Thursday/ the mighty mountain pine beetle

My scheduled flights back to Seattle are now a half hour earlier.  As I get into the taxi to get home from Seattle airport at 10 pm, there is still a band of light sky on the horizon.  (The sun sets at 9.10 pm!).

I read about the problems that national parks in the western states here in the USA are having with mountain pine beetle infestations : it’s scary.  Mountain pine beetles attack several types of pine tree, including ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, limber pine, bristlecone pine, Scotch pine and Austrian pine. Beetles seek out the oldest trees, preferring ones over 80 years old.  Thousands of years of instincts help the pine beetle locate the oldest, most stressed trees.  In the natural cycle, pine beetles are important factors in helping to maintain the health of a forest .. but this surely is too much of a good thing at work!

What can be done?  From the Colorado State University’s website : For a long-term remedy, thin susceptible stands.  Leave well-spaced, healthy trees.   For short-term controls, spray, cover, burn or peel attacked trees to kill the beetles. Preventive sprays can protect green, unattacked trees.

Mountain Pine Beetle
Picture and information from an article in Bloomberg Businessweek.
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This is gate B22 at Denver airport and I am about to step on for my flight back to Seattle. The new airport hotel and train station is in the distance at the airport’s terminal. (The external window pane fittings have progressed no further from the previous week).

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