Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stale Blog

This blog is almost as stale as a forgotten loaf of moldy bread. I've been meaning to get a post up about how absolutely AWESOME life in Frederick is, but I've too busy enjoying myself. Last Sunday Jeff and I went out for a beautiful mtb ride in the watershed. We rode directly from our apartment! What a treat! Absolutely no vehicles were involved in what can only be described as the most beautiful ride EVER ...the leaves are changing ...the air is crisp ...the hunters can't shoot stuff on the Lord's day ...I brought my camera ...but didn't want to interrupt the ride for a photo shoot I snapped one on the way home ...while Jeff was choking on his Powerbar.

In other news, the invasive exotic species of the month is ....

Tree of Heaven/Chinese Sumac
(Ailanthus altissima)

This is a particularly pesky species in the Frederick County Watershed. As the name implies, it is a native species of China and was introduced to these United States in 1784 through the handy work of a gardener in Philadelphia (way to go buddy). It is a rapidly growing deciduous tree that can quickly out compete native species, creating a dense thicket, further impeding native species from surviving in the understory (kind of a microcosm of our current economic situation).

As if this wasn't bad enough, the sap of the Chinese Sumac is highly toxic. Should you decide to manually eradicate this bothersome botanical be sure to wear gloves so as not to absorb the sap. This lesson was learned the hard way by a 24 year old tree surgeon who suffered three days of fevers and chills after working with this loathsome shrub. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, "this toxin may have miticondrial mechanisms of action consistent with the pathophysiologice characteristics of transient myocarditis." (Frederick County Forestry Board, 2007).

So, the take home message is ...don't bring back plants from China and take more photos on long mtb rides in the fall.


Anonymous said...

Mountain Bike Utopia! I can't help to notice that Jeff has a sweet ride. Can you give any details?
- K.N.

Anna said...

It's a stock '08 Top Fuel 9.9 SSL (Team Edition paint job) with full Shimano XTR and Bontrager Race X Lite parts, and RockShox SID.

And indeed, Frederick is a little known mtb mecca.

mikejoos said...

your a plat genius!!!