June 24, 2010
It seems like an odd time to start this blog. I am sitting at my computer on the twelfth floor of an apartment building in Arlington, Virginia. All I can see around me are office buildings, more apartments, condos, highways, and some of the landmark government buildings like the Washington monument and the Pentagon. It is 95 degrees today, and I was just told by one of the local news channels that this has been the hottest June here in history. In the daytime the air is thick with auto exhaust, even at this height, and last night my nose and throat were assaulted by the pungeant odor of burning garbage from a trash to energy incinerator six miles to the southeast. How I long for the fresh air of my own backyard forest!
Is this the fate of mankind? As our numbers continually increase, are we destined to transform the natural beauty and nourishing, sustaining substance of the entire earth into an artificial world of concrete, steel, and plastic?
Click the link below for a very moving video... - Mike
While there are a few trees and some small patches of grass scattered here and there between buildings and along roadways, it is the man-made structures, smells, and sounds that dominate this landscape.
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June 26, 2010
Spent all day Saturday walking the grounds of George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, Virginia. Of course, my favorite part was exploring the small forest preserve there!
The National Arboretum in northeast Washington is more than 450 acres of fields, forests, and display gardens right in our nation's capitol! How refreshing it was to walk in the quiet of the woods in the midst of this huge metropolitan area, Sunday. It was also encouraging to see lambsquarters, that tasty and nutritious cousin to spinach sneaking into some of the flower beds! Found a few paw-paw trees growing near the edge of the forest trails, too. Tasting like a mix of banana and mango, paw-paws grow throughout the eastern U.S., and into Quebec, Canada.
For more information on visiting this arboretum click below. - Mike
This is Asimina triloba, the common pawpaw, sometimes called a custard apple. - photo taken at the U.S. National Arboretum 6/27/10.
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