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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Natural solutions

  • Spee Dee Lube has either gotten a new sign, changed their sign, or I have not been very observant. I first noticed this blue lighted sign flashing along Neosho Boulevard a week or so back.
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  • Spee Dee Lube has either gotten a new sign, changed their sign, or I have not been very observant. I first noticed this blue lighted sign flashing along Neosho Boulevard a week or so back.
    The sign uses blue and green lights to make its advertisements, announcements, and such, even though most advertising signs are red/yellow. The Spee Dee Lube sign also has a red, white and blue segment which states "Support Our Troops." The sign is patriotic and eye catching.
    The early mornings have been quiet along Wildcat Boulevard the last couple weeks. For some reason, the car traffic seems greater, but wildlife traffic has been almost nonexistent. I still hear the shrill call of killdeer down by the football field and wonder why these birds don't head south. Don't they realize this is winter?
    All my life I have been interested in wildlife and things in nature. I recently read that falconers have been hired to fly their birds over oil refineries. The birds flying overhead scare starlings who like to roost in the complex pipes of refineries.
    Some people suspect the starlings also like the warmth put out by the refinery operations. Makes for warm sleeping. Refinery operators do not like the messes the starlings leave. Falcons scare them away.
    One day I could not help think about an article I had read about peat. I always thought peat was only dug and used by northern British Isles people. Minnesota also harvests peat from bogs in the wet, wooded northern part of the state.
    This peat is not dug and made into peat blocks like I had seen in National Geographic pictures. The peat bogs are drained and allowed to dry on top. Then the peat is harvested by huge vacuums that suck up the dried peat.
    Most of it is packaged and sold as a soil supplement for gardeners. A small part is also burned as fuel. After a bog has been vacuumed time and time again for several years, it is flooded and allowed to go back to being a bog. Reclamation is simple, and all that happened to the bog is that it is a few feet deeper. With time, it will fill in.
    Scientists estimated Minnesota has seven million acres of peat bog. Alaska has much more. In the future, could these peat bogs become an important and natural source of energy?
    Take a walk, use those signal lights, allow nature to solve many of man's problems, and see what you notice or think about while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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