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2016-2021 Book Reads > After the Wildfire by John Alcock

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message 1: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1574 comments Mod
After the Wildfire Ten Years of Recovery from the Willow Fire by John Alcock by John Alcock

I just finished this book and wanted to recommend it. I will discuss some of the issues from my review soon. Feel free to check it out. Pressing the Like button helps to spread the word. Anything that helps educate the public is a good thing.

message 2: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1574 comments Mod
Here is the first part of my notes:

I guess you call this book a ten-year effort. The fire was in 2004 in Arizona and the author kept going back to study the recovery.

He studies a catocala moth. It has expendable hind wings that are brightly colored. Two possible evolutionary reasons. A bird may grab the wing and pull it off while the moth escapes. Or the bright colors may frighten a predator for just a precious second or so to allow the moth to escape. Both may be true.

Lightning strike fires are rare. Most are started by careless humans. Fire suppression has added to the problem. In one incident, a stranded motorist started a fire to be rescued. She had to be saved by helicopter.

Barley seeds are often spread in fire-damaged environments. Now scientists are recommending native seeds to help with runoff and to help the native plants. However, the results are not positive for helping native plants.

He finds a green lynx spider but is disappointed at the lack of scientific papers. Where are all the arachnologists?

All amphibians--frogs, toads, and salamanders--are having a difficult time now. They are the canaries in the coal mine. They are dying off because of habitat loss, drought, fungal infections, polluted water supplies, you name it. The author discusses tree frogs. Great creatures. I can actually communicate with grey tree frogs in my yard. I make a noise and they respond. They think I want to do you know what with them. I feel a bit guilty when I slink off later.

Like many scientists, John Alcock believes it may already be too late to stop global warming and destruction. We may have passed the tipping point.

message 3: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1574 comments Mod
Here are more of my notes:

Mr. Alcock also makes a clearcut statement about the dangers and consequences of overpopulation.

Monarch butterfly larvae need protective cardiac glycosides and can only get them from milkweed. Plant milkweed wherever you can. And please don't use Roundup. And please never support its manufacturing in any way.

Mastodons and mammoths were probably the creatures that helped spread prickly pear fruit.

The question is asked: does the male tarantula allow the female to eat it so that she can get the nutrients and survive to pass on his genes? All insects that do this must be studied separately. In some creatures, the answer may be yes.

Mourning cloak caterpillars assemble in a group to eat a leaf. Why? In spite of their appearance, are they still tasteful? It's possible that a group discourages birds because it looks like a large creature.

A green grasshopper tends to stay on green leaves and plants. A brown grasshopper tends to stay on the ground imitating fallen leaves.

In Australia, a cane toad was introduced to eat insect pests. Turns out, it ate more native frogs than pests. But is it possible that some "invaders" can actually have a beneficial effect? Or no effect at all?

Why do leaves turn red in the fall? Still many unanswered questions.

A deer may show its white tail when it is alert to a predator. This may be a warning to the predator not to waste its energy. Both sides benefit.

A male damsel fly made love to a female that was being killed by a spider. It kept going after the female was dead. The author also has spotted a male choosing a dead female to mate with.

He sees two spiders battle. Why? I once observed two spiders in battle. Made no sense. It's a 50-50 chance you die. Why do it? The author thinks cannibalism may benefit the winner. That does not apply to all species of creatures.

". . . prickly pear cacti, some with dark red fruits still waiting for a glyptodont to come along." What a cool line. It's a wonder the cacti survived.

Monarch butterflies feed on milkweed. Round Up has decimated the plant endangering the insect. We need to plant milkweed, and never use any Monsanto product. Avoid all pesticides. Development also destroys the fields where milkweed grows.

Some places like the Mojave Desert need 75 years to recover because of their dryness.

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