In Case you Missed It

It’s late September and the usual topics are relevant again. How much heat do you really get in a cord of wood (not all cords are created equal)? Do filters really help with the smoke? What is that spider? (Cat-faced spiders are in evidence this time of the year) Where are all those bugs coming from?

Firewood Rankings by Species

The change from burning forests to burning wood is coming fast – and while we use a lot of firewood, we rarely look at just how much heat each species produces, or at how much a cord weighs.  This chart, from the California Energy Commission, ranks production by species, and shows the weight of a…

HEPA Filters and Wildfire Smoke

As I stepped into Trego School on a warm smoky afternoon, I developed a sudden admiration for HEPA filters. About a month ago, I wrote about the school’s new HEPA filters, purchased as part of their Health and Safety plan. As it turns out, HEPA filters are excellent for wildfire smoke. HEPA filters are good…

Ask the Entomologist: Massive spider

This past week I had an identification request from a bit closer to home. This giant spider was perched right below one of our windows and my wife wanted to know what it was. While I’d seen and admired her webs before, this was the first time I met the web’s weaver. She must have…

Refugees from the cold

As the year goes by and we feel the weather shifting towards winter, we find more and more insects in our homes. By and large, these insects are trying to get out of the cold, and find our homes just as good an answer as cracks in treestumps, downed wood, or burrows beneath the frostline.…

Fires by Year and Partial Duration Series

When I listened to the explanations that the California and Oregon fires were worse than ever, and resulted from anthropic climate change, I did what I usually do.  I checked for data and found statistics at the National Interagency Fire Center. The table I found lists both number of fires, and acreage burned by year,…

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