The Brown Bag Lunch series at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University featured two programs in June presented by Headwaters Master Naturalists. The first, on June 22, was “What Humans Hear in Nature & Vice Versa” presented by Lincoln Gray, who is professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at JMU. The focus of his talk was a comparison of the hearing anatomy of various species, and how each is adapted to its needs and environment. As might be expected, the sensitivity to sounds of different frequencies varies quite a lot between species. For example, among mammals, cats have the “best” hearing, in that they can hear the widest range of frequencies, whereas pigeons are masters at hearing low frequency sounds; it’s believed that a pigeon perched on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis can hear the rumble of the waves from the Atlantic and the Pacific!
The second talk, on June 29, was entitled “Composting YOUR Way,” presented by HMNs Art Fovargue, Chris Bowlen, and Dave Forrer. Beginning with an explanation of the biology of composting, they went on to discuss some strategies for making your backyard compost pile more efficient. Most important is getting the right mix of nitrogen (“greens”), carbon (“browns”), oxygen, and water. As alternatives to backyard composting, they mentioned worm composting, which can be done indoors, and taking your organic waste to the Harrisonburg Compost Dropoff, from which it goes to Black Bear Composting, a commercial-scale composting operation in Crimora. Besides producing compost for your garden, all these methods help to keep organic waste out of landfills, thus reducing the production of methane, among the most powerful of greenhouse gases.
– Carl Droms, Cohort II, June 2022
Thanks to Brittany Clem-Hott, Marketing and PR Specialist for the Arboretum, for these photos! From left to right: Art, Chris and Dave, June 29, 2022.