Friday, October 31, 2008

Pine Beetles - Beneficial??

Today I learned an interesting little tidbit about pine beetles that makes them less of a bad guy. Apparently scientists are researching them to see if they hold promise for new antibiotics that could benefit people one day. There are only two other insects so far discovered to have such potential, leaf-cutting ants and a type of wasp from Europe. Click on the title link to go to the website for Science Today and read more about this.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Little Things

Some of the most memorable moments in my life have been the very small things. This morning it was chilly and I went outside to feed the animals. One of this mornings' moments was feeling the warmth of my horses face against mine as we told each other good morning. And the same transfer of warmth from face to face when the kids woke. Life is good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ginseng Article Posted

The Journal of Sustainability posted an article I wrote to their website. You can read by clicking on the title to this post, or click hereLink.

Ginseng Market 2008-2009

I received word today that our local buyer will no longer be buying roots this season. Apparently the economy has affected the market, but I'm not sure how. Perhaps the buyers need to take out loans to buy from local diggers and in that way it is affected. Perhaps buyers higher in the chain are facing similar issues. When I find out more details I'll post, but if any of you know what is going on, at least in the Ozarks, drop me an email to let me know. If you have something similar going on where you dig/buy/sell, I'd like to hear about it even if you're not in the Ozarks.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Early Morning Aromas

This morning I woke to an odd smell. At first it smelled like burning plastic so I hurriedly threw on my robe and went to check the stove and breaker panel. Sometimes Gab will get up at night and cook something and it was possible she left a burner on. And Zack will even forget he was getting ready to cook something and leave the stove on. No fire alarms were going off, but I couldn't sleep without making sure anyway. Went downstairs, nothing. Checked every outlet and every plugged in electronic device and nothing was hot. So I went back to bed for a few more hours until the alarm would go off and wake me at 5:30. As I got back under the covers, it occurred to me that I had eaten a pasta dish heavy with garlic right before going to bed, so maybe it was just me smelling like that...but I sure hoped not.

The alarm went off and the smell was still there and I still had not placed what it could be. Got dressed, started my coffee, and opened the door to tell the dogs hello - whoa! There was the source of the smell! Badger had gotten skunked and as the odor wafted up to my bedroom it smelled less and less like skunk and more and more like burnt rubber. I remembered now that I've smelled that before, haha.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Frogs and Fog

Last night coming home from work was a little tedious. First it was raining so hard between Hindsville and Huntsville that I could barely see the road. After Huntsville it was the fog to deal with. And then, once I got out of town and on the road to Kingston, the frogs were everywhere! I could not drive 10 feet without running over a frog and it was horrible - poor things were trying to get across the road and there was just no way to avoid them. On the dirt road I went slower so more could make it to the other side, but I felt like a mass murder by the time I made it home.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nature's Bounty

The hickory trees have been very generous this year. The driveway is lined with nuts and they are falling from the trees as I drive beneath them - these nuts (encased in the green outer shell) are huge, bigger than golfballs - and when they hit the car it seems like it should be putting big dents! Thankfully, no dents yet. Yesterday Zack gathered up some of the nuts and roasted them over an open fire. He saved a few for me to try when I got home and they are delicious! Kind of tedious to extract from the shells, but well worth the effort. I'm trying to recruit him to gather and shell a lot so I can make some pumpkin-spice bread with hickory nuts :)