There's plenty to do
in the garden and yard as November begins and before the heavy snows
covers the landscape for the next several months. The autumn storms,
like the recent east coast storm, bring down a lot of branches and
These fallen branches can be
used to build a
for native wildlife. A brush pile provides
many smaller animals and insects shelter and protection. It's always
fun to check the pile when the snow is on the ground and examine the
tracks to see what is using the pile.
The brush pile doesn't
have to look like an ugly pile of broken sticks. Vine plants can be
planted in and around the pile which offer nourishment to many
animals and insects throughout the year besides making the pile look
attractive. Morning glories are a good choice; they provide excellent
coverage and a rich source of food for bees and butterflies.
While this region of
northwestern Pennsylvania escape the brunt of the Great Halloween
Storm, the weather was blustery and cold. The first hard frost was on
October 27 – 28. Some inland areas had an inch or two of snow
(Corry, PA and Jamestown, NY). The
great snow machine
will kick-in soon enough.
It is time for
woodstoves and fireplaces and the
can be a valuable resource to enrich the soil in the yard and vegetable garden.
Change the Clocks
The first Sunday of
November turn the clocks back, it is the end of Daylight Savings Time
in much of the U.S. This year the first Sunday is November 6.
The clocks were moved
forward earlier this year on the second Sunday of March. The latest
timetable for the changes is the result of a 2005 federal law which
went into effect in 2007. The nation has observed some form of
Daylight Savings Time since World War 1 in an effort to save energy.
There are a few places
which don't bother changing the clocks. They are: Arizona, Hawaii,
American Somoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Navajo Nation also
remains on Standard Time because of it's sprawling size in the
western states. The Nation covers a wide area which encompasses three
I had a story on Old
Mossback and the LeBoeuf Creeper published in the newsletter PALMS,
the newsletter for the
Pennsylvania Lake Management Society
. It is on
page four of the newsletter. There is also an excellent article on
the Brown Bullhead. To get to the newsletter, just sign up.
Previously, I had an
article published on Old Mossback at
. It is a
fascinating story of man verses big fish. PALMS does a lot of great
work in helping to maintain and restore our valuable lakes and
watershed areas. Check them out.
are rich in
Vitamins A and C and in the wild are readily available. Rose hips,
actually the fruit of a rose, were used in many Native American
cultures and by the early settlers. Picking them can be a little
tricky, the throns are still sharp on the wild bushes.The bright red
berries are also a source of food for many bird species and smaller
animals throughout the long winter months.
The hips can be used
to brew a
and can also be used as vegetable, just be
careful not to use any hips which have been sprayed with pesticides.
For the next several
months, the rose hips are about the only color in the woods except
for the green
Rose hips, like broken
branches, downed trees and leaves are more than a nuisance; they can
be used resourcefully.
Energy Plant (or tire
The Meadville Tire to
Energy Plant, a large tire incinerator by another name, has received
all of the needed permits and officials of the company claim
construction could begin very shortly on the complex.
The complex will
receive thousands of tires every day, which will be burned, and the
electric produced sold. There have been a lot of environmental
questions about the plant and what course of action environmentalists
take next is uncertain. I don't think this story is over by any
It was an incinerator,
which was partly to blame for the financial mess in the state capital
of Harrisburg. The financial problems were correctly called by Mike
Ewall of Energy Justice (link below in Blogs to Read). The
Harrisburg: a city at war with itself
from Reuters is well worth the read.
John Brown was an abolitionist who raided Harper's Ferry just prior to the Civil War. He wanted to start an insurrection in the Appalachian Mountains. Unknown to many, Brown for many years farmed several hundred acres in northwestern Pennsylvania and operated a tannery. He was staunchly anti-slavery and some say his actions were the actual beginnings of hostilities. Learn more about Brown's hidden life and the events at the federal fort,
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