3 ½ Trillion Trees!
Yale University along with Google Maps recently did a survey of planet earth and determined we have more than three and one half trillion—twelve zeros—trees growing among us which works out to over 400 trees for every person on the planet. Sheeze—I thought I was doing well tending to my eleven trees on Whitetail and now I’ve got another 400 to think about? Still, the study gave us some good news because it was thought we only had about 400 billion trees populating our land areas.
Now for the bad news: way back when the dinos and other creatures were getting their footing we had north of seven trillion trees covering the earth. So what happened? We came along. Yep, humanity is largely to blame for the decline in tree numbers and the causes are many. From deforestation to pollution to land acquisition to human carelessness, we’ve been doing a pretty good job of reducing our tree numbers by about fifteen billion trees a year. The day may come when trees will only exist in pictures.
So the question remains: what do we choose to do about it? This past summer and even into the present fall of the year we’ve heard the trumpet sound to stop and take notice. The fires that raged and continue to burn took millions of acres of forests. When we saw our Giant Sequoias being hosed down for protection against the onslaught of flames we should have shaken off any remaining complacency and stood ready to restore the ravages of nature and humanity. The short answer is a simple one: plant a tree yet this fall. Water it until the ground freezes and the tree should weather an Iowa winter unscathed.
Better yet, plant lots and lots of trees! Have grandchildren? Plant one in honor of each—the eleven we have on our residential lot were so planted. Plant trees as living memorials to both honor one who has passed through this life and to attest to a future when that tree may well remain but you will not. We do not plant trees for our delight alone; rather, we plant trees for the future yet to be born.
Sadly, we are on the verge of a major loss of
trees with the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer.
In a decade or less the Dubuqueland area will
lose thousands of trees to this invasive insect.
We didn’t learn the lesson from the earlier loss
of our native Elm trees in the 1960s and we’ve failed to learn it again with the Ash. When we plant trees we must diversify—plant several different species of trees so we do not have one single specie dominate.
We will never see a planet with seven trillion trees any more than we’ll see dinosaurs roaming about. Still, we can become better stewards of the earth we have and add to the canopy of trees protecting us from the sun, from a decaying ozone layer, and from pollutants while churning out millions upon millions of cubic feet of healthy oxygen. So, take care of the trees you may have and add to that number where possible.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices hearty rye bread
4 cooked Cremer’s Brat Patties
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 thin slices deli Swiss cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1 teaspoon butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, buttered side down, on baking sheet;
2. Melt remaining 1 teaspoon butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bratwurst in single layer, weigh down with Dutch oven, and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side.
3. Whisk mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, relish, and salt together in bowl and spread evenly on facing sides of each bread slice. Place 1 slice cheese on each of 4 bread slices, then layer each with one-quarter of sauerkraut and browned bratwurst, finishing with 1 slice cheese. Top
with remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side up; press down to flatten. Bake until golden brown
on both sides and cheese is melted, about 12 minutes, flipping sandwiched halfway through baking. Serve.
Q: At a recent garage sale, I purchased a shoebox filled with rhinestone costume jewelry from the 1940s and ‘50s. Most of them look like designer pieces. Can you recommend a good price guide to help me determine current values. I only paid $5 for the collection. — Susan, Omaha, Nebraska
A: It sounds like you got a good deal. In recent years, rhinestone jewelry has become extremely popular with collectors, and that has caused prices to soar. Although there are several excellent price guides, I highly recommend “Rhinestone Jewelry: A Price and Identification Guide” by Leigh Leshner and published by Krause Books. It features more than 500 illustrations in full color, and details the beauty, history and current market value of all types of rhinestone jewelry. There also is information on how to care for costume pieces.
Q: I have a Japanese tea set that has more than 50 pieces. It is pre-occupation. What is it worth? — Joyce, Victoria, Texas
A: Your question is much like someone asking me what a car is worth. If the car is a 1935 Packard,
it is probably worth major bucks. On the other hand, if it is a Yugo, it’s likely not worth much. Identification marks on porcelain identify both the maker and sometimes the period it was crafted. This is its pedigree, and without this basic information it is impossible to determine much about your set.
Q: I own an unopened copy of Michael Jackson’s 1982 “Thriller” album. I would think this would be a collectible. --Tamera, Crossville, Tennessee
A: A quick check of eBay shows an album in mint condition selling for $50, with one still sealed in its original packaging offered at $185. As with most collectables, condition is everything.
Q: I have a 1909 Sears & Roebuck Catalog published by Venture Book Company in New York. How much is it worth? --Charlotte, Marion, Illinois
A: Your catalog is not an original from 1909, but rather a re-issue published in 1979. According to several book dealers I contacted, it is worth less than $10.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor does he do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
© 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Cooking for Pets
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: You’ve written often about cooking fresh, healthy (and safe) meals for pets, referencing cookbooks as guides for your readers to use. Those are great but now that so many of us are online, don’t forget that a lot of good videos are available for free that show how to cook for pets!
— Jerry C. in Lafayette, La.
DEAR JERRY: You’re absolutely right — there are numerous online resources for pet owners looking for great recipes for their dogs and cats.
Cooking fresh food for pets does take extra time, and owners must be careful with the ingredients they use, from spices to additions like onions (which are poisonous to dogs). But giving your
pet a fresh meal once or twice a week is a great addition to its diet. Some might even consider feeding their pet an exclusively home-cooked
diet, but doing so does require a transition
period to get used to cooking for one’s pet regularly and adjusting recipes for sensitive stomachs if needed.
There are a lot of videos online showing ways for pet owners to cook for their pets, but finding them can be a bit of a chore. YouTube is home to a lot of these videos: For example, Google the Doggy Cooking Network, Salmon Pup Cakes for a demo of the YouTube-based series that features recipes for dogs. Or try Linda’s Pantry, another YouTube series, which outlines how to make a week’s worth of homemade dog food.
As always when cooking fresh for your pets, review guidelines on what ingredients aren’t safe for them. And monitor your pet whenever you introduce any new food or treat.
Send your questions about pet care to email@example.com.
© 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness and of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love.
The cruel beauty of nature, and everlasting beauty of monotony.