Cedar-Apple Rust Gall

>> Sunday, April 25, 2010


Following yesterdays rain we began seeing these alien looking things hanging on many of the cedar trees.  What in the world were they?  It seemed evident that they were some type of fungi.  After doing a bit of research we discovered that this is the Cedar-Apple Rust Gall. 

The following information is taken from the Kentucky Pest News Newsletter.

“Rust-infected Juniperus species (cedars and junipers) are revealing bright orange evidence of the rust fungi infecting them during moist periods this spring.  In Kentucky, we commonly see three different rust fungi on cedars and junipers, often on the same tree.  These rust diseases are cedar-apple rust, cedar-hawthorn rust, and cedar-quince rust.  All three rusts are caused by different species of the fungus Gymnosporangium, each of which must spend a phase of its life cycle as a parasite on Juniperus species such as native red cedars or ornamental junipers.  The other phase of the life of these rust fungi is spent on susceptible alternate hosts such as apple, crabapple, hawthorn, mountain ash, pear, and serviceberry.

 Cedar apple rust.  The cedar-apple rust fungus (G. juniperi-virginianae) forms light brown to reddish or chocolate brown galls in the leaf axils of infected Juniperus species.  These galls are usually rounded and range from pea-sized to 2 inches in diameter.  As galls mature, the flesh becomes corky and the surface becomes pitted with circular depressions.  In spring, following rainy periods, slimy, yellow-orange tendrils, or “spore horns,” up to 2 inches long swell and protrude from these depressions.  A gall may produce many spore horns, which cause it to resemble orange-colored blossoms from a distance.  Severely rusted Juniperus can be very conspicuous.”

From the reading I did I found that these galls apparently do no harm to the cedar trees but can do damage to the apple trees.  There may be damage to the leaves and on the fruit as well.  It can weaken the trees and can cause them to eventually die.  In some areas in past years laws were passed requiring all cedar trees near apple orchards to be destroyed.  As many cedars as we have here on the farm that isn’t an option.  Hopefully, our young apple trees won’t suffer too greatly.


What Was I Thinking?

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

In an earlier post I mentioned hauling home rocks that had been used for the foundation of the old house I’m tearing down.  I have since hauled even more home and there are a few more to bring.  We have had a flower bed in the back yard that is far from level.  The richer soil seems to migrate to the lower edge.  I decided that I would use the rocks to enclose this flower bed.  That was a bit of work but hauling soil and filling it in is also taking time and a toll on my back.

Now that I am nearing completion I found a recent listing on the “local” Craig’s List.  It was captioned,  “Handhewn Antique foundation stone - $500”  The ad states,  “I’ve got about 40 ranging in size from 12x12x5 to a couple 12x12x36.  These are HEAVY”  What was I thinking?  Mine were just as nice and heavy, I used approximately 40 of them on the flower bed and I’ve expended a lot of time and effort, and just think, I could have made a few hundred dollars (perhaps).  Anyway, pictured here is the project nearing completion.

As you can see we have to move a few more plants before I can finish filling in the flower bed.  Several have already been removed, some planted elsewhere and others awaiting being replaced in this bed.


Report On Our Big Adventure—Entry #3

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Late Tuesday afternoon, March 16th, we were getting some good views of the Rocky Mountains.


As we got nearer to Glacier the views got much better.

It was getting into late afternoon or early evening when we made our trip through Glacier.  Shortly after reaching Glacier we were able to spot a small herd of elk right near the railroad.  I had my camera in hand but it wasn’t ready to take a picture. 

The above photo and the ones following are just a few of the shots I attempted.  I just picked out a few to share.  I’ll share a few more that I took on our return trip in another report.

The railroad tracks have a number of curves and are in many places right on the side of a mountain.  The next photo is one of several I took of the train we were travelling on.  As I mentioned before we were in the next to last car on the train and we were able to see the front section when making some of these curves.

As can be seen here, the cars on the Empire Builder are “double decker” cars.  On the coach cars, such as we rode, the seats are “upstairs.”  On the first level were the restrooms and some luggage storage.  There are some special seating that can be reserved, as we found out on our return trip.  Several ladies and their small children had reserved those seats and had an area that was pretty private.

Shortly after 8:00 P.M. we crossed the continental divide at 5216 feet above sea level.  Actually, Marias Pass is the lowest pass between New Mexico and Canada.  It was the pass sought by Lewis and Clark and which was finally established by John Stevens, with the assistance of a Blackfeet Indian guide, while on a mission for the Great Northern Railway in 1889.  Just past the actual top of the pass I spotted this obelisk and snapped this picture.  I found later that it is a monument to President Theodore Roosevelt.

By the time we reached the western entrance to Glacier Park it was getting dark.  Connie and I were delighted to see the evening star and the small crescent moon. 

Until the next installment.


Report On Our Big Adventure—Entry #2

>> Sunday, April 4, 2010

Before continuing my report I wanted to mention a few things. Some of the photos are not as good as I would have liked but there were several factors working against us. The train windows were dirty. We also got quite a bit of reflection on the glass at times. The train was moving at various speeds and unless pictures were taken looking forward of backward there tended to be a great deal of blurring. Now on to more of the report.

We were quite tired on Monday evening and it wasn’t long after it became dark as we traveled toward Minneapolis-St. Paul that we settled back and tried to sleep. The lights on the train were turned down and quiet time was requested—cells phones turned to vibrate, all electronic gadgets to be use with earphones, etc. Even station stops were no longer announced over the P.A. The conductor or attendant was responsible for waking those scheduled to disembark—a destination tag was displayed under the seat number. I think I slept through some of the station stops entirely. I did wake up when we pulled into the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN station around 10:30 P.M. We were there for 45 minutes or so but I went back to sleep and was not aware of us leaving or stopping at the next several stations.

Sleeping on the train in Coach Class wasn’t too bad. The seats reclined some and we were given a small pillow to use. Most of the time when I did awaken it was because I was getting a stiff neck from the position I was in and I would have to reposition myself. When I did awaken early Tuesday morning it was difficult to know where we were. It was pretty easy to observe that we were in an area where Winter was still with us. The photos below (although with some reflection) were taken after daylight between Rugby and Minot, ND. These were taken from the observation car and I think there was more reflection there than in our own car.

IMG_1845 IMG_1847

Around 11:00 A.M. we stopped at Williston, ND. This has a bit of a special interest to us in that it was the home town of Ardis who was the bridesmaid at our wedding. I took this photo of an old locomotive that sits across from the Amtrak station. On the return trip I stepped off the train and snapped the picture of the station.

IMG_1849 IMG_2165
Shortly after leaving Williston, ND we crossed into Montana and Mountain Daylight Time zone. Here are a couple of pictures taken in Eastern Montana.

IMG_1851 IMG_1852
Going across Montana I saw quite a number of antelope but never had my camera ready when I saw them. The top photo below was taken West of Malta, MT and East of Havre, MT. In was in this area that we pulled into a siding to await the passing of the East bound Empire Builder, as seen in the bottom picture.

IMG_1855 IMG_1856 In my next entry I’ll cover our approach to and our trip through Glacier Park.


Report On Our Big Adventure—Entry #1

>> Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Big Adventure began Sunday, March 14th.  The day was spent taking care of all of the last minute details.  We left home about 5:45 P.M. and drove to Bowling Green, KY.  Darryl went along to drive our van back home.  Our Greyhound bus was scheduled for 7:40 P.M., however, it was running late.  Another bus came and we were told we could take it to Louisville but we would have to transfer to the bus we were waiting on to go on to Indianapolis.  We decided to just wait.  Finally about 8:30 we boarded our bus, a very crowded bus.  We were not able to get seats together.  I was one row back and across the aisle from Connie.

All passengers had to exit the bus in Louisville and we were told we would be there for about 30 minutes.  About an hour later we resumed our journey.  The bright side was that quite a number of the passengers had to transfer at Louisville and the bus was not quite so crowded.  Also, as we were re-boarding we got to board before any new passengers got on and were able to find seats together.  Even with all of the delays we arrived at the Indianapolis bus and train station about on time, about 2:00 A.M. 

This photo is of the bus we rode to Indianapolis.  The picture was taken at the Indianapolis station after we arrived.  The side doors are open so luggage could be unloaded.

We had purchased our Amtrak tickets on-line and had gotten only a confirmation.  We took this to the Amtrak ticket counter and obtained our tickets for the entire trip.  Then it was wait once again.  The Hoosier State train #851 was scheduled to depart at 6:30 A.M., but, it was also running late.  Instead of arriving at Chicago’s Union Station at 10:35 A.M. we arrived about 11:15. 

This did not present any problem for us as we were not scheduled to depart on the Empire Builder until 2:15 P.M.  Our wait wasn’t quite as long as we anticipated.  They began boarding senior citizens, handicapped and families about 45 minutes prior to departure time.  The train is made up of two trains, train #7 going to Seattle and train #27 going to Portland.  The train is split into two separate trains at Spokane, WA.  Since we were going to Portland we were in the rear section, actually the next to the last car.

IMG_1827  This is a photo of our car taken shortly after boarding.

IMG_1833 Connie settling in for the cross country trip.

IMG_1832 The trains enter and leave Union Station underground.  This picture was taken as we began to move.  The Chicago River in the foreground and the Chicago Sun Times Building as seen from our seats.

The day was cloudy and a bit overcast most of the day on Monday, March 15th, as we travelled from Indy to Chicago and as we headed toward Wisconsin.  But, shortly after getting into Wisconsin the clouds disappeared and we had sun the rest of the afternoon.

IMG_1835 We had station stops at Glenview, IL, Milwaukee,

WI, Columbus, WI, Portage, WI and here at Wisconsin Dells.  The photo above was taken just after pulling away from the station and as we crossed the Wisconsin River.  Connie and I had visited the Dells several times in past years so this was a familiar sight.

Shortly after the next station stop at Tomah, WI we went through our first tunnel of the trip, a 1,350 foot long tunnel.  The photo below was taken as we approached the end and a bit of outside light could be seen.

IMG_1837 As we neared La Crosse, WI and crossed into Minnesota we ran out of daylight.  Here is a picture I took of the sunset.

IMG_1841 I’ll continue the report of our Big Adventure in my next post.


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