Steamed heat

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If you look very closely, in the middle and toward the top of this photo, you’ll see a Canada goose cutting a ‘v’ through a temperate rainforest river. That’s our Johnny, and her river cruise was the second in one month that she and the other three Quarry Farm geese took before the river receded into the banks of Cranberry Run, beyond the fence.

Late June and July heat baked the slick coating of flood silt to the ironweed, wild roses, sedges, and other floodplain plants. Now the hens and geese chase insects born from the ooze, at least until the latest downpour fills the lowland again. Probably will happen this evening.

Until then, here’s Carlton, cooling his jets.

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And speaking of cooling off, I had one of those conversations yesterday. A colleague has a theory that canals will solve the nitrate problems which, combined with phosphate-loaded runoff, are contributing to harmful algal bloom in Ohio waterways, the Great Lakes, and pretty much everywhere else within driving distance.

“You know, the canal systems that Ohio had? That was some of the greatest engineering, and it was only just getting started when they fell into disrepair. A good series of canals could just carry those nitrates on out to the deep sea where the phytoplankton could eat them.”

Me: What?

“Yes, they drained the swamps because you couldn’t get through and those canals took the erosion away [or something like that] and canals take nitrates away. When the canals were abandoned, we started having all those nitrate issues.”

Me: (sputtering) Do you know what else used to be here, before they were cut down to make canals? Trees. Ohio was covered with trees.

“There were not. This was swamp. Trees don’t grow in that kind of soil.”

Me: I want you to read this book called The Trees by Conrad Richter. It’s part of a trilogy. The next book is called The Fields, after they cut the trees down. Then there’s The Town, which is what we have now. It’s fiction — you’ll like it.

Then there are these:

http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/rmap/rmap_nrs4.pdf

http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/history

11665775_10207215345292838_2227007993138597814_nThe scary part is that this person has a college degree.

Deep breath.

Here’s Beatrice. She makes sense.

 

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