Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Summary #20


Twenty! Gee whiz! I think it's time to stop numbering, I'm beginning to feel repetitious although it's not.

First, sad and ironic: The tycoon who recently bought the Segway company [see picture above]-- the people moving invention -- was riding the rough terrain version on his estate in Yorkshire, England when he drove off a cliff and fell into a river and drown. Sometimes wearing a hard hat doesn't help.

More people moving: an ideal city, planned to be a mile square, is under construction in the desert near Abu Dhabi. So far only 3-1/2 acres are complete. It will have underground transportation in the form of programmable individual cars that will take you where you want to go with no further guidance from the rider.

More urban information: Italy has the most expensive electricity in the EU. More than 700 municipalities have erected alternate power systems [solar and wind] and are now making more power than they need. It seems that even their venerable and often beautiful cities, economics have trumped local "heritage preservation" -- something that is slowing the erection of wind turbines where I live on Cape Cod.

As for little creatures: We know about the upsurge in bedbug infestations, at least in the NYC area. In rural Maryland it is stink bugs that are causing problems. They eat the leaves and fruit in orchards. They are appropriately named and not only operate somewhat like skunks emitting a nasty scent when irritated, but smell more pungently if killed. They sometimes wander out of those orchards into lawns and even into houses. I do remember a few from my growing up years on an Indiana farm and I think I'd know their smell anywhere.

Slightly more cuddly creatures, coyotes,can now be found in 49 of the 50 states. DNA tests of coyotes who have only made their way to the Eastern seaboard in the last 30 or 40 years, show that they have interbred with wolves, presumably wandering through Canada on their way east. They are somewhat larger than Western coyotes, their coloring is more varied -- brown, gray, mixed -- and they not only hunt the usual small animals like gophers, mice, shrews, rabbits [and urban legend says house cats] but will hunt as a group and kill deer which western coyotes don't do. I am a bit jealous that most people I know claim to have seen a wild coyote but I never have.

1 comment:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- I have seen many coyotes in the west. The Oregon coyotes I have seen are small. Yet, the many I have seen in New Mexico were large. I would say that not all western coyotes are small, although I hear that refrain quite often. Those in New Mexico are beautiful and have probably interbreed with wolves as I have been told that New Mexico has wolves. Coyotes do not attack humans, if anything they just display a certain curiosity about them. But if you try to feed them, because they are wild, they can bite. A bite that you won't forget. It's like the bears in the national parks -- if you try to feed them they may lash out at you. They are wild animals so people should stay their distance. I'm not an expert on coyotes or wolves, what I say above is all from personal observation. Good post as usual -- barbara