dieback

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The Amazon rainforests are trapped in a vicious cycle of drought and death, study shows

  • The Amazon is an immense region that includes 1.4 billion densely forested acres and is home to 10% of the Earth’s recorded species. It’s also in serious danger.
  • According to a new study published Monday in Nature Communications, the Amazon rainforests are trapped in a perilous self-perpetuating cycle of drought and destruction.
  • Less rainfall leads to more deforestation, and more deforestation leads to less rainfall, and so-on. Unsurprisingly, humans are to blame.
  • The findings don’t point to “complete Amazon dieback” by the end of the 21st century, but “they suggest that frequent extreme drought events have the potential to destabilize large parts of the Amazon forest,” the researchers wrote. Read more (3/14/17 1:22 PM)

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Best flowers for bees! Ageratum

Ageratum (HHA) Easy to grow, with heads of blue flowers and another member of the compositae family, so lots of food on one flower head. This is one of my favorite annuals in the garden. Just don’t plant out until all danger of frost has passed and dead head for more flowers.

Where, When and How to Plant?

Ageratum are not fussy about soil conditions as long as it’s well-drained. Purchased transplants from the local garden center and set them out into the garden planted 6 inches apart in spring after all danger of frost has passed. To produce a larger quantity of ageratum for less cost, start seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Barely cover the seed with potting soil, as they need light to germinate. Plant in full sun in cooler parts of New England. Plant in part shade in warmer regions, or if grown a warm microclimate such as near a south-facing stone wall.

Growing Tips

Keep plants well-watered and weeded once transplanted. Although they can tolerate dry conditions, young plants need moist soil to get established. Pinch back the growing tips of young plants to stimulate them to branch out and form a bushier plant. This will lead to more flowers. Deadhead the flowers to keep the blooming all summer and for a tidier appearance.

Regional Advice and Care

During hot, dry spells spider mites can attack ageratum causing them to dieback. To prevent spider mite infestations, mist the plants during dry spells with water. Spider mites don’t like humid conditions. Cut back damaged plants if you miss the infestation and they should regrow and flower again.

The conservation survey I did today had an ‘other’ option for gender and with a number of retirees around I honestly expected there to be some sort of confused or negative comment about it but instead we just got people wondering whether two people filling in the survey together, since they had averaged their ages, should also average out their gender.

Disposable Heroes
Metallica
Disposable Heroes

Disposable Heroes

Bodies fill the fields I see, hungry heroes end
No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend
Running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all
Victim of what said should be
A servant `til I fall

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, Greeting Death
He’s yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blindman

Barking of machinegun fire, does nothing to me now
Sounding of the clock that ticks, get used to it somehow
More a man, more stripes you bare, glory seeker trends
Bodies fill the fields I see
The slaughter never ends

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, Greeting Death
He’s yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blindman

Why, Am I dying?
Kill, have no fear
Lie, live off lying
Hell, Hell is here

I was born for dying

Life planned out before my birth, nothing could I say
Had no chance to see myself, molded day by day
Looking back I realize, nothing have I done
Left to die with only friend
Alone I clench my gun

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, Greeting Death
He’s yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blindman

Back to the front.

Ash Trees; UK Crisis.

The Ash tree is on the verge of being wiped out in England. Chalara is a disease which has been imported from Europe and has infected sites across the whole country. Its devastation has been measured in some countries as taking out 90% of the ash population. An estimate of 80 million ash trees in England and it being our 4th most common trees means the forests will become sparse. Since the ash plays an important part in the life cycle of various plants and animals, they will also suffer.

The environmental balance is going to be shook up.

Ash is in my top 5 most magikal trees, it has always played a very important role in British witchcraft. If your in the UK please take some time to look around your local nature reserve and if you see any ash trees with the disease report it.

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‘Silver Lining’, ‘Island Queen’ (twice), and begonias. This is the first for ‘Island Queen’, and I’m really impressed, considering that it got dieback this winter and I had to prune a good bit of it off. It’s supposed to be one of the rare double hibiscuses that do well in heat, so hopefully there will be many more to come.