Saturday, June 13, 2015


I guess you can say Murphys is a tourist destination. It is an attractive place to visit. The first thing I loved about Murphys when I moved here in 1978 was the creek running through town.
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I used to swim in the creek with the other "kids". Now the park is filled to the brim  all summer long with activities, including this venue of Music In The Park. Local caterers prepare dinner you can buy or bring your own along with your ice chest. Or buy wine, beer, tea, coffee and sodas.  My neighbor asked me to come with her, but I had much to do and arrived very late.
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I met some old friends in the park, but didn't feel up to dancing so I relaxed and listened to the music. The other side of the creek has room for people along the bank. Not everyone likes the full, crowded areas of the park. Nice to have a choice.
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Dogs have to be on a leash and often get invited by their owner's to swim. This one took a long, cool drink before heading back to it's master.
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My friend, Jan's,  great granddaughter was hoping to catch the ball in a game the kids were playing.
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She caught it and took careful aim at the next person. Ava had been in and out of the water for half the day. We didn't take her home until she turned blue.
I remember those days on the shores of Lake Michigan when I was a kid. Coming in with lips of blue, chilled to the bone, but happy as a clam.
Murphys really is a special place. A lovely way to cool off on a hot day.

Monday, June 8, 2015



This invasive plant is swallowing the U.S. at the rate of 50,000 baseball fields per year

Kudzu growing on trees
Public Domain Wikimedia

Choking ecosystems, releasing carbon from the soil…

In the dictionary next to the definition of “invasive species”, they could show a photo of kudzu. Nothing seems to stop it: Above you can see it growing over trees in Atlanta, Georgia. Since it was first introduced to the U.S. at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, it has been swallowing the country from an epicenter in the South-East at the rate of about 50,000 baseball fields per year, occupying an estimated 3,000,000 hectares today. Kudzu can grow up to 60 feet per season, or about one foot per day.Kudzu is extremely bad for the ecosystems that it invades because it smothers other plants and trees under a blanket of leaves, hogging all the sunlight and keeping other species in its shade. It can also survive in low nitrogen areas and during droughts, allowing it to out-compete native species that don’t have those superpowers. The only other plants that can compete with kudzu are other invasive species, so that doesn’t really help…
Wikimedia/Public Domain
The great kudzu invasion all started out with a mistake: The Soil Erosion Service and Civilian Conservation Corp intentionally planted it to control soil erosion in the state of Pennsylvania. It was then used in the South East to to provide shade to homes, and as an ornamental species.
But as you can see in the map above, the result is more like a fast-growing cancer than anything else. How can you get rid of a plant that covers around a quarter of the country?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, kudzu also screws with the soil’s ability to sequester carbon, thus contributes to climate change.
In a paper published in the journal New Phytologist, plant ecologist Nishanth Tharayil and graduate student Mioko Tamura, of Clemson University, show that kudzu invasion results in an increase of carbon released from the soil organic matter into the atmosphere. Tharayil and Tamura investigated the impact of a kudzu invasion in native pine forests. (source)
The most Earth-friendly way to fight kudzu seems to be with goats, but it would take quite a lot of them to get through all the kudzu in the U.S. Using heavy metal poisons on kudzu renders the soil unuseable for a prolonged period. But, goats are the answer to many invasive species. Goats are not always practical, but rent-a-goat projects are available locally. I guess my message is we must think about preventing the sale of invasive species.  Nurseries should be asked to voluntarily not sell invasive species or be required not to sell invasive species. Invasive plants are everybody’s problem. What frightens me even more is that little green dot on the map showing a spot in the state of Oregon? A monster is coming to the West Coast.

Sunday, June 7, 2015



At a local nursery, I bought the beautiful plant, scotch broom.
I bought Scotch Broom and now have to spend the rest of my life trying to rid my property of it. If I had known it is a take-over horror that interferes with natural plants, animals, birds, sidewalks and parking lots; it gravitates and fills clear cuts and that the seeds last 100 years I wouldn’t have bought it.
I began to wonder why a pesty invader like scotch broom is allowed to be sold at nurseries? I learned that “Invasive plants are considered innocent until proven guilty.” By then, they are out of control and cost millions to eradicate-when possible. Why allow nurseries to sell invasive foreign species? At least labeling should be required. Simple testing first would save billions. I have scotch broom at my house in Murphys and also on my property in Oregon. That’s why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, Governor Jerry Brown, The Oregon State House, The Oregon State Senate, Governor Kate Brown, which says:
My petition asks that we save the West from scotch broom. It has invaded Washington State beyond redemption. In Oregon there is still hope of controlling it. In California, it is making inroads And plants all over the united states have had a similar affect like kudzu, giant hogweed, Russian olive, Japanese Honeysuckle. In fact here is a list of plants to watch for. Don’t buy them.

Invasive Plants
Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia)
Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius)
Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera)
Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica)
Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)
Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)
Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum)
Fig Buttercup (Ficaria verna)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)
Hairy Whitetop (Lepidium appelianum)
Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale)
Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum)
Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Japanese Spiraea (Spiraea japonica)
Japanese Stilt Grass (Microstegium vimineum)
Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)
Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)
Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae)
Mile-A-Minute Weed (Persicaria perfoliata)
Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)
Old World Climbing Fern (Lygodium microphyllum)
Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
Purple Star Thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)
Quackgrass (Elymus repens)
Russian Knapweed (Rhaponticum repens)
Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.)
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
Sacred Bamboo (Nandina domestica)
Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)
Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)
Whitetop (Lepidium draba)
Witchweed (Striga asiatica)
Yellow Star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
Will you sign this petition? I’ve repeated my blog because friends complained the link did not work. I believe I’ve fixed it and I believe the subject was worth revisiting.
Click here:
If it doesn't work, copy and paste it to your url.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


A friend sent me an email about this guy from Tacoma, Washington. Jim and I had a similar experience at Salt Creek Campground near Joyce, Washington. This is a short and very neat video.

Here is the picture I took at Salt Creek in September of 2014:


We experienced the same emotions and respect and the whole campground came to attention.