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    Do your part to protect your home from wildfire! – The Herald Journal - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    IDAHO FALLS, Idaho May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Idaho, begging the question, are you prepared? Wildfires threaten lives, property and precious resources every year. Firefighters and emergency responders are needed more than ever to keep Idahoans safe, so please do your part to protect your home from wildfire. Steps taken now can reduce risk to first responders and your private property should a wildfire ignite.

    Now is a great time to tackle home improvement projects as many of us have additional time on our hands. Consider making your property more resistant to wildfire. Take individual responsibility to reduce flammable material around homes and communities before a fire occurs to keep your families, property, pets, livestock and firefighters safe, said Fire Management Officer Joel Gosswiller.

    To mitigate the impact of wildfire, maintain a low-ignition landscape around your home. This firewise principle can dramatically reduce fire risk, while still offering a beautifully landscaped yard. Achieving a low-ignition landscape does require some manual labor but doesnt have to be expensive. Get started by working on the following tips:

    Fires need fuel, oxygen, and heat to burn. A low-ignition landscape reduces the fuel load both in amount of vegetation and height, which keeps fire at bay and reduces the risk of embers igniting the home. Taking the time to keep your yard clean and green can greatly increase a homes chances of survival if a wildfire occurs. Discover how you can make your home and landscape less vulnerable to ignition from a wildfire at

    Adhere to your state's outdoor burning guidance. Before burning, contact your local fire agency as smoke from open burning can cause unnecessary public health and safety concerns.

    In case of wildfire develop an evacuation plan to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your pets and livestock. Learn more at

    The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

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    Do your part to protect your home from wildfire! - The Herald Journal

    Spring lawn care and turf-free options – Standard-Times - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Allison Watkins, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Published 11:16 a.m. CT May 8, 2020

    A healthy thick green lawn can provide lots of enjoyment and beauty to the home. Not every home needs a lot of turfgrass though.(Photo: Getty Images)

    Lawns are one of the important foundations of most home landscapes, along with trees and shrubs.

    A healthy thick green lawn can provide lots of enjoyment and beauty to the home. Not every home needs a lot of turfgrass though, and turf-free landscapes are becoming more and more popular.

    Lawns tend to require the most labor and inputs in an average landscape, so reducing the total amount of turfgrass can be a good idea. But lawns dont have to be an enemy to the environment; efficient irrigation, good species selection, proper soil management and good lawn care practices can reduce the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides.

    Its all about balance the Earth-Kind method would include all of the above, and also recommends reducing the total amount of turfgrass to about one-third of the yard area. The other two-thirds can include things like planting beds, groundcovers, shrubs, decks, pathways, etc. Besides requiring less labor and inputs, these features can make the yard more inviting, interesting and functional.

    A turf-free landscape is a good option for those that dont need turfgrass.

    There are lots of options that can help create a beautiful green, lush yard that conserves natural resources and doesnt require weekly mowing; and it can be done in a well-designed, attractive way.

    Sprinklers should not throw a fine mist, but large droplets that make it through the air and into the soil.(Photo: rvbox, Getty Images)

    Try an internet search such as lawn free landscaping to get visual ideas and inspiration. Flagstone pavers with small groundcover growing in between, more beds for perennials and edibles, and turf-alternatives such as mondograss or native grass mixes are just a few of the many ideas and options.

    For those that do want to maintain a healthy stand of turfgrass, mowing and irrigation are some important tasks to focus on this time of year.

    Frequent, correct mowing and proper irrigation have the biggest impact on the lawn staying dense and keeping out weeds.

    Mow at the correct height (about 0.5 inch for hybrid bermudagrass, 1 inch for common bermudagrass, and 2.5 inches for St. Augustine), often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the height of the grass is removed at once.

    Allison Watkins(Photo: San Angelo Standard-Times)

    Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep rooting. One inch of water, once per week is sufficient in the hot dry part of summer, and once every two or three weeks is enough when its cooler in the spring and fall. Use an efficient irrigation method and consider converting sprinkler nozzles to a more efficient type if needed, such as a multi-stream nozzle. Sprinklers should not throw a fine mist, but large droplets that make it through the air and into the soil.

    Allison Watkins is the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for horticulture in Tom Green County. Contact her at

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    Spring lawn care and turf-free options - Standard-Times

    AJ Green ready to develop chemistry with Joe Burrow this season – 247Sports - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Cincinnati Bengals are heading in a new direction behind newly-minted franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. The Bengals drafted Burrow first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft after the signal-caller led the LSU Tigers to a national championship.

    Burrow was given the franchise keys after the Bengals released Andy Dalton last week. He will have an upgraded supporting cast with playmakers A.J. Green, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd and John Ross all healthy.

    Green is the Bengals' biggest offensive weapon. After missing the entire 2019 season with a left ankle injury, the NFL veteran is ready to develop chemistry with his new quarterback.

    Speaking with Bengals senior writer Geoff Hobson, Green is excited to help Burrow make the transition to the NFL and is willing to meet up and train whenever it's possible.

    We've been talking back and forth, Green said. We were talking yesterday and I know he wants to get together and throw somewhere. I told him wherever he is, we'll come to him. I don't know where, when, how. It's all who can fly where and when. He's the quarterback. He makes his location and we have to get there.

    Green is looking to get back to his Pro Bowl form. Since entering the NFL in 2011, Green has been one of the leagues best receivers. He has six 1,000-yard seasons and averaged 14.8 yards per catch in his NFL career.

    He is also a touchdown magnet. Green has 63 career touchdowns and been reliable making plays down the field. His production will be beneficial to Burrow as he learns to decipher NFL defenses this season.

    It's a process of trying to be great, Green said. You play this game long enough, you're going to have these bumps in the road and you have to keep fighting. That's where I am. Still fighting. I still love the game. I'm just ready to get back and play.

    To prepare for the season, Green has kept up with Burrows success. He told Hobson that he has watched a lot of film to learn on his new quarterback. He knows that Burrow will bring energy to the Bengals locker room.

    You have to respect his grind and his process the way he goes about his business each day, Green said.

    Burrow is excited to work alongside Green. After dominating the college football landscape with 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns, he will get to work with another elite-level receiver to help him navigate his rookie season.

    The thing about the NFL is there's good players everywhere, Burrow said. A couple of injuries here or there can really change a season and change you from a playoff-caliber team to a 2-14 team. So, we have what it takes. Whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do it. Hopefully, I can bring something to the team that is positive and brings about wins.

    The Bengals begin their 2020 season at home against the Los Angles Chargers. It will be the first chance for Bengals fans to see Burrow and Green on the field at the same time.

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    AJ Green ready to develop chemistry with Joe Burrow this season - 247Sports

    Mother of two empowers others through a life of gardening – Alton Telegraph - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Jeanie Stephens,

    Gardener and author Crystal Stevens, right, with her husband and two children who work together on the family farm and business, FLOURISH, in Godfrey.

    Gardener and author Crystal Stevens, right, with her husband and two children who work together on the family farm and business, FLOURISH, in Godfrey.

    Photo: Photos By Candice Pyle |The Telegraph

    Gardener and author Crystal Stevens, right, with her husband and two children who work together on the family farm and business, FLOURISH, in Godfrey.

    Gardener and author Crystal Stevens, right, with her husband and two children who work together on the family farm and business, FLOURISH, in Godfrey.

    Mother of two empowers others through a life of gardening

    GODFREY Crystal Stevens of Godfrey may not care for summer heat, but that hasnt kept her from doing what she loves: running a successful organic farm and plant nursery with her husband and two children.

    An expert in growing ones own food and herbs, the local garden enthusiast and three-time author launched FLOURISH in 2018 along with her husband, Eric.

    It just feels good to do what I love, she said. I wouldnt have it any other way.

    Being able to wake up and go outside at sunrise and tend to the crops is my favorite part, along with getting to show my children the seed-to-table process and being able to work side-by-side with my husband growing good food and working with plants, she said. We make a really good team.

    The FLOURISH farm, plant nursery and small apothecary operates on about 1.5 acres. It offers garden installation, landscape design and educational workshops as well as heirloom vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and pollinator plants. The couple, who have been farming together since 2008, have nearly 40 years of combined experience in farming and gardening.

    My mom got me into gardening, she said. She never really grew vegetables. She grew heirloom irises from her grandmothers yard. So its fifth generation iris flowers that we have growing in our garden, passed down for five generations.

    The plant nursery also sells a variety of fruit and nut trees such as service berries, hazelnuts and chinese chestnuts. Pollinator plants, like smooth sumac, are also available through the online store. FLOURISHs newly launched Community Supported Agriculture program offers a weekly harvest of its crops for a set fee. With the launching of an herbal foundations program last year, its products, services and opportunities continue to increase.

    Last year my friend Alex Queathem and I launched the Tend and Flourish School of Botanicals, which is an herbal foundations program, she said. Its like an herb school, basically, for the Midwest.

    A vegetarian since she was 13, Stevens said she has always had an interest in healthy eating and herbal medicine. Her path became more solidified when her father was diagnosed with cancer in 2000. Due to leave for college in less than a month, she instead got a job at a health food store to help her dad who didnt want to go through chemo and radiation.

    He was given six months to live, she said. I just started working there to get the supplements discount and discount on local produce and juice to bring to my dad, and he lived five additional years with acupuncture, healthy eating, medicinal mushrooms, herbal tea blends and herbal suppleme nts.

    The mother of two also has used her experience to author three books on gardening and farming, finding the transition from gardener to author came rather naturally.

    I just started writing, said Stevens. I was really interested in writing poetry and that kind of morphed into writing about gardening and farming and telling the stories of the land, stewarding land and anecdotes of a day in the life of an organic farmer.

    Worms at Work, Grow, Create, Inspire and Your Edible Yard offer gardening tips and simple ways budding gardeners can operate on a budget. They cover topics such as vermicompost, preparing and preserving harvest and growing food. She said the books are one way she hopes to cultivate a life of health, happiness and abundance for herself and others.

    It feels good to just be empowering others to grow food and simplifying it in a way that makes it accessible for people to feel like they can also start a garden, because it can be expensive, intimidating and overwhelming, said Stevens. I absolutely love working with plants.

    Stevens also makes public speaking engagements and offers educational workshops some at The Nature Institute in Godfrey geared to resilient living, gardening and compost, healthy eating and herbal medicine. She also spoke at Mother Earth News fairs across the country before the pandemic.

    For more information on FLOURISH, visit, or FLOURISH also sells at the Tower Grove Farmers Market and the Alton Farmers and Artisans Market.

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    Mother of two empowers others through a life of gardening - Alton Telegraph

    As spring gardens are planted, experts urge use of native plants – The Times Herald - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

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    Eve Meddows talks about some of the wildlfowers growing in her yard Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Fort Gratiot. Some experts are recommending people stuck at home during the quarantine to garden and landscape with plants native to Michigan, which offer ecological benefits for insects and the animals that eat them.(Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)

    With winter's cold fading away,Jeanne Mackay can see the wildflower blooming along the treeline of her Fort Gratiot home. The retired first-grade teacher at Pine River Elementary and master gardener still helps maintain a mostly-native flower bed at the school. She also helps maintain flower beds at Goodell's County Park.

    Master Gardener Jeanne Mackay shows a patch of Dutchman's Breeches growing in her yard Monday, May 4, 2020, in Fort Gratiot. Some experts are recommending people stuck at home during the quarantine to garden and landscape with plants native to Michigan, which offer ecological benefits for insects and the animals that eat them.(Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)

    With greenhouses and nurseries open for the beginning of spring, gardeners may be making plans for the season. Some experts recommend gardening and landscaping with plants native to Michigan, which offer ecological benefits for insects and the animals that eat them.

    "By planting exotic species, we're depriving (wildlife) of a food source," Mackay said. "So the first asset is the ecosystem benefit."

    Ellen Meadows of Blue Water Garden Club said she's been incorporating more and more native plants into her garden each year. Right now she's growing cone flowers, different colors of black-eyed susans and more.

    "The native plants are good because it brings extra butterflies and moths to the area," Meadows said. "And it also brings different birds."

    Most of the native flowers in Meadows gardens are perennials, meaning they come back each year without having to be replanted.

    This time of year, Meadows is seeing some of her perennials pop up. The native plants are also fairly low-maintenance compared to some non-native plants.

    "You don't have to take care of them like you do certain roses, or like my petunias and things like that need a lot of water every day, especially in the heat," she said. "The native plants are pretty much self sufficient."

    Michigan Audubon Conservation Program Coordinator Linnea Rowse said native insects are closely tied to native plants, with the Monarch butterfly being a notable example.

    "There's many insects that are tied to one specific type of plant," Rowse said. "Monarchs are tied to milkweed, their caterpillars can only survive off the leaf."

    Healthy insect populations are particularly important during bird breeding season, when they need the food for their young. Black-capped chickadees, for example, need between 5,000 and 9,000 caterpillars for one set of nestlings.

    Black-capped chickadee(Photo: TIMES HERALD)

    Native trees such as oaks, can host more than 500 species of caterpillar, Rowse said. The gingko tree, native to Asia, has been found to host about five species of caterpillar, Rowse said. Native wildflowers provide nectar for hummingbirds and seeds for other birds.

    "If everyone in a block, for example, could set aside just a little bit of their yard, even just a corner. Then that would make a huge difference if everyone did that in that community," Rowse said.

    To those looking to use native plants in the future, Rowse recommended people get seeds and seedlings that are not treated with pesticides.

    Esther Durnwald owns Michigan Wildflower Farm which produces seeds for sale from it's location in Portland, Michigan.

    "We're finding our seed used a lot are people taking a portion of their lawn and putting in a meadow and cutting back on the mowing and maintenance,"shesaid.

    Often, these meadows will be on the edge of someone's property. Perennial flowers will sprout up every year once established, but take two or three years to establish themselves.

    It's important to eliminate other competing plant species in an area before trying to establish a wildflower meadow, Durnwald said.Space can be cleared for a wildflower meadow using tarps, tilling and other methods.

    A flowering red trillium, photographed Monday, May 4, 2020, grows at the base of a tree in the yard of Master Gardener Jeanne Mackay. Some experts are recommending people stuck at home during the quarantine to garden and landscape with plants native to Michigan, which offer ecological benefits for insects and the animals that eat them.(Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)

    A lot of Michigan-native plants are hardy and have deep root systems. This makes the plants drought resistant and they do not need irrigation. This can make them difficult to grow in a pot, but Durnwald said flowers like black-eyed susan or purple cone flower might be good for this purpose.

    To those looking for larger landscaping plants, Durnwald recommended juneberry and red bud trees as good options. Native oaks, pine,cherry and maple trees are also good, she said.

    "It's like a smorgasbord for birds if you have an oak tree,"Durnwald said.

    Audubon Michigan maintains a web page on bird-friendly Michigan plants and a landscaping guide The Michigan State University Department of Entomology offers lists of plant recommendations, broken down between southern Lower Michigan, northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, available

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    Contact Jeremy Ervinat (810) 989-6273 or Follow him on Twitter @ErvinJeremy.

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    As spring gardens are planted, experts urge use of native plants - The Times Herald

    Dock and Yard Management System Market 2020 | Growth Drivers, Challenges, Trends, Market Dynamics and Forecast to 2026 – Cole of Duty - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    The scope of the Report:

    The report analyzes the key opportunities, CAGR, and Y-o-Y growth rates to allow readers to understand all the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the Dock and Yard Management System market. A competition analysis is imperative in the Dock and Yard Management System market and the competition landscape serves this objective. A wide company overview, financials, recent developments, and long and short-term strategies adopted are par for the course. Various parameters have been taken into account while estimating market size. The revenue generated by the leading industry participants in the sales of Dock and Yard Management System across the world has been calculated through primary and secondary research. The Dock and Yard Management System Market analysis is provided for the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status.

    By Regions:

    * North America (The US, Canada, and Mexico)

    * Europe (Germany, France, the UK, and Rest of the World)

    * Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

    * Latin America (Brazil and Rest of Latin America.)

    * Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, , South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

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    Highlights of the Dock and Yard Management System market study:

    Speculations for sales:

    The report contains historical revenue and volume that backing information about the market capacity, and it helps to evaluate conjecture numbers for key areas in the Dock and Yard Management System market. Additionally, it includes a share of every segment of the Dock and Yard Management System market, giving methodical information about types and applications of the market.

    Key point summary of the Dock and Yard Management System market report:

    This report gives a forward-looking prospect of various factors driving or restraining market growth.

    It presents an in-depth analysis of changing competition dynamics and puts you ahead of competitors.

    It gives a six-year forecast evaluated on the basis of how the market is predicted to grow.

    It assists in making informed business decisions by creating a pin-point analysis of market segments and by having complete insights of the Dock and Yard Management System market.

    This report helps users in comprehending the key product segments and their future.

    Strategic Points Covered in TOC:

    Chapter 1: Introduction, market driving force product scope, market risk, market overview, and market opportunities of the global Dock and Yard Management System market

    Chapter 2: Evaluating the leading manufacturers of the global Dock and Yard Management System market which consists of its revenue, sales, and price of the products

    Chapter 3: Displaying the competitive nature among key manufacturers, with market share, revenue, and sales

    Chapter 4: Presenting global Dock and Yard Management System market by regions, market share and with revenue and sales for the projected period

    Chapter 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9: To evaluate the market by segments, by countries and by manufacturers with revenue share and sales by key countries in these various regions

    Finally, the report global Dock and Yard Management System market describes Dock and Yard Management System industry expansion game plan, the Dock and Yard Management System industry knowledge supply, appendix, analysis findings and the conclusion. It includes a through explanation of the cutting-edging technologies and investments being made to upgrade the existing ones.

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    Market Research Intellect also provides customization options to tailor the reports as per client requirements. This report can be personalized to cater to your research needs. Feel free to get in touch with our sales team, who will ensure that you get a report as per your needs.

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    Market Research Intellect provides syndicated and customized research reports to clients from various industries and organizations with the aim of delivering functional expertise. We provide reports for all industries including Energy, Technology, Manufacturing and Construction, Chemicals and Materials, Food and Beverage and more. These reports deliver an in-depth study of the market with industry analysis, market value for regions and countries and trends that are pertinent to the industry.

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    Market Research Intellect

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    Dock and Yard Management System Market 2020 | Growth Drivers, Challenges, Trends, Market Dynamics and Forecast to 2026 - Cole of Duty

    The best college plays we ever saw – Kordell’s prayer, Villanova at the buzzer – ESPN - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    ESPN's team of college writers and reporters has seen some things. In a world where collegiate athletics are on indefinite hiatus, denying us not only March Madness and spring football but also iconic events such as baseball's College World Series and softball's Women's College World Series, our group was enlisted to reflect on the top players, teams and performances that have marked its members' many decades of collective coverage. All college sports were on the table, but much like their MLB colleagues, our writers were bound by one rule -- they had to have seen the moments they were recounting in person.

    Up next in our weeklong series -- the incredible plays our group witnessed across the collegiate landscape.

    Ivan Maisel: I was in the stands for The Play. I covered the Kick Six. I saw Reggie Bush defy physics. I watched Tommie Frazier break umpteen tackles by Florida on his 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. But when I think about the best play I ever saw, I think of Kordell Stewart's 64-yard touchdown pass to Michael Westbrook as time expired to give Colorado a 27-26 victory at Michigan in 1994. A desperation call, a Hail Mary pass, a game-winning touchdown: the best execution of a play I ever saw.

    In a weeklong series, ESPN's college writers and reporters were enlisted to reflect on the top players, teams and performances they've witnessed in person across their many collective years of coverage.

    Monday: TeamsTuesday: ComebacksWednesday: Individual performancesThursday: PlaysFriday: Prospects / Recruits

    Myron Medcalf: Kris Jenkins. Villanova. 2016 national title game. I think that will be my answer forever. If he'd just thrown up a 40-footer to beat North Carolina, seconds after Marcus Paige hit a big shot to tie the score, we would have been impressed, but the development of that play -- Ryan Arcidiacono bringing the ball up the floor, Daniel Ochefu setting him free with the backscreen and a trailing Jenkins nailing the most impressive NCAA tournament shot since Christian Laettner -- was incredible. I remember trying to figure out what I'd just witnessed as I ran toward the North Carolina locker room for a postgame piece. It was wild.

    Ryan McGee: That's easy. T.C. Williams Titans vs. Marshall, when Sunshine and Rev ran Fake 23 Blast with a Backside George Reverse. Wait ... that wasn't real, was it? Sorry. Since this quarantine started I've been watching every sports movie on Disney+ over and over.

    Mark Schlabach: Sorry, McGee, this one wasn't fiction. In 2001, Georgia played its first big road game under coach Mark Richt at Tennessee. The Vols scored on a long touchdown to take a 24-20 lead with 44 seconds to go. The Bulldogs took possession at their 39-yard line, and freshman quarterback David Greene completed three passes to reach the UT 6 with 10 seconds to go. After a timeout, Greene faked a handoff to tailback Musa Smith and then dumped a pass over the top of the defense to fullback Verron Haynes for a stunning 26-24 victory. The play -- P44 Haynes -- produced one of legendary play-by-play announcer Larry Munson's most famous calls: "We just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot and broke their nose. We just crushed their face."

    2 Related

    Mechelle Voepel: It was actually a timeout to reset a play. North Carolina trailed Louisiana Tech 59-57 with seven-tenths of a second left in the 1994 national championship game. The Tar Heels were going to lob inside for their 6-foot-5 center, Sylvia Crawley. But inbounds passer Stephanie Lawrence saw that was well-covered, and called a timeout. Asked postgame how she kept her head and made that decision, Lawrence said she had been inbounding the ball for years and, "I never get nervous anymore."

    Coach Sylvia Hatchell then decided to go for broke, and called a play where team star Charlotte Smith was to get the ball beyond the arc -- even though she had made just 8 of 31 attempts from 3-point range all season. But she swished it, and North Carolina went from defeat to national championship. It goes back to Lawrence calling the timeout, and then making a perfect inbounds pass to Smith. I asked Lawrence years later about her "never getting nervous" comment, and she laughed and said whenever she watches the end of that game now, she's incredibly nervous.

    Chris Low: It was my first game at The Big House, and given the way Michigan lost that day in 2015, I might never be invited back. The game was for all intents and purposes over. Michigan led 23-21 with 10 seconds to play and had only to punt the ball away from midfield. But punter Blake O'Neill mishandled the low snap, tried to pick the ball up, and it landed right in the waiting arms of Michigan State's Jalen Watts-Jackson, who returned the fumble for a winning, 38-yard touchdown on the final play of the game.

    Watts-Jackson, a redshirt freshman, had never even touched the football previously in a college game, and adding to the drama, dislocated and fractured his left hip as he was tackled while diving into the end zone and then mobbed by teammates. Watts-Jackson's hip was reset, and he was immediately taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. On the bumpy ride there, Dr. Mike Shingles, Michigan State's orthopedist, looked down at Watts-Jackson and said, "I know you're hurting, but you just won the game."


    On Oct. 17, 2015, while leading with 10 seconds remaining in the game, Michigan botched a punt, resulting in a Michigan State touchdown and a miraculous Spartans victory.

    Jeff Borzello: I had a really lucky string of games in the 2018 and 2019 NCAA tournaments, seeing Jordan Poole's buzzer shot to get Michigan past Houston 3 feet in front of me and then getting most of Virginia's run in the 2019 tournament. But just like in Wednesday's installment of this series, I have to go back to the Virginia-Purdue Elite Eight game for this one, too.

    The Boilermakers were up three with 5.9 seconds left in regulation and they fouled Ty Jerome -- who promptly made the first free throw. Jerome missed the second, but Mamadi Diakite tipped the ball back and Kihei Clark retrieved it in the backcourt. Nearly everyone in the arena expected Clark to launch a desperation half-court heave, but he instead rifled a one-handed, 40-foot pass to Diakite, who quickly attempted a short jumper to tie the score and send the game to overtime. Virginia went on to win that game and the national championship, becoming the ultimate redemption story.

    Adam Rittenberg: This one won't register for most, but mention "Victory Right" to a Northwestern fan and they'll immediately know what you mean. I covered the 2000 Northwestern team for the student newspaper, and witnessed several incredible finishes as the team won a share of the Big Ten championship. A week before outlasting Michigan 54-51, Northwestern went to the Metrodome and struggled, trailing Minnesota 35-14 before a furious fourth-quarter rally. The game appeared headed for overtime, but Northwestern won on a 45-yard Hail Mary as time expired. Quarterback Zak Kustok heaved the ball toward the right corner of the end zone, where Kunle Patrick, a former volleyball player, deflected the ball to teammate Sam Simmons for the score.


    On Oct. 28, 2000, with the score tied and few seconds remaining, Northwestern's Zak Kustok heaves a Hail Mary pass, which gets batted into the air and hauled in by Sam Simmons, giving the Wildcats the miraculous win over Minnesota.

    Northwestern rehearsed the play, "Victory Right," at the end of every Thursday practice. "I'll bet you we hit it 80% of the time," coach Randy Walker said. The play worked again in 2001 to set up a winning field goal against Michigan State. Sadly, the proposed headline for my Minnesota game story -- "Hail Mary, Hail Yes" -- never made it to print.

    Joe Lunardi: Grant Hill threw a touchdown pass and Christian Laettner called game.

    The best college plays we ever saw - Kordell's prayer, Villanova at the buzzer - ESPN

    How to avoid invasive plants in Wisconsin, and prevent costly, frustrating problems – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - May 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Jennifer Rude Klett, Special to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Published 6:00 a.m. CT May 7, 2020 | Updated 12:30 p.m. CT May 7, 2020

    Honeysuckle shrubs are pesky invasive plants for property owners, shown leafing out before most natives by Marcia Wensing of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.(Photo: MARCIA WENSING)

    They can be eye-catchingly waving at you along the roadside or innocently sunbathing on a prominent nursery display, but dont be fooled by invasive plants. Away from the checks and balances of their natural ecosystems, these botanical bullies possess an unfair advantage over essential native plants.

    Be vigilant as property owners as invasives can mysteriously pop up at any time, even in well-tended yards. Their seeds can slip throughinside potted plants and root balls from nurseries. Or they may be deposited by what birds tend to leave behind.

    They can come in the form of gifts from well-meaning but misinformed neighbors and relatives, or simply part of the package when buying a new property. Invasive plants often trigger swift regret and immeasurable havoc that involve backbreaking and potentially expensive eradication efforts in your yard, your neighbors yard, collective open spaces, farms, woods and conservancies near and not-so-near.

    Invasive plants cost agencies and private citizens billions of dollars in North America every year, reads a handout from the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin. Although this actual figure is impossible to estimate, we do know that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spent nearly $8.4 million in 2015 on invasive species control.

    Identifying and learning about them is key to prevention. What is invasive? A plant is invasive when it grows out of its home environment and encroaches into forests, roadsides and prairies where it spreads unchecked and displaces or replaces native plants, according to the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin.

    Invasive plants differ from merely unwanted weeds in that invasives pose a deeper, more-ominous threat due to their ability to destroy the diversity of native vegetation.

    By definition, an invasive plant is non-native, said Marcia Wensing, plant pest and disease specialist in southeastern Wisconsin for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. If it is native to the U.S., we would call it an aggressive native plant. Some gardeners might consider box elder trees invasive, but as a native, they are just well-adapted to the open spaces a site has to offer, explained Wensing, who has worked in landscape management for 30 years and taught in the states technical college system.

    True invasives, as non-natives, made the journey to our gardens with assistance from people, she said. Early settlers brought over food and herb plants (such as garlic mustard) from Europe. Many other invasive plants come from Asia. Shrubs such as common and glossy buckthorn and many varieties of honeysuckle were introduced into the horticulture trade because of how they look.

    Growing outside their home environment without the insects, fungi, diseases, grazing animals and other competitive plants to keep them in check, invasives can explode exponentially.

    Spring is an ideal season to identify invasives because they may be the first to show life, according to Kari Hagenow, president of the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin.

    Honeysuckles are a good example of that. They are the first plant to leaf out, she said, that allows them to exploit a niche to shade out native plants. The same is true for buckthorn in the fall, when itholds itsleaves into November.

    With her day job of being responsible for 5,000 acres in Door County as a land steward with the Nature Conservancy, Hagenow has become so proficient in spotting invasives she has trouble tuning them outsort of an occupational hazard. She even notices invasive plants while on vacation.

    She called it the tyranny of an environmental education, referring to the writings of Aldo Leopold.

    They all bother me, she admitted. I see them all.

    Her most despised invasive plant is the common teasel, even after she, her husband, Tyler, and their boxer-lab mix, Brewer, cleaned up their own two-acre property in Green Bay that was covered with buckthorn.

    Just because the landscape industry may recommend non-native varieties, theres no guarantee some wont go rogue down the road. Plants introduced from afar may bring long-lasting, expensive, unintended consequences.

    For home gardeners, invasives can be the ultimate in high maintenance. Alternatively, its hard to go wrong with native plants. Research recommends landowners landscape with at least 70%native plants to support native insects, birds and pollinators, according to Wensing.

    Native plants may also help prevent disease. Woodland areas invaded by barberry have been documented as harboring more ticks that may contribute to disease transmission to humans, Wensing said.

    Her top tip to avoid invasives? Get schooled, especially before you dash to the garden center or assess your property in spring.

    RELATED: Don't plant these 10 invasive species in your yard: tiger lilies, burning bush and more

    Jennifer Rude Klett is a Wisconsin freelance writer of history, food, and Midwestern life. Contact her at

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    How to avoid invasive plants in Wisconsin, and prevent costly, frustrating problems - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Designing an end to a toxic American obsession: The Lawn – CNN - April 1, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Written by Matthew Ponsford

    Lawns are an American obsession. Since the mass proliferation of suburbs in the 1950s and '60s, these pristine carpets of green turf have been meticulously maintained by suburbanites, with grass length and other aesthetic considerations enforced with bylaws and by homeowner associations.

    But for nature, lawns offer little. Their maintenance produces more greenhouse gases than they absorb, and they are biodiversity deserts that have contributed to vanishing insect populations. Residential lawns cover 2% of US land and require more irrigation than any agricultural crop grown in the country. Across California, more than half of household water is used outside of the house.

    If attitudes toward lawn care are shifted, however, these grassy green patches represent a gigantic opportunity. In 2005, a NASA satellite study found that American residential lawns take up 49,000 square miles (128,000 square km) -- nearly equal in size to the entire country of Greece.

    A small, shady garden at Kronish House, a villa by Ricahrd Neutra in Beverley Hills, California designed by Marmol Radzinerm, winner of the ASLA 2016 Professional Honor Award in Residential Design Credit: Roger Davies

    According to environmental scientists, transforming lawns into miniature modular bio-reserves could not only boost biodiversity, but could cut water and petrol consumption and reduce the use of dangerous lawn chemicals.

    Yet the question for many homeowners remains: how?

    In Western states such as California, Colorado and Arizona, droughts have led to restrictions on water usage, forcing many to reconsider their thirsty lawns. Some inventive families and landscape architects have transformed yards, producing oases of life for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, by employing scientific insight, design and imagination.

    "This new garden model is giving people permission to play," said Cook, who has redesigned home lawns across Orange County, with an emphasis on "ecosystem-centric" design. Ripping up a generic lawn can reveal a canvas for personal creativity -- to plant with food, flowering plants and herbs, or to shape into wildlife habitats that invite in local fauna.

    Yard, by Studio, winner of the ASLA 2018 Professional Honor Award in Residential Design Credit: Stephen Miller / ASLA

    "It seems to me that they are yearning for an authentic experience of nature close to home," said Cook. There is increasing evidence that close contact with natural environments can reduce stress and anxiety, and even help maintain memory as we age.

    According to Cook, the families she's worked with have been delighted to reconnect with eclectic natural processes, such as watching rain cascade down water-drainage swales. "They don't want to travel to a wilderness park to see ecosystem interactions."

    Nationwide Trend

    What Cook sees in California reflects an emerging trend across the country. In Minnesota, homeowners have been offered rebates to replace lawns with flowering plants beloved by bees. Cities and municipalities, such as Montgomery County in Maryland, have also offered to pay families and homeowner associations to design gardens that collect storm water in water features and underground rain barrels.

    A contemporary remodel of a suburban ranch home in Portland, Oregon by Courtney Skybak from Samuel H. Williamson Associates Credit: Samuel H. Williamson Associates /

    Such policies can lead to big changes. Images of intensely irrigated lawns in Phoenix, ringed by the red sand of the Arizona Desert, were once a disturbing case study of America's lawn addiction. But in recent decades, the state has taken action, charging more for water in the summer and banning lawns on new developments. At the turn of the millennium, 80% of Phoenix had green lawns, now only 14% does.

    Landscape architects are seeing families change their preferences, according to a recent poll by the National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) Garden for Wildlife initiative, which encourages Americans to design gardens with food, water and shelter for wild animals.

    A graphic patterned garden in Portland, Oregon by Courtney Skybak from Samuel H. Williamson Associates Credit: Samuel H. Williamson Associates /

    Changing Tastes

    These gardens today represent around 3,600 acres. According to Green America, they have the potential over the next 10 years to capture the carbon equivalent to taking 70,000 cars off the road for an entire year.

    Xeriscape Colorado, a program by non-profit Colorado WaterWise, promotes water-saving approaches to landscaping Credit: Kristen Vance

    "I think homeowners are trying to seek a higher sense of community, and so they want to be in their front yard, interacting with their neighbors," she added.

    Faced with the choice between a wildlife garden or astroturf -- the latter has also become increasingly popular in drought-hit areas -- Mary Phillips, senior director of NWW, urges people to consider nature. She refers to recent research that shows wildlife gardens can support bee biodiversity comparable to natural parklands and, as a result, a greater number and diversity of birds, especially songbirds.

    Yard, by Studio, winner of the ASLA 2018 Professional Honor Award in Residential Design Credit: Stephen Miller / ASLA

    "When we share those kinds of stories, that is what's motivating people," said Phillips. "Because they're actually seeing on the ground, visually, these bees and these butterflies and the birds visiting the property, and they see that they can make a significant difference."

    A Few Simple Rules

    Even small changes can make a difference to the environmental impact of lawns. The "entry-level option," according to Philips, for families that still want room for their kids to play, is to inject more wildflowers into the turf. That includes plants that are typically viewed as nuisances.

    "The stuff that people are usually trying to get out of their lawn, we're saying 'No, that's good to have in your lawn!'" said Philips. "So reintroduce native violets -- and even dandelions -- certain clovers, low-growing thyme and things that flower, which provide pollinator benefits and are better for the soil."

    Once a wasteland, Tessa Charnofsky planted hundreds of California native plants and built decks and stairways. "Within a couple of years, it was transformed into a wildlife paradise, and became a Certified Wildlife Habitat. So many species of bumble bee and sweat bee, butterflies and moths, lizards, migrating birds, birds of pray lived here, dined here, or just passed through." Credit: Tessa Charnofsky

    The more advanced option means "taller meadow or prairie-like native plants," Phillips said. These types of plants have root systems that better manage storm water runoff, in addition to absorbing more carbon, she explained.

    When one home commits to a wildlife-friendly lawn, others often follow. "(It's) an unspoken message to their neighbors, it is evidence that they care about the environment," Cook said. "In many areas, the first house on the block has set off a domino effect, as others take permission to experiment."c

    "Each small garden acts as a stepping stone for birds, pollinators and other wildlife, becoming something much larger, impacting whole watersheds," she added.

    Pomegranate and Boston Ivy on the wall of a Bel Air home owned by TV writer-producers Amy Lippman and Rodman Flenders, designed by Naomi Sanders Credit: Jennifer Cheung

    Top photo: a front garden at Kronish House, a villa by Ricahrd Neutra in Beverley Hills, California designed by Marmol Radzinerm

    Original post:
    Designing an end to a toxic American obsession: The Lawn - CNN

    How To Attract Butterflies And Birds To Your Yard – - April 1, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When you think of Springtime outdoors, you may picture butterflies floating from flower to flower and birds singing in the trees. You should consider designing your yard to attract wildlife, whether you are interested in conservation, you are a wildlife admirer, or you want a beautiful landscape for an affordable cost. In order to turn your central Alabama yard into an oasis for native birds and pollinators, you need to recruit DSLD Land Management, the experts of residential landscaping in Birmingham, AL. There are several steps you can take to attract butterflies and birds as well as improve water quality and increase the quality of life for existing wildlife.

    Plant specific perennials and annuals

    Planting the appropriate shrubs, perennials and annuals can give pollinators both food sources and the necessary habitat to complete reproduction. Plant native flowers and trees if at all possible. Here are some examples:

    Native plants for butterflies: wisteria, dill, sassafras, common blue violet, foxglove, nettles, and milkweed.

    Native trees for butterflies: dogwood, beech, Loblolly pine, black cherry, cottonwood.

    Invasive species to avoid: butterfly bush, Lantana, tropical milkweed (click here for a more detailed explanation from AL Butterfly Atlas)

    Juicy, overripe fruit can be a nice treat for butterflies as well, but its not just about feeding the butterflies. Its also about having a place for them to successfully lay eggs. Certain invasive species may provide good nectar but are toxic to eggs and/or caterpillars. For a more extensive list of host plants and flowers, visit Alabama Butterfly Atlas.

    Consider leaving dead trees alone

    Its ok to clean up your landscape to freshen it up and make it look its best, but consider leaving that dead or dying tree alone if youre wanting to attract native birds. Obviously this ONLY applies if it isnt a potential danger to you or your home. A dead or dying black cherry tree (for example) can be the perfect habitat and shelter for birds and the insects they eat.

    Here are some landscape and garden reminders from the Alabama Wildlife Center:

    Add a water feature

    Ponds and other similar low-lying water features are a great addition to your landscape because they provide birds and other animals water for drinking and bathing. Surrounding a pond with small pebbles is even better because it gives pollinating insects a warm place to rest. DLSD Land Management has a waterscapes team that can help make a pond or other water feature work seamlessly with your landscape.

    These are just a few ideas on how to attract birds and butterflies to your yard. With the help of DSLD Land Management, you can turn your landscapes into an oasis of native plants and animals!

    DSLD is a full-service design/build landscape contracting firm located in Birmingham. The family-owned and operated company is headed up by David Sharp, a brilliant design engineer who is backed by a team of professionals that have decades of experience in taking Alabamians landscape nightmares and turning them into dreamscapes. They do commercial and residential. I speak from experience here AlabamaWX friends: Give David and his team a call. Theyre amazing! Bill Murray

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