Bear Attack

I attended a fall garden seminar at the local Ag Extension service and learned that there’s a lot of things I’m doing exactly right; and some things I’m doing that are exactly wrong. Or maybe the science hasn’t caught up with me yet. It generated about 2 days worth of new work but I’m right up to speed. According to them I don’t use enough chemical fertilizer. My garden is about 1200SF and I use a 50 lb bag over the course of a couple growing seasons. And I just use a standard general purpose fertilizer without benefit of extensive soil testing to determine what’s really needed. Well it’s not exactly correct that I use standard fertilizer – I juice it up with epson salts, bone meal, match heads, egg shells, and sugar. I didn’t give up my magic formula – not sure the master gardener I was talking to was mentally prepared. My composting program is right on target and my soil looks better than theirs. They did tweak my interest in hydroponics and a technique for growing veggies in a bale of hay. I successfully raised hydroponic lettuce in Utah during the winter months so I know that works. These folks had a technique that used a kid’s wading pool as the basic water container. Might try that but I doubt it. The hay bale is really interesting and I plan to dig into that a bit deeper.

George came over this morning to tell me about a bear attack on his bird feeder last night. I had noticed that my neighbor on the north’s trash can was knocked over but thought maybe it had blown over in the storm that came through yesterday. My own trash can was right where it should be. Later in the day I went out to the front deck and noticed that our concrete statue of a boy with a fishing rod was knocked over and broken into three pieces. That statue is fairly substantial and probably weighs 50 pounds so it took a fairly good knock to break it. Had to be the bear. I talked to Andrew, next door, and he said he saw two bears the night of the attack. It was about 10PM when he heard his trash can get knocked over and went out to see what was going on. I was ambivalent on the newly enacted bear hunting season but now I’m wanting them to substantially increase the quota. We’ve got to think twice about going out at night into the ultra dark. There are lots of critters wondering around in the night and you really can’t tell the difference between a bear or an armadillo walking in the brush. I don’t know if the statue can be repaired or not but I have some ideas.
bear attack

I wonder which puts out more carbon into the atmosphere forest fires or coal power plants? Seems to me the EPA should cut all the stupid subsidies for solar power, wind power and ethanol and put that money into forest management or at least more substantial fire fighting technology.

Here’s a current picture of the viburnums Si and I cut back to raw sticks a couple of months ago. I’m putting this one along side the ice maker as a total victory. These bushes had been trimmed back to zero foliage – basically stumps – and we had some concerns that they were goners. We’ve soon got to decide whether to just let them grown untrimmed into bushes or cut away the new growth below a certain level – trimming them more into trees than bushes.
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