Archive: May 2013 - Deborah Tuite

The Importance of Preserving Our Past

Towering over the English village of Tysoe are the remains of a windmill. A public footpath alongside a hedgerow trimmed with cow parsley takes me on a cardio-hike to the peak of Windmill Hill to enjoy stunning panoramic views. Just over the crest and tucked neatly into a secluded valley is the grand estate of the Marquess of Northampton, Compton Wynyates, to whom the mill belongs. An Internet search reveals little about the history of the tower mill. An old tapestry shows a windmill once existed on that same site; however, the first recorded note of the surviving structure was 1725. Struck...

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Talk to me, tree! Gypsy Moths in the Shenandoah Valley

Chasing gypsy moths in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is still at the top of my list of fun jobs! The moth is an invasive species whose ravenous larval form marched across the state in a destructive swath of defoliated forests. The caterpillars threatened to destroy valuable veneer-quality trees of the Appalachia Mountains and disrupt the delicate ecology of the headwaters of the Shenandoah River. The State of Virginia and the United States Forest Service hired me and other biologists and foresters to survey the population of the moth, manage affected areas, and share with the community operative...

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Monk Eilmer

Flying! It is a strange yet, for some, persistent and driving innate force. And given that long-standing desire to take flight, there’s a good chance that other attempts had been tried before the first recorded account in the eleventh century. Monk William of Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire, England, recorded the event more than a century after the acclaimed glide, but the tale of the hapless human who took wing retains a respectable edge of credibility because of the monk’s reputation for being one of the most significant historians of his time. Twelfth century abbeys were places of study,...

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