Sunday, November 08, 2009

Human Assisted Transport

Sunday, November , 2009

A beautiful day here in Marshfield today. Some different than yesterday when the weatherman missed his mark by 15 degrees. The sky was clear at sunrise and the temperature, although frosty to start, rose quickly and exceeded the 50 degrees that was suggested.

When you get a nice fall day, the list of cleanup chores turns out to be longer than you want. Time is short and you really want to go have fun but you know from experience that this time of year in Vermont, "summer" days in fall are infrequent so they should be cherished. My problem is about everything I want to do requires two hands and one of mine is in rehab and I don't want to ruin a good thing.

I took Karl the Wonder Dog for a long walk and he was pleased with the woods activity of the day and the smells from yesterday's rain. The woods road was filled with deer tracks and we jumped some deer by the treeline but only saw flags of white waving goodbye to us--no heads to see bucks. Karl went up on his back legs as if to squeeze out one last attempt at deer identification but if he saw antlers, he didn't tell me. I pulled back on the leash and he came back down and continued on as if nothing was noticed. We put up three partridge which also tested Karl's adrenaline.

Being in the woods reminded me of some photos I took a few weeks back when splitting some wood for next year. The wood was balsam and I cut down a few of these each year and split them up for kindling. They are being attacked by some insidious insect so there's no trouble finding a dead one to cut. I cut them down, block them up and then bring them to the house.

This was the first time I ever found any larvae inside a tree and this instance showed some sort of borer was involved. Understand me on this, I am not an entomologist, I'm a gardener who enjoys the land and cares about what is going on. I began some web searches and the Black Spruce Beetle, Tetropium castaneum may be the culprit. I am hopeful someone out there reading this can tell me if this is true or not. The picture is accurate and the bore hole is obvious.

As the day progressed, Alex and I decided we should try to catch some trout for dinner. There were a few night crawlers left in the fridge and we shared a spontaneous enthusiasm to have some fun. Here are the results.

Hybrid Brook Trout, male, bright fall colors

Rainbow trout at top was +19 inches and just under 3 pounds

2 rainbows, 2 brookies total

Trout fishing takes me away from gardening but it makes Alex happy and gives me a break. Gail cooked the big trout tonight for dinner, rubbed with light garlic and olive oil and baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. She served it with baked vegetables of buttercup squash, parsnips and Kennebec potatoes. We'll all get back to gardening tomorrow!

Wait, stop, hold on, The Vermont Gardener forgot the most important part of this post just when he hit "Publish Post". Human Assisted Transport, my title, is a phrase often used by foresters when they get concerned that humans will aid in the transport of seriously invasive and devastating insects such as the Asian Long-horned Beetle. This summer when Worcester, Massachusetts was cutting down trees by the dozens and sending them to chippers and blast furnaces, Vermont foresters including the Dept of Forest and Parks were asking people not to bring firewood with them when they booked into campgrounds for vacations. Serious insects are inside wood during part of their life cycle and lacking Superman eyes we can't tell what bad things we are carrying to the camp site. Some say I am odd but when this piece of wood split open on the wood splitter bed, the first thing that came to my mind was the admonishment about firewood hosting bad critters. I am certain that the public has not received the education on what they might be doing and if you cannot see it, perhaps it doesn't register as important.....but it should!!

And now.....

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Karl says it's time for a walk.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm

1 comment: said...

Here's a link from the State of Oregon that speaks about transporting firewood and the possible invasive insect ramifications.