Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Dear Patron,

Tonight, in the sky at sunset, will be an interesting show of planet light. Take a moment to enjoy the presentation!
(From SpaceWeather.com)
The night of closest approach is June 30th, when Venus and Jupiter will be only 1/3rd of a degree apart. If you have binoculars or a small telescope, point them at the planets. Both will fit in the same field of view, allowing you to see the fat crescent phase of Venus and the moons of Jupiter simultaneously. It's a great way to end the day.
Just step outside after sunset and face west. Venus and Jupiter are less than a degree apart. Don't wait until the sky fades to black. A tight conjunction of Venus and Jupiter framed by twilight blue has a special beauty that you won't want to miss.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Spotted cucumber beetles - out in lage numbers

VegNet Regional Pest Trends for the Week of June 22nd, 2015

VegNet is an insect pest monitoring program funded by the Oregon Processed Vegetable Commission and managed by the Oregon State University Department of Horticulture. To add your name to this newsletter, please click the ‘subscribe’ button on the homepage. For a review on how to interpret VegNet tables, click here.
  • Counts of Spotted Cucumber Beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata M. – 12S) on sticky traps are much higher than normal for this time of year (see FIG.1). As grass fields dry down and are cut, 12S often invade the surrounding landscape, which can influence sticky trap counts. Sweep net sampling is recommended to determine actual 12S pressure within snap bean fields. See last week’s report for more information about the 12S beetle.
  • Although some areas had elevated numbers of Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella L. – DBM) this week, the valley-wide average is comparable to historical norms. DBM action thresholds vary depending on the vegetative stage of the crop; new transplants are at greater risk for injury than older plants, but the risk increases again at button stage due to potential for contamination by pupae. More information on DBM biology and risk assessment can be found on the VegNet pest profile page.
FIG. 1 – Spotted cucumber beetle activity is very elevated this week. A mild winter combined with high temperatures over the past few weeks could be to blame. Close proximity to neighboring grass fields can affect detection levels as well. This graph shows trap counts so far this year compared to 2009, and to a 10-year average (1999-2009).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hot weather

Detailed Forecast
Sunny, with a high near 91. North wind 5 to 9 mph.
Tonight   Mostly clear, with a low around 58. North northwest wind 6 to 9 mph.
Friday   Sunny and hot, with a high near 97. North wind 6 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
Friday Night   A slight chance of thunderstorms. Mostly clear, with a low around 62. North northwest wind 7 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Little or no precipitation expected.
Saturday   Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Light northwest wind.
Saturday Night   A chance of thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday  A chance of thunderstorms before 11am, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday Night   A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 60.
Monday   Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.
Monday Night   Partly cloudy, with a low around 58.
Tuesday   Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.
Tuesday Night   Partly cloudy, with a low around 59.
Wednesday   Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.
Mike Bamberger
Emergency Preparedness Manager
Oregon State University

PS this is the 1000th post on this site.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Senegal 2015

June 21, 2015
Another life changing evening in Senegal
Father’s Day in Dakar, Senegal
After resting the afternoon on June 21st in Dakar, Senegal after 16 some hours traveling (this was a short trip, as most of our trips take around 40 hours), I decided to go for a walk around the area of the hotel. I emptied out all of my pockets except for my phone and some money.
Up the street to see what was up there.  Pretty run down, lots of people walking around so that is a good sign.   I crossed over the street and followed a lady carrying a bucket on her head, a bucket in her hand and baby strapped to her back. 
Down the street, back toward the ocean.  A few pharmacies, no grocery stores, lots of metal gates like in Tajikistan.  Crossed over to the other side of the main street and started to head back toward the Amdre Hotel. 
The street before the hotel, there was a group of people in the middle of road and 50-60 small kids, 6-15 years old; very dirty, no shoes, and clothes in a tater.  Reminder, the world is a harsh place to live.  How quickly we forget the real world, the real hunger, the real need for help around the world. 
I stopped and just observed. A group of people were handing out bread and tea to the small children, AND the taxi drivers, AND anyone who was in need of a drink and bread. They offered the gift to anyone who would stop.  This went on for at least 45 minutes.  The kids looked like they had not eaten in a long time; this was a real act of kindness happening right before me.  There were four adults who seemed to be making sure as many people could get the bread and tea as possible.
Everyone got a piece of bread and cup of tea.  I asked one of the adults if they spoke English and they did.  I asked for the leader, who was one of the adults wearing white.  This group gives out bread and tea to the homeless, the young and older kids, the taxi drivers and anyone in need.  I told them that I was working with growers up north to help them grow more food for their families.  That brought on a lot of positive fist crunching and high fives by all of the adults in the group.
It was the young kids that were the heart puller, so frail, munching down the bread and tea as if it was their last meal.  It was heart tearing to see the condition of the kids.  The ”bread” group said they are also a humanitarian group, as I.  They are working with the poor people in Dakar and I am working with the poor farmers of St. Louis.  Kindred souls.
My heart is full tonight.  My wallet is less full.  They got 10,000 CFA, but don’t get too worried, that is only $20USD. 
We are so spoiled and so blessed to live in America.  This is one reason I go to these different countries.  1 – to help them grow more food for their families;  2- to observe and be reminded that we, in America are so blessed;  and 3- we need to NOT forget the poor, the needy, and the rest of the world.  My mantra – helping one family at a time, one pruner at a time; one loaf of bread and one donation at a time.