2013 Archive

Do-do birds and Model Ts: Another revelation in Uganda

Ugandan days are like dog years; one day here seems like a week at home. How long have I been awake? What have I done today? The never ending road trip to Gulu. My soul-renovating afternoon with Innocent and Sister Rosemary. My complete gut-punch, perception-redefining epiphany in the ensuing hours.

All work and NO PLAY!

A summer scholarship with the Noble Research Institute is serious business. There's no rest for the weary when you have feral hogs to trap, plant taxonomy to learn, 5 a.m. cattle to work and an all-day softball tournament to attend.

I found a jewel in Africa

His name is Innocent. He's 8 years old, and his body is misshapen. In the place of arms, Innocent has short stumps, one of which has a small usable appendage. His left leg is shorter than the right by a few inches, causing him to run on his toes. When he slows, he staggers like an Old West gunslinger, sauntering down the street. But Innocent rarely slows.

The slums

As we leave Kampala on Day 5, I witness a sight forever burned into my mind - the slums. On the northern edge of the city, there is a valley filled with what I can best describe as shanties. The expanse of this area freezes the mind.

First Week

Perhaps it's just the week that I started, but thus far my time at Noble has taught me that there will be no such thing as an ordinary week.

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby never traveled this road

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby traveled a lot of roads together. During the 1940s and 1950s, the crooning duo traversed the Road to Singapore, the Road to Zanzibar and a smattering of other exotic roads in a series of classic Hollywood films. Each road inevitably leads the pair on a wacky misadventure that inevitably includes the lovely Dorothy Lamour.

Mountains to Grasslands

Living on a farm teaches one a lot of things; for instance, that nature decides the present and future activities of each day. In my home state of Virginia, the mountains exhibit an air of majesty and power as they stand guard over the green rolling hills where the breeze rustles the tall grass.

Forage allowance determines stocking

Why is forage allowance important? Forage allowance is related to the more familiar variable - stocking rate.

Small farm project demonstrates basic land management

One challenge facing the agriculture industry is the ever changing educational needs of producers. A growing segment of landowners are new producers who want to pursue a rural lifestyle or fulfill a dream of participating in agriculture.

Drought must be considered when applying prescribed fire

Fire is a natural process to which plant communities have adapted. Drought, which in recent years has been a major issue in the Southern Great Plains, is also a natural process to which these plant communities have adapted.