Arborgeddon: the aftermath

The arborists came last week.  They cut down all of the dead or dying ash trees that might have fallen and hit our house.  This is our yard now:

ash trees



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Nathan at Air Camp

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Thanks to the Wright Brothers, the USAF Museum,  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,  and a variety of local airports the Dayton area has a lot to offer people who are interested in aviation.   Air Camp  has created a summer camp for … Continue reading

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Note to the birds

Dear Birds,

Please note the following.  Nests belong in trees..


..not the garage.


Even if you can build it underneath an old bird feeder.


I’m sorry – I didn’t expect to find a nest in a stand of giant ragweed and duff.


I’m glad you liked the sunflower seeds.  By the way, you missed one:




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The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect accidentally brought to the US from Asia on infected wood shipping pallets, has reached Ohio.    The Emerald Ash Borer lays its eggs in the bark of ash trees; the larvae bore their way through the ash and feed on the phloem of the tree, slowly killing it.   American ash trees have no natural defenses against the Emerald Ash Borer, and while some animals, like woodpeckers, do eat them, they don’t eat nearly enough.  Emerald Ash Borer was first observed in Michigan in 2002; in the 12 years since, has already killed over 150 million ash trees.  This insect may kill the entire genus of American ash trees.

Our ash trees started dying about two years ago.   In the last two years, we’ve taken down over 50 trees.  Eric tried to save the trees that were closest to the house, but they’re showing the signs of distress that  mark the Emerald Ash Borer — die-off at the crown and suckers emerging  from the trunk.   He met with the arborist this weekend to identify the trees that need to come down.  The arborist will come back sometime this month, and take down another 40 trees.   We’ll let the ones that can fall down without hitting something expensive come down on their own.  By the time this is over, we will have lost 175 to 200 trees.


Distressed ash tree.  Notice the suckers coming out on the left side of the trunk.


This is a log from an ash tree killed by the Emerald Ash Borer.  The squiggles on the log are the tracks left by the boring larvae.

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That’s “Turtlie” not “Turdly.”

I was driving home from work and came upon a box turtle trying to cross a busy rural highway not far from the house.   I stopped, and after a bit of drama with a lady driving an SUV —  “Don’t hit the turtle! Don’t hit the turtle!” I grabbed it and brought it back to our creek.  Helen named it “Turtlie.”  That’s “Turtlie,” not “Turdly.”

Some people are so picky.

Turtlie #1

Turtl #2

Flight of the box turtle.

Turtle #3

Happy in the creek.


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He’s bac-bac-baack!

A few weeks ago, a feral rooster showed up in the woods outside our house.  He’d crow (loudly) in the middle of the night and, of course, at 5 am.  Eric saw him once by the camper, and Helen and I saw him once, too, on the path to the B&B.   When he left for a few weeks, we thought he was an itinerant rooster, and had moved on.

But now he’s back! Not crowing so much anymore, but we’ve seen him several times near the driveway.   (Those are mulberries at his feet, not rooster-droppings.)  He’s a lot quieter now – perhaps he’s heard about what happens to free-range chickens.

June 29 2014 032


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