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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Seems to me

Photo not taken: Seven inches of snow we got last night on top of the foot of snow we got last weekend.

* The story of pioneer Iowa: From wetland to farmland:

The transformation of wetland to farmland added hugely to Iowa’s agricultural wealth and was celebrated as progress. State law solemnly declared that drainage of water from agricultural land shall “be presumed to be a public benefit and conducive to the public health, convenience and welfare.”
Drainage begins with a network of underground tile or perforated pipes in individual fields. Excess soil moisture seeps into the underground lines, which empty into ditches or pipes, which in turn carry the water into creeks, streams and rivers.
It took nearly a hundred years before people realized that wringing the water out of agricultural land is not an unqualified good. Besides the loss of an ecosystem, there is the matter of drainage systems mainlining nitrates into drinking water.

* Why The Butterflies Are Gone:

But much of the threat is tied to the monarch caterpillar’s choice of food: the milkweed. A new report from environmental group Center for Food Safety blames agriculture giant Monsanto for the widespread destruction of the plant. Monarchs lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed. The plant can be found in and around corn and soybean fields. It has been able to coexist with the changes in agriculture for decades because it is one tough customer....
But the introduction of genetically modified crops, developed by agricultural giant Monsanto to be resistant to herbicides, allows for heavy doses of Roundup, which targets the very thing that has kept milkweed standing tall all these years. “Glyphosate, sold by Monsanto under the (brand) name of Roundup, is one of the very few herbicides that is effective on milkweed. Unlike many other weedkillers, once absorbed it is translocated (moved internally) to root tissue, where it kills milkweed at the root and so prevents regeneration,” the report says. Because crops have been engineered to withstand Roundup, it is applied more frequently. The use of it year after year on the same fields prevents milkweed from getting a break to re-establish itself.

* Center for Food Safety: Monsanto's Roundup Ready Crop System Puts Monarch Butterflies at Brink of Extinction. (Contains link to report.)

* One Day in Your Life: February 28, 1977.

* Throughout my entire childhood, we had a "burning barrel" in the alley behind our fence. A couple times a month, my mom burned everything paper: Newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes, milk cartons, egg cartons. If it was paper, she burned it. Occasionally, she would throw in an empty hairspray or shaving creme aerosol can. BOOM! Good times. It's what I think of whenever I see an empty oil drum.

* Photos: Roll out the barrels.


From the archives.

* You just turn your pretty head and walk away........ (James Gang.)

Posted by Marie at March 1, 2015 7:18 PM