Sky, okra, spider:
The spider, a Golden Silk Orbweaver, Golden Silk Spider, Banana Spider, Nephila clavipes:Continue reading
Hm, it’s a black spider Continue reading
A Call for Skepticism
by Steven K. Roberts
If ever we needed a demonstration that the fundamental flaw in many arguments is a lack of discrimination regarding information sources, we have it in the Nels Konnerup article, “Toxicology 101 Defended,” in the March 26 issue of the S/C News.
The author makes a “plea for cogent thought, rather than a visceral reaction to the use of pesticides and herbicides,” and cites a number of references “authored by highly qualified and respected scientists.” So far, so good.
But just for fun, I spent a few minutes researching some of these sources to see if I could determine the affiliations and biases of their authors.
Matt Flumerfelt’s writeup actually conflates two different county commission meetings, but gets the gist right:
The fate of the tree canopies lining the rural road were thought to hang in the balance. Several residents spoke in favor of the paving, citing dangerous conditions along the road during periods of stormy weather.Oh, the beaver will be mad. I forgot to mention the beaver.
John and Gretchen Quarterman, whose ancestors lent their name to the country lane, led the fight to preserve the road in its original pristine dirt-road condition.
The forest along Quarterman Road is “a scrap of the longleaf fire forest that used to grow from southern Virginia to eastern Texas,” said John Quarterman following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This forest has been here since the last ice age.”
Quarterman Road, pre-paving, was the kind of dirt road down which Huckleberry Finn might be envisioned skipping barefoot with a fishing rod projecting over one shoulder.
It was the kind of road near which Thoreau might have planted a cabin.
“Many people don’t know that a longleaf pine forest has more species diversity than anything outside a tropical rain forest,” Quarterman said. “In our woods, we have five species of blueberries, …
For pictures of what lives in the forest, see longleaf burning gopher tortoises, snakes, frogs, bees and butterflies, spiders and scorpion, and raccoon, and beautyberry, pokeberry, passion flower, pond lily, ginger lily, Treat’s rain lily (native only to south Georgia, north Florida, and a bit of Alabama), thistle, sycamore, palmetto, mushrooms, lantana, magnolia, grapes, yellow jessamine, dogwood, and native wild azaleas.
The VDT has a good picture of Gretchen cutting the ribbon.
But it’s not over just because one road project is completed:
“More people around the county seem to be paying attention these days. Commissioners tell us that already another road in the county has had its canopy saved during paving, and the commission has promised residents of Coppage Road that if their road is paved, their canopy will be saved. Commissioners even seem to like the idea of recognizing canopy roads as a feature of quality of life for residents of the county and for visitors.”
We have a forest. The county just has roads.
Now let’s go see what they’re doing to the rest of our roads. And schools, and waste management, and biofuels, and industry…. If you’d like to help, please contact the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.