problems requires an in-person look at the plant in question. Too many disorders look similar when all you have is a photo to go by. Earlier this week someone sent me a photo asking about spots on a valuable tree they have in their front lawn. That was an easy … Continue reading Tar spot on maple trees

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Grape ripening

September 19th, 2017

According to my records, my grapes are about ten days ahead of last year at this date. Every growing season is different and any particular year doesn’t necessarily line up with seasonal average growing conditions. Ten days is a long time when it comes to grapes. I covered the grapes with netting last week to … Continue reading Grape ripening

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Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned

August 21st, 2017

For those unfamiliar with this Catholic meme, it is the opening sentence Catholics whisper to the priest to start confession. My confession is that I find this particular point in our history fascinating. We have a President who appears determined to self-destruct, a party that is uncertain they are willing to go down with him, […]

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Lincoln Wept

August 21st, 2017

Lets take a step back and just review briefly the various defenses of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and good old fashioned racists that weve heard so far. Racism as free speech Its true. Our constitution does protect racism as free speech. Free speech, however, does not guarantee that you are free from other forms of punishment […]

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Whats Next?

August 16th, 2017

via GIPHY After the violent clashes in Virginia, America looked to the President for healing. Instead Trump could only think about his own obsession of winning an argument with the media. As a result, we have a President who insists those who support Nazis and white supremacists deserve the same respect and consideration as those […]

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Sunflowers cause problems in garden

August 15th, 2017

Plants have developed an number of different survival techniques that can give them advantages over other plants competing for the same growing space. For example, some plants have roots that produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other nearby plants of other species. It’s a process known as allelopathy. Black walnut trees are probably the … Continue reading Sunflowers cause problems in garden

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Hoverflies are beneficial insects

August 03rd, 2017

As mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, I planted a fairly large plot of buckwheat adjacent to our vegetable garden this spring. The main idea behind planting buckwheat was to provide forage primarily for honeybees and for any other pollinators that might be around to take advantage of it. As it turns out … Continue reading Hoverflies are beneficial insects

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Tomato disease score

July 19th, 2017

This is the time of the season when tomato plants start showing signs of disease infections, usually as different shapes and colors of spots depending on which particular disease has infected the plant. Last week I took an informal survey of several varieties of tomatoes to see how each variety is holding up under early … Continue reading Tomato disease score

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Doh

July 11th, 2017

It only gets worse for President Trump and the rest of us. On our national holiday, North Korea demonstrated that they overcame the cyber-attacks that impacted their previous missile tests. They also figured out how to build a missile that meets the definition of an ICBM. They are on a fast track that will soon […]

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Striped cucumber beetles causing problems

July 11th, 2017

A couple of gardeners I know asked me why their cucumbers didn’t come up this year. Others have mentioned that their beans didn’t come up either. Was there something wrong with the seeds this year? After inspecting a few gardens, it became apparent to me what was going on. In each case, there was a … Continue reading Striped cucumber beetles causing problems

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Kool aid

July 02nd, 2017

via GIPHY I must admit that I remain astonished at our current political landscape. We have a Congress who are attempting to take healthcare away from at least 22M people in the name of what? Reducing premiums for the young and healthy? Providing the first of many big tax cuts to the wealthy? Further punishing […]

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Whoomp

June 19th, 2017

  The next big test of the Trump presidency is sneaking up on him. As I predicted, the domestic challenges that this administration has been dealing with will pale in comparison to international events where there is the very real possibility of escalation. Trumps generals told him and Congress that we are losing the war […]

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The Credibility Gap

June 11th, 2017

During the Vietnam War, there was a lot of public skepticism regarding statements that came from the LBJ administration. Ultimately that led to Nixons election because he promised that he had a secret plan to end the war. He lied too and instead expanded the war. There were a lot of leaks including the Pentagon […]

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

June 05th, 2017

Why is Trump so unpopular? His supporters claim that a biased media and the sore loser Democratic Party are to blame. While Trump supporters may draw some comfort from those excuses, the real cause is much more obvious. Trump has lost a third of his support since taking office based on his actions. He passed […]

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