more disaster predictions

If you thought this post was disturbing, think about the results of a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which was reported in various newspapers yesterday.

The newspaper reports state that the study predicts:

a future of nasty extreme weather [that] also includes fewer freezes and a longer growing season….extreme events are the kinds of things that have the biggest impacts, not only on humans but on mammals and ecosystems…the scariest results had to do with heat waves and warm nights. Everything about heat waves — their intensity, length and occurrence — worsens.

That’s the big picture. There are little picture disasters happening right heer not far from Mother Mountain. In my local newspaper today is a piece about an alien (to this area) species of turtles (red-earred slider) being dumped into various park lakes and ponds because those who owned them didn’t want them anymore.

Home for red-eared sliders and other dumped species is south and way west of the Catskills. Right now, no one knows what kinds of diseases those turtles might have brought to this brave new (for them) world. All kinds of weird domino-falling stuff happens in nature.

That’s why scientists insist you not expose native species to invaders. Too much isn’t known.

One naturalist suggests that:

…some turtles, like red-eareds in Chinatown, are kept in unsanitary pens covered with visible fungus …. Fungus has been linked worldwide with the death of frogs. Harriman State Park’s native endangered northern cricket frogs are almost gone.

Could it be that the fungus introduced by turtles from Chinatown was what did in Harriman’s cricket frogs?

As a city girl from Yonkers who never owned anything that grew and needed to be fed until I was in my twenties, it sometimes amazes me what an affinity I have for the natural environment. When I moved here to the middle of the woods, I spent my first fall digging up naturally growing ground cover and flowering plants and moving them closer to the house.
Often, as I stand outside and absorb the forms of things out here — fallen trees and broken stumps, stones from boulders to rocks — I see them as natural sculptures. The esthetics of the natural environment. Sometimes I think about moving this limb here, that stone there — creating my own nature-based formations.
Alongside the long, steep driveway, there’s what’s left of the bottom of a tree that fell long, long ago. It’s looks like a four foot high spire rising out of the debris of the seasons. One side of it has rotted away on the inside, down to six inches from the ground. I’m thinking that, in the spring, I will try to find some flowering vine that tolerates shade and plant it in the hollow dead trunk — a combination of nurture and nature, the living and the dying.
Appropriate for this place, this time.

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