Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fun with fungi

I continue to be amazed on walks through the woods at the many different types of fungi. A dead limb may fall to the ground and just rot away, or it may host fungi with beautiful colors and shapes.

I'm reminded of the morel mushroom. You will never get one to grow where you wish it to grow. Morels pop up when and where they choose.

If I see a fungi-laden piece of wood, instead of putting it on the burn pile, I let it lay in hopes it will surprise me again with a new pattern on another day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The woodshed is full . . .

. . . and all is right with the world.

However, all is not right with the Tennessee Valley Authority. We are going to be hit with another 12 percent rate increase this year, and I've heard my utility company say repeatedly that TVA is just passing along its additional cost of generating electricity as a fuel surcharge.

Bull feathers.

What TVA is passing along is the billion dollars it spent mitigating its gigantic coal ash spill on Dec. 23, 2008. East Tennesseans don't need to go to the Gulf of Mexico. We have our own BP right here in the form of TVA. At least the CEO of BP lost his job over the travesty. As far as I know, the TVA chairman got a pat on the back. You're doing a great job, Brownie.

Enough editorializing. I best go see about my kindling box.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A bountiful harvest of sunflowers

While my vegetable gardening skills leave much to be desired, I did hit a home run this season with sunflowers. I think just about every seed I planted blossomed into a full sunflower head. As you can see, the heads filled up the front-end loader on my tractor.

Many people say that harvesting the seeds is a chore, but the secret is waiting until the back of the head turns black. At that point, the seeds almost fall out on their own.

We will store the seeds and feed the birds all winter with our largesse. Unfortunately, the 'coons and squirrels will probably get more than there fair share.