Not so Nasty News May 29th


Goes with Item #2.

Item #1: What’s that?

In the driveway gravel I noticed something strange. It looked like a large squashed insect. Left image, below.The right side image provides an explanation. I’ve got two White Spruce by the driveway. [Picea gauca] They produce lots of cones but I seldom see the new growth. I’ve trimmed the lower limbs up to about 10 feet, so far. New cones are 25 feet up. These are hardy trees native to Canada and Alaska. I have to provide water, and they grow well.
Our winds off the Cascades beats things up, including trees. Last week we had gusts of over 50 miles per hour. A few of the new cones came loose and then got flattened in the driveway. The purple color seems to be common for the new cones of trees. They are very exposed to intense sunlight, so maybe the pigment (anthocyanin) helps them – and many other plants, also.

Also, of interest this week:The male pollen bearing flowers of the Lodgepole pine are golden in the morning sun. The frost in early May killed the first growth of the Carpathian walnuts – black on the right side image. During the 3 weeks since then there is new growth, almost translucent and very pretty.

Item #2: The hygiene hypothesis

Regarding immunity to things:
As this site ( Link) explains, some disagree with the name of this because it is not about an adult’s personal hygiene.
This is a topic being discussed during Panic2020;
. . . and I just like the photo.

The more geeky might need something else to worry about – try this site:
The year 2038 problem, or Y2038.
If you are old (>35?) enough, you might remember the Y2000 computer issue. Link here: Y2K.
I’ll pass on worrying about Y2038.

Item #3: Friday – hott!
About 9 AM on the left, 6 PM on the right. We are near the center, a few miles west (left) of the blue line.

The day was clear sky and intense sun. Here at home we almost reached 90°F., at mid-afternoon. South of us 100 miles, the airport at Pasco did get to 95. About 4 o’clock the high sky started to get a few clouds and in the last 2 hours the temp has dropped 5 degrees. Air is moving in from the Pacific Ocean with lots of moisture – and stormy weather is expected from Midnight until Sunday Noon. Thunder!
Sunday high temp is expected to be 25° lower than today.
We’ll see.

Item #4: Puzzled?

Do the puzzle without reading all the clues.
I saw this along side a photo of Joe Biden writing in a folder of some sort. That is unfair insofar as most politicians are clueless.
{If you are a politician – that’s a joke.}

Item #5: The air is full of

White fluff from Black Cottonwood trees [black or western cottonwood (P. trichocarpa)]. From the house, going out the driveway, the area is devoid of these trees. About 2/3 of the way to Naneum Road the grass along the sides catches the blowing fluff and holds it. Like a winter snow.

What good are they?
The trees are used much by birds and other animals. The tuft of cottony hairs aid in seed dispersal, and are from female trees only. I should cut those down, but neighbors have them also.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John