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Bayou-Diversity (26 April 2020) Until the middle of the 20th century few people in the South escaped an occasional medicinal dosing of a chemical derived by intentionally injuring native pine trees. The chemical was turpentine and its uses were legion. Turpentine was derived from the resinous gums of pines, most often longleaf pine, also known as pitch pine, wherever it occurred. This resin contains the volatile hydrocarbon terpene. Turpentining involved chopping v-shaped notches into living trees and collecting resin that flowed from the wounds in boxes below. The cuts are called “catfaces” for their resemblance to a cat’s whiskers and the scars can still be seen today on some old tre

Peregrine Perils

Bayou-Diversity (20 April 2020) In the spring of 1996 a feathered bolt of lightning launched from the top of a skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis. During her maiden flight the young peregrine falcon tested long, pointed wings that make her species the fastest fliers on the planet. She soon learned to knock the city pigeons from the sky by sheer force of impact and returned to roost at her nesting site on top of the office building. Peregrines are found around the world and have been worshiped by kings and sheiks for centuries as the most sought after weapon in the ancient sport of falconry. Admiring owners harness the prowess of semi-tame falcons to hunt game birds. They have also serve


Bayou-Diversity (5 April 2020) I have come to the conclusion that alligators don’t travel well. It’s an opinion based on several incidents that have occurred over the years in my dealings with these survivors from the age of dinosaurs. Historically alligators were found throughout Louisiana but were always more abundant in the coastal marshes and along the major river systems. Beginning in the late 19th century market hunting for their valuable skins decimated wild populations to the point that biologists feared the species might become extinct. For that reason all harvest of alligators was banned in 1963. Within ten years alligator populations recovered dramatically, and the added sh


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