|Once again this year, flowers are repeat blooming way out of season...and petals are misshapen and pale and transparently thin.|
But this begs the question following (keep in mind I have no idea whatsoever a "conker game" consists of - and I'm not at all sure I want to! Leave it to the Brits for the macabre and bizarre...and for Christ's sake, stop fretting...oops sorry that's another topic, move on!)
"Mr Barter warned that conker games, including those due to be played at this Sunday's World Conker Championships near Ashton, Northamptonshire, might have to be played with "synthetic or virtual conkers" in the future. Organisers of this year's championships are already struggling to find enough conkers for the 450 competitors who travel from around the world to take part. A spokesman said they were short of at least 1,000 conkers and urged anyone within a 20-mile radius of Ashton to donate any decent ones that they could find.
The average conker has shrunk during the past few decades. Keith Flett, from the Campaign for Real Conkers, said conkers had halved in size during his lifetime. "Really large ones used to be about 2 inches [5cm] across; now on average we see a lot more that are about the size of a 10p piece, which is too small to be usable."
Let us ponder this statement more carefully and ask how it can be reconciled...
"The average conker has shrunk during the past few decades."
in the context of this one:
"the leaf miner moth...first emerged on a tree in a garden in Wimbledon, west London, in 2002..."
Clearly, the horsechestnut - or conker - trees, were having some fundamental genetic problems well prior to the introduction of the leaf miner moth!
RPauli, a fellow doomer - who is ever industrious and provides invaluable research - emailed me the following link to his query about ozone impacts on plants (with the subject: "here, go wild" which I promptly did).
Researchers examined the relationships between ozone pollution and bark beetle attacks on ponderosa pines and found that trees with severe ozone injury suffered changes to the structure and chemistry of the phloem tissues, reducing the natural resistance of the trees to bark beetle attack (Cobb et al. 1968, Cobb and Stark 1970)."
"Air pollution (ozone) can be one of predisposing factors that increases the susceptibility of mountain Norway spruce stands to attack by Ips typographus and associated bark beetle species."
"In several cases, stands adjacent to sites with higher ozone values were associated with higher bark beetle populations."
Oldest Daughter and Dennis are ENGAGED! Since I have been designated the wedding planner, it may cut into my time to blog on TEOTWAWKI. Nah, just kidding...