Rambling through central Illinois, pondering what fungi gossip about.
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The more the years pile up, the more small victories matter. So it was with considerable happiness that I laid out the facing page, where you can read a column by Jeanne Harland. You may recall Jeanne from years past when her writings appeared in this paper. You may also recall we mounted an attempt to bring Jeanne out of retirement. And thanks to all of you convincing readers, she has done just that. Watch for her columns once a month. … Speaking of columnists, gardening writer Ron Dieter recently wrote a timely piece about wind turbines likely becoming a fixture on the Peoria County landscape. What tipped him off were meteorological towers north of Brimfield. Why mention this? Because the news has not appeared in the Peoria Journal Star. Once upon a time, JS staff would have been all over this story. No way a gardening columnist would scoop the county’s biggest daily paper. But that’s what happens when you have a daily paper whose owners just don’t care. Kudos to Dieter.
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Finally, there’s an explanation for why I can’t find morels. Researchers say fungi can communicate, using up to 50 words to “talk” to each other. Like me, you may wonder if researchers drank mushroom tea before publishing. But assuming the results are based in fact, this explains a lot. Morels hear me coming, spread the word and hide. … Speaking of morels, check out the tiny one pictured above that Roger Woodcock of Farmington found by itself in a bare spot Tuesday in Fulton County.
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Mother Nature is taking her time this spring. Say what you will, but everything except for Fred Lantz’s asparagus is behind schedule. What to do? Well, “Be patient with your impatiens” and other tender plants says David Christy, whose Yates City Greenhouse opens April 20. “Don’t plant pepper plants any time soon,” he said. “They are sensitive.” Pansies are one plant, ironically, that’s tough enough to handle cold nights. … So there I was Monday, all set for a big night of streaming the Farmington and Williamsfield school board meetings. But on my computer there was no sound to go with the YouTube feed from Farmington. And Williamsfield’s stream was down due to “technical difficulties.” As a tech-challenged old guy, I empathize with anyone who battles the demon computer. Are there perhaps IT-minded students who can help? … Parting shot: Count Mark Suits of Yates City among those not eager to see wind turbines on the horizon. He could be near a 60-turbine Fulton County field and is not excited. “It seems as if the state of Illinois and the windmill companies just don’t care about how the citizens feel about their proposals for these coming to our area.”
Contact Jeff Lampe at (309) 231-6040 or email@example.com