Tag: Noel Kirkpatrick

Moving trees!

The tree that houses our internet connection has died!

Our local arborist from Liberty Tree Enterprises is on the property tomorrow, Wednesday, to fell a dead tree. It is the tree that has our Outreach Internet wireless antenna attached to it very close to its top.

Outreach are standing by to re-install the antenna in another tree close by but it’s reasonable to plan for being off-line for a couple of days.

Thus, the following article that recently appeared on Mother Nature Network seems a most appropriate item to share with you all.

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How to tell if a tree is dead or dying.

by NOEL KIRKPATRICK, May 19, 2018.

A sick tree can infect the other trees in your yard. (Photo: Jannarong/Shutterstock)

A dying tree in a forest is nature simply running its course and eventually giving back to its ecosystem. A dying tree in a well-landscaped yard, however, can pose problems for other trees and everything else around it.

If you have trees near your home, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their health and to take action if you think a tree is dying or dead.

But first it’s important to be sure your tree is actually sick. This may seem like common sense, but some trees will exhibit signs of illness as part of their usual seasonal cycles. Kevin Zobrist, a Washington State University extension forestry educator, explains that some trees, like the western red cedar, will temporarily appear sick “due to normal seasonal dieback.” So the first step to identifying if a tree is dying is to identify the tree to make sure it’s not just behaving like it’s supposed to.

It’s also important to remember that not all causes of tree sickness are insect-related. Ailments can be the result of improper planting, diseases and weather-related events, like severe storms, winds and drought.

5 signs your tree may be dying

Strong winds can cause trees to lean out of their original shape. (Photo: kenkistler/Shutterstock)

1. Too much leaning or an otherwise odd shape. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), trees leaning 15 degrees away from their original vertical position aren’t doing so well. Trees that were originally straight that are leaning like this are likely the victims of strong winds or root damage. The InterNACHI says that large trees that are leaning due to wind “seldom recover.”

2. Cracks in the tree. These are deep splits in the bark of the tree that can be difficult to identify. Some trees are supposed to have cracks. But deep cracks and gashes can lead to serious issues and “indicate the tree is presently failing,” per the InterNACHI.

Trees aren’t big fans of cankers, either. (Photo: Ngukiaw/Shutterstock)

3. Trees can get cankers, too. Cankers are deeply unpleasant things for both humans and trees. In the case of our arboreal friends, cankers are areas of dead bark, the result of a bacterial or fungal infection, according to the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), a trade group for tree professionals. These infections get inside the tree through an open wound, and the stress of the infection causes the bark to become sunken or fall off the tree. A tree is more likely to break apart near a canker.

4. Wood shows signs of decay. Decay is often hard to spot because it often starts on the inside of the tree, according to TCIA. There are still signs of decay that you can see, however. Mushroom-like spores on the visible roots, stems or branches are clear signs of decay, and cavities where wood is missing also indicate that the tree isn’t healthy.

5. The tree has deadwood. This is exactly what it sounds like: It’s wood that’s dead. When a tree starts dropping branches or limbs, it’s a sign it’s trying to conserve resources by making itself smaller. In addition to being dry and easy to break, deadwood can also be identified by the color of the wood. If it’s bright green, the tree is still healthy. If it’s dull green, it’s dying, and if it’s brown, it’s deadwood. Be sure to test other branches from around the tree as it is possible that only that section of the tree is dying.

Arborists can help

Arborists can help you with many of your tree-related needs, including tree removal. (Photo: Evgeniy Zhukov/Shutterstock)

If you don’t feel comfortable making the call regarding your tree’s health, consult the professionals. Agricultural extensions organized through universities can help you determine the state of your tree, and let you know if trees in your county or state are experiencing problems. If you’re not sure how to contact your extension, the National Pesticide Information Center maintains a list of extensions in each state and U.S. territory.

You can also reach out to an arborist, also referred to as a tree surgeon. These individuals can help you determine the health of your tree and if a removal is necessary. If it is, many arborists can help you with that as well. The International Society of Arboriculture has an easy-to-use tool to help you locate ISA-certified arborists in your area.

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I hope that the above article has been informative and that you will understand why there may be a pause from this end.

So I will close the post by including another photograph taken on Monday afternoon of our tree that confirms that it has come to the end of its natural life and that if not felled could be a danger to the house.

See you soon (fingers crossed!)

Winter games

As seen through the eyes of an Australian shepherd dog.

Slowly perking up each day, so thought it would be good to share this short, delightful video with you all. As presented on the Mother Nature Network site.

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Australian shepherd loves to go sledding

NOEL KIRKPATRICK    January 3, 2018

When you think about dog sleds, you may think about a team of huskies pulling a sled across a snowy and icy landscape.

Perhaps you should change that image to an Australian shepherd confidently riding a sled down a hill.

Secret, a 3-year-old Aussie shepherd and the canine companion to 17-year-old human Mary, took advantage of there finally being enough snow to get some sledding in. And by “some” we mean around 50 shots down the hill, according to Mary’s Instagram caption. Secret drags her sled all the way to the top of the hill, hops on and gets her own snowy version of zoomies on as she slides down the hill. Once at the bottom, it’s right back up again, sled in mouth.

If only every day were a snow day for Secret.

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Well done, Secret. Gorgeous!

Saturday Smile

Yet another wonderful video to make your day!

(Seen on Mother Nature Network.)

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This border collie is so excited to be working at the farm


Noel Kirkpatrick August 19, 2017

The day on a farm starts so early that it’s easy to imagine that you’d get worn out pretty quickly. Unless you happen to be a border collie.

This border collie either paced itself all day, consumed an energy drink (kidding … please do not let your dog consume an energy drink) or just started its day, but the dog is so very pumped to spread some hay. The dog’s farmer companion can’t even keep up with the pup! The hay is barely on the pitchfork before the border collie has yanked it off the truck and shaken it around the ground.

This seems like an efficient way to spread hay, too. The border collie gets to expend some energy, the human just has to stand on the bed of a truck and the hay goes exactly where it needs to. After this, maybe they go and sit on the porch and admire their hard work. Or they go and herd sheep. Seeing the energy level of this dog, it’s probably sheep herding.

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Have a brilliant weekend!

Bath time!

Not just for dogs!!

At 11am this morning I am checking in to the local hospital in nearby Grants Pass for a colonoscopy. I am very hopeful that this routine examination will not find anything to worry about.

However, yesterday evening I had to take the first of two doses of Bowel Preparation ‘Kit’. That was after a full day staying off solids!! The second dose is being taken at 7am PDT this morning. One could take a tongue-in-cheek view that the results will not be a pretty site.  Once back home a decent shower and a lovely meal will be the order of the day.

So with bathing in my mind, let me share this recent delightful item that was published by Mother Nature News.

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Rub a dub dub, 2 dogs have very different experiences in the tub

Noel Kirkpatrick   April 4, 2017.

Getting pets into the bath can be a tricky endeavor, but these two dogs seem content to be in the tub. Now if they only had the same idea of how to behave there …

The husky on the right is just there for a relaxing soak and maybe a good shampooing. Its pal, on the other hand, wants to dig through the water the entire time as if there’s a bone somewhere buried just below the water.

To the husky’s credit, it allows its puppy companion to live in its own bath tub truth, but we all know that deep down it’s thinking, “I just wanted some quiet time and some cucumbers on my eyes. Is that too much to ask?”

Apparently, yes, it is.

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See you tomorrow!

All is takes is love!

Too easy to be very disheartened about us humans so this makes a wonderful contrast.

As seen on Mother Nature Network and republished to offer you all a ‘Saturday smile’.

Dolphin returns to the ocean with a helping hand from humans | MNN - Mother Nature Network
Dolphin returns to the ocean with a helping hand from humans | MNN – Mother Nature Network

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Dolphin returns to the ocean with a helping hand from humans

Noel Kirkpatrick May 4, 2016.

With a swish of his flipper, a dolphin named Octavius became the first to be rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild off Louisiana’s coast. The rescued dolphin returned to the Gulf of Mexico on April 29 after five months of rehabilitation and medical monitoring in Louisiana.

The process from rescue to release was spearheaded by the Audubon Nature Institute and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) with assistance from the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

After receiving a call from a private citizen regarding a washed up dolphin on Grand Isle Beach, biologists from the LDWF headed for the scene in October 2015 to see if the dolphin could be saved.

“We had a short window to diagnose whether the animal could be released or brought back to Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC) in New Orleans for treatment,” said Audubon’s Stranding and Rescue Coordinator Gabriella Vazquez. “He was lethargic and had short, shallow breaths. We attempted a soft release in the surf, but he showed no initiative to swim back into the Gulf.”

The dolphin was transported to FMASSC where the process to get him ready for reintroduction to the ocean began.

Determining if the dolphin — named Octavius in honor of the veterinarian working most with him — was ready for release was a multi-step process. Octavius was monitored for behavioral challenges, ranging from swimming and breathing to becoming reliant on and desensitized to humans. Octavius demonstrated no such issues.

“Dolphins are very intelligent animals. Over time, they can learn to associate humans and boats as a source for food, which is why it is illegal to feed them in the wild,” explained Mandy Tumlin, the Louisiana state stranding coordinator for marine mammals and sea turtles.

The next two steps Octavius had to clear dealt with his overall health. He demonstrated no signs of hearing impairment, a key component for dolphins’ survival. In addition to hearing, veterinarians checked Octavius’s blood for congenital defects or other medical problems that could make surviving in the wild more difficult.

Octavius passed all three of the steps related to release, but vets weren’t through just yet. Because of his potential age — vets estimated Octavius to be between 1 and 7 years old — Octavius was affixed with a tag to the dorsal fin by Dr. Randy Wells, director of the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

“The tag allows for satellite tracking as well as radio tracking. Since he could be a younger animal, this type of monitoring is necessary to ensure he is thriving back in the wild,” said Tumlin.

After all of this, Octavius was transported to Barataria Bay where he was released and swam back into the ocean of his own volition.

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Enjoy this video.

Published on May 2, 2016

A young dolphin has been released back into the waters off Louisiana’s coast after being found stranded on a beach a year ago. The Audubon Nature Institute believes that high waters and rough sears from Hurricane Patricia likely caused him to get stuck there. He was lethargic and short of breath. They named him Octavius and brought him back to their facility for rehabilitation. Before he could be released he had to reach milestones that include behavior and medical tests.