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Monday, August 10, 2009

North Dakota officials releasing tens of thousands of weevils

North Dakota officials releasing tens of thousands of weevils to battle Canadian thistle.

"Canada thistle is considered North Dakota's worst noxious weed infesting more than a million acres.

Officials in North Dakota plan to release 100,000 bugs this fall to fight it.

The weevils munch on the plants' stems, and inhibit their ability to survive diseases and winter weather. They've been released in North Dakota before, five years ago, and in other states from California to Montana.

Now, the state Agriculture Department plans to use about $18,000 in federal grant money to free about 50,000 of the bugs at nearly 50 sites. And a regional natural resource group in southwestern North Dakota is sponsoring a similar release in a 10-county area, with about the same number of bugs but double the sites, using about $25,000 in federal grant money.

A Utah State University entomologist, Edward Evans, says patience is the key. He says the bugs appear to reduce stands of Canada thistle, but it can take years."

"A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily.They are usually small, less than
 6 mm (¼ inch), and herbivorous. There are over 60,000 species in several families, mostly in
 the family Curculionidae (the true weevils). Some other beetles, although not closely related,
bear the name "weevil", such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum), which belongs to the
 family Anobiidae.

What is ironic about this event is that many weevils are damaging to crops, in other words some people would describe weevils as insect pests. It is great to see that insects once considered "pests" to be found to be something totally different. Of course in this case the weevils are being used by human beings ultimately for our own good:to get rid of the thistle.

The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) damages stored grain. The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) attacks cotton crops. It lays its eggs inside cotton bolls, and the young weevils eat their way out." (source:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.