in praise of the dead

snag in Cook forest
Standing dead trees are an important resource for the living.

But a dead tree, contrary to popular perception, has a plus side. Called a snag, it plays host to a variety of insects, fungi, spiders, and other small native creatures of the woodland; a variety of mammals, including flying and gray squirrels, raccoons, and others; and, surprisingly, about eight-five species of birds in North America. In a forest, at least, maturity and deadwood are relative terms.–Robert Halma, “The Lehigh Valley: A Natural and Environmental History”

Excellent article on dead trees, see: “Praise the Dead: The Ecological Values of Dead Trees” by George Wuerthner


Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crape myrtle or crepe myrtle, is a genus of around 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia and parts of Oceania, cultivated in warmer climates around the world.–wikipedia
30 x1028 px box
March 18, Adrian Higgins at the Washington Post published a column “How to avoid hacking at your crape myrtle this spring“,

The crape myrtle has always brought out the inner butcher in certain people —
there is something about those smooth, sinewy branches that screams “amputate me”.–A. Higgins

dollar dollar dollar

near Futenma, hiway 81
Dollar General DG, Family Dollar FDO, Dollar Tree DLTR.
Will Dollar Tree be able to fix Family Dollar?
Family Dollar shareholders approved a merger with Dollar Tree instead of rival suitor Dollar General.
Watch out you dollar people, roaring out of the east, the House of 66 cent!
I looked for an SNL skit where a customer complains about his less than a dollar purchase.
Old skit, from the eighties. Search turned up the more recent 39 cent

where is the light switch?

CHO Mayor Huja silhouette
The City of Charlottesville is a quarter finalist in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a nationwide competition for small-to-medium sized
communities to compete to win a $5 million grand prize by saving energy.
The Council meets tomorrow afternoon for a budget work session.

While operating 6016 streetlights, the City doesn’t appear to have an IES certified individual (Illuminating Engineering Society) on staff.
Who is in charge of the lighting? Who directs spending in this arena to make sure we get best lighting for dollars spent?
Who knows how many dollars are spent on lighting?
There are forms available to request the addition of streetlights, drop lens, highway-style fixtures, but
no one knows where the light switch is, where the form is to request the removal of lighting.
We submitted a dark-skies petition in 2000 trying to reclaim the night..
(read Janis Jaquith’s essay “Turn Off The Lights”)