Archive for July, 2010

Invasion of the Giant Hogweed (not Cow Parsnip)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Yesterday I came across a news story about an invasive plant called the Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).  Then this evening CTV News had a story about the Giant Hogweed.  It sounds like a nasty weed, partly because of its effect on the native ecosystems but also for health reasons, and it is spreading across Canada.

This species has been beneath my radar all these years, but I thought the pictures looked familiar.

Sure enough, it’s in the same genus as Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum).  That’s the species that grew in the bush down the hill from our house near Shell Lake when I was a kid.  Having a hollow stem, it made great pea-shooters.  Or chokecherry shooters.  I remember some chokecherry wars involving my brothers Marv and Dan together with our cousins Dennis, Dave and Ken.  They were brutal, but fun.  I also remember how angry Mom was the day I filled the pocket of my good shirt full of ripe chokecherries and stained it beyond the power of any detergent.

But getting back to the Giant Hogweed … it too has a hollow stem, but the sap is toxic.  I don’t know if its range has expanded to Shell Lake, but obviously using it for chokecherry wars would not be a good idea.

Another thing I discovered in the news article linked above is that the band Genesis had a 1971 song about the Giant Hogweed.

These have been a couple of days of botanical discoveries.

You’re the Girl I Love

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Steve Goodman video, and since I like raw unvarnished folk guitar, and since there are only ten sleeps till I fly to England to join Janet and the girls…

Charlotte’s music

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
Charlottes self-titled album

Charlotte's self-titled album

I’d call this quality music even if we weren’t related.

But I do prefer the Norwegian spelling of Oline.

Where seldom is heard a discouraging blog

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

I was reading another article today that seemed to categorize bloggers as miserable male malcontents with bones to pick.

It got me thinking about the blogs that I check the most often.  I do sometimes wander over to some of the political blogs, to see what’s being said about the news of the day.  However the blogs that I read the most are on my blogroll (along the right-hand side of my blog’s home page).  Those blogs are mostly maintained by people that I know personally.

For the most part they are my fellow-travellers on the journey of following Jesus Christ.

And they generally don’t fit that stereotype of the angry middle-aged curmudgeon blogger.

Take for example my cousin Sharon A. and my work-mate and church-mate Sharon K.  I don’t know a lot of people more positive than the two Sharons.

In fact, come to think of it, I’m probably closer to that stereotype than anyone on my blogroll.  Luckily most of my friends are non-judgemental.