Daily Archives: 03/13/2006

Cool Word Of The Day

Stumbled across this mouthful over the weekend: Apocatastasis. I think it’s one of my new favorite words. It is the believe that there will come a time when all beings share in the grace of salvation, as in everybody gets into heaven, even the devil and souls damned to perdition. It was explicitly laid out by St. Gregory of Nyssa over 1,700 years ago. Gregory was a staunch opponent of Arianism, a schism in the early church that led to the Nicene Creed which is recited at every Mass. I’m leaving out a lot of bloodshed and apostasy here, but I still like the idea that everybody gets into heaven no matter how evil and corrupt. Sort of makes the whole point of religion irrelevant don’t you think?

The Burning Season

Mountains ablaze
March has come around once again, and the fires are upon us. Fire raged along Cross Island Road yesterday afternoon, reaching into the mountains above Santa Rita last night. Over 2,800 acres burned on Sunday before firefighters brought the blaze under control.

The dry season brings brushfires every year, and while it seems a little late this year, the burning season has arrived. I went atop Mt. Lam Lam a couple weekends ago, and a large brushfire was burning along the slopes below the summit that day. The last appreciable rainfall fell on February 4th, and the swordgrass is drying out.

The rains will not return for several more months, so expect a lot more fires through March and April. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as some years. I remember 1998 was particularly bad. Seemed like the whole island was on fire that year.

When Predators Attack

Interesting little piece about predators hunting and slaying other predators. Looks like hunters prefer to pick on smaller predators and rarely take on similarly sized opponents. The reason is competition for resources, not predation. Victims are rarely eaten.

Oh course, when the competition is tough, it turns into open warfare. The wolves on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale are battling it out between three packs. Competition for food is fierce on the island because the moose population is at a 48 year low. The island currently supports 450 moose, far fewer than the 1,100 that populated the island five years ago. Scientists suspect that this is part of the aging of a ‘baby boom’ in the moose population ten years ago, compounded by changing habitat in the island’s forest. The forest’s stands of birch and and aspen are being replaced by less nutritious spruce and balsam fir. The change in trees also led to a decline in beaver populations, an alternative food for the wolf packs. And the 30 wolves on the island are feeling the pinch.