Monday, September 26, 2011

Bugging out

Most of Landscape Management's forays into pest management are related to grubs, armyworms and billbugs. It's not often we get to venture into the world of larger insects. Of course when one shows up right outside our window (an 11th floor mind you), we tend to take notice.

We had a little trouble identifying this little visitor in the photo above.

With a little help from our sister publication Pest Management Professional and one of the publication's contributors, Gerry Wegner, we got this description of the creepy crawly.

"This is a leaf-footed bug, Leptoglossus oppositus, looking for a way to get into the building in preparation of overwintering. It is a fall invader."

Wegner is the Technical Director, Staff Entomologist for Varment Guard Environmental Services Inc./ProGuard Commercial Pest Solutions.

So this little bug is really bumming the office out -- not so much because it's unpleasant to look at, but more because it's a harbinger of the season to come.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rock on

One Portland, OR landscaper got a surprise recently when he spotted a semi truck that had dragged an enormous boulder down the highway.

According to a report in the Oregon Salem-News, the landscaper noticed that a boulder was missing from a turnaround near a local IKEA store. The man then followed scrape marks the boulder had left in its wake all the way to one of Portland's interstates.

On the freeway (we presume the landscaper was driving), the landscaper reportedly saw the truck with the boulder underneath it and notified police. Officers suspected that the truck driver drove the wrong way around the IKEA turnaround, catching the landscape boulder in his rear axle.

Hearing the news harkened me back to my mom's 60th birthday celebration, a National Lampoon's-like family trip to Door County, WI. My nephews were 2 years old at the time, and my mom thought it would be fun for them if we drove to Wisconsin in an RV. Why, I don't know.

When my dad and I showed up to pick up the small RV he'd reserved just outside Chicago, we found that the company had mistakenly reserved a 35-footer for us. In case you're trying to picture it, it was the size of a yacht. When we met up with the rest of my family downtown, my mom was so worried about the RV's size that she forbade anyone to drive in it.

That would have been fine, except that it's illegal to park an RV in Chicago. So my dad had to drive the RV to Wisconsin--by himself. The rest of us followed in two separate cars--my mom and I in one car and my brother and his family in the other. Every time we turned a corner, we had to wait for my dad to follow; the RV was so huge, he could never make the turn the first time.

And so it went throughout the 9-hour drive down highways and one-lane roads. Our drive began in daylight and ended at 1 a.m. And it ended with a flourish--with my dad driving the RV right over a decorative boulder at the resort's entrance.

He dragged the boulder up the long drive and across the parking lot, where the boulder became wedged so tightly beneath the RV that the camper came to a halt. I awoke at 7:30 a.m. to the sound of a jackhammer pummeling rock.

The best part about the whole thing was that my mom's car broke down the last day of our trip.

She rode in the RV with my dad on the way home. The kids rode with my brother.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Every tree tells a story

There's something special about those hulking old trees with their gnarled limbs snaking outward and upward. They just begged to be climbed. And few of us (at least when we were younger) could resist the appeal of wending our way through branches, a thick canopy of leaves protecting us from the harsh summer sun.

Mothers everywhere cringed at the very thought, their minds filled with worry about broken arms, but the allure was too much. Even as adults we might encourage our children to remain earthbound, but we struggle with the thought ... because we know. We know what it's like to dangle our legs from high above, to sit with a cool breeze gently rocking us on our perch, to relax without a care.

That's why it's nice to see a celebration of those trees. The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has put together a traveling photography exhibit — 2010 Landslide: Every Tree Tells a Story. The exhibition features 26 images of 12 different locations in the US and Puerto Rico, opens Sept. 16 at 21c Museum, Louisville, Ky., and runs through Jan. 8, 2012.

Landslide: Every Tree Tells a Story is an exhibit that travels around the country and will be open to those visiting Louisville, KY during the GIE+EXPO. The Davey Tree Expert Co. is the presenting sponsor.

Here's what the website says about the Louisville exhibit at the 21c Museum:
Olmsted Parks and Parkways ‐Louisville, Ky.
This system consists of three flagship parks (Cherokee, Shawnee, and Iroquois) and the six parkways that connect them, all designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and his sons. For more than three decades, the Olmsted firm shaped the city — 18 parks and 14.5 miles of boulevards in all — each designed in deference to natural topographic attributes. Today some 6,000 trees from the Olmsted design era provide the city its mature tree canopy. Photography by Bob Hower.

For more information about the exhibition, click here.