Thursday, March 31, 2016

Phunom, Myanmar

The orchards in Phunom are on hills with at least a 50 degree slope.  Almost impossible to walk up or down.  The trees are pretty short so they didn’t need a lot of pruning.

The road to Phunom from either Teddim or Kalay, is on the top of the ridge, shale; and there are landsides everywhere.  You can see where the road has fallen off or is starting to move.  The road is 2 lanes but mainly ½ a lane.  So you get to drive …very… close… to… the side of the road, and in looking down, it is a long, way to the bottom of the canyon.  In most places, the bottom is ½ to over a mile straight down.

We drove the road six times without any incidents.

Now Phunom village is on one of these hillsides.  Along the roadway, houses are built on stilts so the houses can hang over the edge of the road.  Some had a 30 foot drop.

I was told there would be 35 in the classes.  40-47 showed up.  So the last day, everyone got a grafting knife.  I had to pull out every knife I had since there were 12 extra people.  There were 5 villages so each village got a Corona saw.  I only brought three pruners so the host, the interpreter and the local Extension agent got a long handled pruner that they were to SHARE with others.  The people were happy campers.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


The western tent caterpillar webpage at the PNW Nursery IPM website has been updated because the egg hatch occurs at bud break of its hosts. About now. Robin


TODAY  - Yangon, Myanmar.  From my hotel window I could see where there used to be 12 plus greenhouses, they are now in various degrees of demolition.  Workers everywhere taking down the metal frames, breaking up the concrete floor, saving the red brick and stacking the metal side panels into piles.  The size of the greenhouses looked like they were probably for flower production, like the old Chase flower garden by Autzen Stadium, which has also gone away.  This story repeats itself, again.

Now it is 6:38 pm, dark.  Two small fires are burning on the property.  Two groups of people look like they are preparing their evening meals. They live on the demolition site.  The fire was from wood from broken trees branches.  Their home – unsellable pieces of cardboard or broken metal.  They were working out in temps that ranged from 65F in the AM to 97F during the major part of the day.

7pm.  Fires are done.  The temp is a nice 84 degrees. Found out the two groups live on the property so others don’t come and rob the demo site.

Each time I come into my room after watching the workers, I turn down the air conditioning unit.  Three times now.  Does it matter, does it help?  One room out of 513 rooms, no, but I feel that I helped out a tiny bit!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Off for a while

Off to Myanmar for two weeks. Part of that time will be in the mountains without electricity. Hum, fun!!?? Commons and posts may be few.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Friday March 4

There's lots of WIND and rain on the way, and yes, plenty of mountain snow.

Today will be pleasant and dry, before a wet and blustery weekend arrives. California will be slammed with potentially damaging wind and heavy rain late Saturday; strong wind over Oregon.  Cool showers to follow the front, so no drying expected into early next week.   

Overnight Monday another system will approach the PNW, so rain returns. Wednesday night a strong storm will skirt up the coast, ushering in more WIND (esp NW WA) and rain across the region. No break in the action because early Fri a powerful storm may strike the west coast yet again. Therefore, strong WINDS, heavy rain and piles of mountain snow (blizzard type event possible) over an extended period from Fri Mar 11 through late Tue Mar 15.

The rain bucket will get full.  Vancouver Island will continue to be slammed with rain as the week of Mar 14 ends, the rest of the PNW may get a tiny break in the storm action. The weekend of Mar 19, 20 in trending WET, BLUSTERY.

Generally, the rough weather will benefit the snow pack for all of the west coast. At the valley level, colder air this time of year usually presents heavy showers after passage of the cold fronts, with HAIL possible. Travel over the mountains will be a challenge.   Rufus