Loose Ends from March

Sometimes I come across interesting things, but there is just not enough to write a whole post re.  Here are some of them.

Self-driving Monster Tractors

Below is a giant tractor I saw on a farm on the Northern Neck.    It can drive itself.    It is equipped with a GPS, so once it learns the field it doesn’t require a driver to drive.  GPS is a fantastic technology that has gone from unbelievable science fiction to practical commonplace within a few years.   Soon I wonder if trucks and trains couldn’t drive themselves.   They would just need some kind of collision sensing systems and some of those are already available.

Green Buildings

Below is a LEED building.  It is theoretically built to good environmental standards, a “green building,” but  LEED is the elitists brand for “greenness.”     I think in the long run Green Globes will be the way to go.  I admit that I am a little annoyed with LEED.  They don’t recognize tree farm wood as ecologically sustainable and if they don’t like my forest I don’t like them.   They also tend to favor European sourced wood over North Americans supplies.  I think we should be more interested in actual environmental achievement than in the political correctness.  The narrow definition of sustainable timber also raises the cost of building.   Read more about the comparison here.  American Tree Farm System tend to be smaller land owners.  We are not so politically savvy, but we do a good job with our trees.


Polish glassmakers were among the first settlers at Jamestown and Polish heroes like Pulaski and Kosciusko participated in our war of independence.   KazimierzPulaski wrote to George Washington, “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.”  At the recommendation of Ben Franklin, Washington took him on.   Pulaski is called the father of the American cavalry.   He died of wounds he got at the battle of Savannah in 1779.  Below is his statue on Freedom Plaza near the Whitehouse.

Willard Hotel

The Willard used to be the classiest hotel in Washington.  Lincoln stayed here.   When Grant came east, he checked into the hotel.  Grant was an unassuming man and nobody really noticed when he came in, until the clerk read the name on the register. 


This is a local small town in Maryland.  I don’t know how it is actually pronounced.  I just think it is a very funny name.

Erodible Soils

Soils in tidewater Virginia are a mixed bag because they have often washed down from other places.   They are also not very stable and erosion is a constant challenge.    This picture shows some of the soil stratification.   It picture is not an example of erosion per se.    The farmer who owns the land uses this soil to make berms to protect other soils.