Climate Change?

2018-06-04 - 

Climate change?

All the world’s a classroom if the student is willing.  Like everyone else I read about climate change and look for evidence in the real world - or at least the world in which I live.

I don’t necessarily need another scientific study to support what I can see.  I can see the changes.

I’ve been connected in one way or another to the “family” property in New Hampshire for over 60 years. I grew up here, inherited it from my mother, rebuilt it, and maintain it.  That alone  is a bit of work as there are always weeds to pull, floors to sand, outside walls to paint, and gutters to clean.

There is also landscape to maintain - weeds to whack, lawns to mow,  brush to cut, trees to remove, and wood to cut, split and stack.  And there are, now, always vines to yank, rip, tear, and burn.

Over the last 15 years, we have been invaded by Oriental Bittersweet - a deceptive name.  The name sounds elegant, but the reality is ugly.  This orange rooted vine climbs up trees, spreads across the crown of trees, weights down the top, and eventually topples the tree, often breaking it in half - only to grow on to the next tree.  Invasive is an understatement of New England proportions.

It grows rapaciously, without stop, without end.  I yank its orange roots out and burn them as often as I can.  If left untended the vine would cover the entire property, the town, the state, the eastern seaboard.



Celastrus orbiculatus is commonly found in old home sites, fields, and road edges. The fast growing vines can cover, shade and outcompete other vegetation. It can even girdle and kill large trees. Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit, thus distributing the seeds. It hybridizes with Celastrus scandens, potentially leading to loss of genetic identity for the native species. It was introduced from China around 1860 as an ornamental. (

Image result for oriental bittersweet invasive mapCheck out the map of its spread throughout the Northeast. It’s spending north and west - just like the increase in temperatures.


I don’t necessarily need another study - oriental bittersweet is my reminder that climate change is real. 

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