Thursday, March 26, 2020

Following Quercus garryana

I am making another attempt to be a tree follower (squirrelbasket/tree-following). My effort last year HERE was a fail. The problem was the tree was on a long vacant property that shortly shortly became not vacant. The tree remains, but I was unable/unwilling to trespass to get a good look to identify the tree. 

I have plenty of trees on our own property and I am only just beginning to get my head around the nuances of the forest. For this year I will follow a new tree.  

Quercus garryana 
Garry oak or Oregon oak or Oregon white oak 

I planted this tree last spring. The fence is to keep the deer from nibbling the tree. The soil is very hard glacial till. In western Washington oaks grow in the excessively well drained prairie sites, but there are patches in drier areas of the San Juan Islands as well as the Columbia River Gorge and valleys on the east slopes of the Cascade Range.

Samish Island is within the rain shadow of the Olympic Range and hence a bit on the dry side. There are oaks on the south facing bluffs of the island and I noted a small stand across Samish Bay on the lower slopes of Chuckanut Mountain. The biggest challenge to the oaks is shading out by taller evergreen trees - particularly the Douglas firs.

Not much to report at this late winter early spring time. Waiting for the leaves to come out and seeing if the tree tolerated saturated ground conditions from the very wet winter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Covid Nonpharmaceutical Intervention -Lessons from 100 Years ago

Vox News (coronavirus-social-distancing-economy-deaths) notes the consequence ending school closures and banning public events too soon. The article is a take on a 2007 JAMA paper that analyzed data from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic (Nonpharmaceutical interventions implemented by US cities during the 1918-1919 influenza). Informative regarding methods to tamp down pandemics that were used 100 years ago and still apply today. And a cautionary story of ending interventions too soon. And perhaps suggests that the CDC guidance as well as state health decisions should lean towards closures to 3 or 4 months or more depending on how this pandemic proceeds.       

A chart showing St. Louis’s flu deaths during social distancing measures.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

You can be a COVID hero -- from your own home

I have a loved one in Illinois and found this message on sheltering in place worth sharing.

I am fortunate that in my work avoiding social contact is an easy task. It is very rare that I meet clients or attend meetings. What meetings may take place are easy to avoid. For others this virus is a much harder dilemma.

Maybe this chart and vox article will add some perspective. I know that when I saw this chart a few weeks ago I started to isolate as much as I could.

Be healthy and be a hero.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

HU Ranch Coulee by Bruce Bjornstad

Another great ice-age flood video by Bruce Bjornstad. This dry falls in a deeply incised fracture in the basalt is a bit east of Palouse Falls.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Late Winter View of Two Volcanoes

Much of Washington State enjoys views of volcanoes. In northwest Washington, Mount Baker is the scenic mountain. I can see its summit from my office window although much of it is obscured by intervening lower mountains. The view of Baker is typically better a bit further back from the mountains. Crossing the Samish Flats in Skagit County, I had a nice view of the mountain through a gap in the Northwest Cascades.  

Mount Baker on the left with summit just above the cloud.
Jagged peaks in the center are the Twin Sisters 

Seeing Baker on a clear late winter day is great. While taking in the view of Baker, it crossed my mind that the other volcano I had observed earlier in the day was about the same distance away as the view I had of Baker. So I took a picture of Baker with the same focal setting I had used earlier in the day when taking a picture of Mount Rainier. When I got home I checked the distances and both picture locations were about 31 miles from the subject mountain.

Mount Rainier 

The view of Rainier from Pierce County southeast of Tacoma is a bit of jolt. 4,000 more feet of elevation and the corresponding mass is an awesome site to take in.