Plant Trees SF Events 2011 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
.   Restore Hetch Hetchy wants Development Director - $65k to $80k
2.   Environmental Conservation internships with the Sutro Stewards
3.   Sept 24 - Moving Planet:  Worldwide rally to move away from fossil fuels
4.   Dragonfly Creek is being daylighted in the Presidio
5.   Grow a bird feeder:  plant native plants/now is time to plant native bulbs
6.   Feedback: pet food/grasslands vs trees for carbon sequestration
7.   Trees sequester all sorts of things/including buildings
8.   David Tomb exhibition at EBMUD until October 14
9.   Fifty Years of Filching: Corporate Control of California's Water Sept 29
10. Another water heist:  by SFPUC
11.  TK Potluck:  Botanizing Baja California Sept 27
12.  Autumn by Rainer Maria Rilke
13.  Bioaccumulation - new Western Pond Turtle brochure
14.  Capitalist system near meltdown (Guardian Weekly)/hounds baying, wealthy are the quarry (Economist)
15.  How to explain the world without becoming a bore
16.  Notes & Queries: Do fleas perform a function or just to irritate me?


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. -Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (1917-1986) 


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1.  Restore Hetch Hetchy Development Director - Salary Range: $65,000 - $80,000 + benefits

 
The mission of Restore Hetch Hetchy is to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural splendor while continuing to meet the water and power needs of all communities that depend on the Tuolumne River. In order for this to occur, the City of San Francisco must agree to drain the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and return the valley to the control of the National Park Service.  For more information:

http://www.hetchhetchy.org/inthenews/81-job-opening-at-rhh-offices

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2.  FALL 2011 — ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION INTERNSHIPS
WITH THE SUTRO STEWARDS

The Sutro Stewards is seeking motivated undergraduate and graduate students with majors in Natural Resource Management, Geography, Horticulture or Green MBA programs. Our internships offer the opportunity to constructively contribute to the planning and execution of habitat conservation and restoration in San Francisco. Thesis projects will leave a lasting legacy by way of contributing to a growing database of information necessary to continue constructive improvements, apply for project specific grants, and enhance overall knowledge of our precious open space areas. The intern will be guided by staff and work both on teams and independently. 

Project opportunities include:
• Biogeographical Mapping
• Native Plant Nursery, propagation and operation
• Stewardship Training and program development
• Monitoring Enhancement of restoration sites

Contact: Craig Dawson at Craig@SutroStewards.org if you are interested in an internship. Please include a cover letter which should include your school, major and why you’re interested in this internship.
 
More information about our program can be found at:  SutroStewards.org

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3.  Moving Planet is this weekend!
Moving Planet is a worldwide rally on September 24th to move away from fossil fuels and demand solutions to the climate crisis. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area they are leading the way... and need you! Join the parade on bike, foot, float & more to help build sustainable communities. Tell local leaders that Bay Area residents want affordable, reliable transit and housing that moves us away from dirty fossil fuels, maintains green space and creates clean air and local jobs! Hear FREE speakers & music, LEARN about the issues, EAT good food & HAVE FUN! 

WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, September 24. Meet at Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco at 12pm! Parade starts at 12:30pm and ends at the Civic Center Plaza.  RSVP today at www.moving-planet.org/bayarea.

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4.
> Presidio Trust is Daylighting San Francisco¹s Dragonfly Creek  Here¹s What It Looks Like « San Francisco Citizen
>
> Many "seasoned"  volunteers dug, dragged, clipped, cut and trimmed, made  willow wattles, weeded and then gloried in the astonishingly fast response by nature to populate this place with birds and a gazillion small inhabitants when the choke-hold on water flow was finally released.  Looks like Dragonfly will become a full blown Dragon when Caltrans gets finished with it.  What a glorious piece of riparian restoration Dragonfly is about to become for so many  users – both human  and native wildlife.  
>
> http://sfcitizen.com/blog/2011/09/22/our-presidio-trust-is-daylighting-san-franciscos-dragonfly-creek-heres-what-it-looks-like/

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5.
  Plant native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses.

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It's a good time to get your native bulbs. This is the pause before they restart root development. So, it's best to get them now. We just harvested a nice crop from our bins -
Dichelostemma capitatum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichelostemma_capitatum  (aka blue dicks, JS)
and 
D. multiflorum http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-taxon=Dichelostemma+multiflorum

They're 75 cents each so come on by and get a baggie full for your meadow and grassland plantings. We also have Brodiaea elegans and Triteleia laxa .
Open today 10 till 4.

Also - SAVE THE DATE
Oaktown Native Plant Nursery, located at 702 Channing Ave in Berkeley, California, is announcing it’s Grand Opening Plant Sale and Autumn Celebration. The Plant Sale is to be held on Saturday, October 29th from 10am to 5pm. The event will mark a year of hard work transforming an empty weed lot at the end of a dead end road into a booming growing grounds for local [and sometimes not so local] bay area natives. 

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6.  Feedback

Philip Gerrie:
> Hi Jake, I have often wondered the same thing. We have a huge and growing population of carnivores to feed. Many pet owners will strongly advocate to keep everyone alive if possible yet little or no thought is given to the food we feed them. Where does it come from? A lot comes from animal parts that we humans don't see fit to eat. Often it best not to ask least someone answers. In the last year I have switched my three cats from canned food to raw turkey. Their health and coats have improved markedly as a result. I know where the raw  food comes from and how it was raised. I recently read a book called "Some we love, Some we hate, Some we eat" which attempts to show how differently and irrationally we think about different animals. I would advise not to explore this subject too deeply because there is no limit to learning how we treat and mis-treat non-human life. Philip
>
>> That said, I wonder if anyone has done a study of the environmental costs of our carnivore pets; i.e., how much protein do they consume, and from whence does it come? I've heard that much of the anchovy catch from off the Peruvian coast, e.g., goes into U.S. cat and dog food rather than into Peruvians or larger fish. And then there are the cows we feed our darlings.

Greg Suba:
> Hey Jake.
> I'm passing on a little audio/visual proof that humans are still out there somewhere practicing kindness (at least that's how I would perceive this). Not all flash mobs are smash and grab.  Here's a link to the YouTube video of the event to which I refer - in case you haven't seen it yet...

On Sep 21, 2011, at 10:21 AM, Keith McAllister wrote:
>
> Hi Jake,
>
> I have often heard explanations for why grasslands should store more carbon than forests (deep roots, etc.). But, explanations for WHY grasslands store more carbon than forests are, to me, like explanations for WHY Venusian spaceships so often land at Sedona (something about “vortices”). In both cases theoretical explanations about how something happens should come after the evidence the phenomenon actually occurs. In neither case does anyone offer me that evidence.
>
> Here’s a recent paper that directly compares carbon sequestration of forests to perennial grasslands. (also with pasture, but I leave that out) Anderson, J., et. al., “The Potential for Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in Minnesota, A Report to the Department of Natural Resources from the Minnesota Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration Initiative,” February 2008. http://wrc.umn.edu/prod/groups/cfans/@pub/@cfans/@wrc/documents/asset/cfans_asset_119302.pdf
>
> Ten scientists from the departments of 1) Soil, Water and Climate, 2) Forest Resources, and 3) Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota examine in detail the carbon storage properties of a variety of landscape types. Although they were reporting to the Minnesota state government, their study of perennial grasslands included Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Ohio—the province of tallgrass and mixed-grass prairie. They include both annual rates of carbon sequestration and total amount of carbon stored (the carbon “stocks”).
>
> Stocks: Converting forest to row crops releases 367 metric tons of CO2 per acre. Converting perennial grassland to row crops releases 80 metric tons of CO2 per acre.
>
> Annual rates of sequestration: Converting row crops to forest will sequester an additional 5.5 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year. Converting row crops to perennial grassland will sequester an additional 1.6 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year.
>
> From these, and other numbers for other land use types, they estimate that a rigorous program of changes in land use couldn’t sequester more than a few percent of Minnesota’s annual CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. The most important action Minnesota can take on the sequestration side (as opposed to action on emissions) is to preserve the sequestered carbon they already have, primarily forests and peat bogs.
>
> As for the depth of the roots of perennial grasses, this same publication says most carbon is found within the top 10 centimeters of soil and almost none is found deeper than one meter. So, the roots of perennial grasses may be very deep but that doesn’t tell us how much carbon is stored in perennial grassland. And I have no idea what “carbon is ‘permanently’ stored” means, since carbon is always in flux. That’s what those billions of organisms are doing in the soil—converting soil organic carbon back into CO2 which goes back to the atmosphere.
>
> So you see my dilemma. I face lots of scientific papers that say forests store more carbon than grasslands vs. one paper, which I can’t see, written by I don’t know whom, published I don’t know where, which says grasslands store more.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Keith
>
> Keith McAllister
> Mathematics Department Chair, Emeritus
> City College of San Francisco
> kmcallis@ccsf.edu
Keith:  I only cursorily looked at this study, because it examines only one narrow aspect of what is a huge and complicated subject.  I wouldn't argue with anything that it says, but it is not relevant to the question we're considering.  The study deals only with short-term phenomena and it is only one more example of the klutziness of Homo sapiens as he tries to arrange the world to suit his convenience.  One mistake he makes is his inability to get outside his simplistic and egocentric nature.  The other is that everything for him is now.  Nature couldn't care less about our wants--or even needs--and has no concern with now except as it is part of her continuum.

I am posting a newsletter that includes this exchange, so you can see other relevant feedback, rather than my taking the time for detailed rebuttal here.

The reason I dismissed the carbon storage of pastures is both shallow roots and temporariness.  When I say grasslands, I mean old prairies.  When you say "roots of perennial grasses may be very deep" but "most carbon is found within the top 10 centimeters" you (and the study) don't apply that to old grasslands.

As to your last paragraph about your dilemma, I will speak frankly:  Your dilemma is that you and your wife both quote science when it supports your pre-conceived opinion but ignore it when it doesn't.  Science is uncomfortable because it forces one to readjust constantly.  You must deepen your respect for it.

Stan Kaufman:
> Here is a current, working link of the paper I mentioned below:
>
> http://www.docstoc.com/docs/68871811/Using-Agricultural-Land-for-Carbon-Sequestration
>
> It's just one paper, but the source is authoritative...
(The following is his response pursuant to my problem with accessing the article, JS)
> You can read the article without registering; it should just appear in a field right there on the page. Unless you need a local copy on your computer, why bother with registering? Regardless, I went through it since this is about the fourth time I've referred to that article, so it's finally worth having. 
>
> The only caveat about this is that it studies restoration settings, not pristine settings (ie original prairie vs original forest). But if one is going to convert ag land for carbon sequestration purposes, prairie is the way to go...

Andrea Wi:
> Jake, Re: carbon in grasslands vs forests, I think this might be the citation : http://www.biology.duke.edu/jackson/nature02a.htm 
> The short answer is "It depends." Soil carbon decreases as precipitation increases when woody species come into a grassland system. So, less rain (<500mm), woodies better at storing soil carbon, but in pretty much all of Northern CA grasses are better (although they didn't have study sites in CA). In the intermountain west, where they drag anchor chains to rip the shrubs out...*sigh*

Abstract from above site:

The invasion of woody vegetation into deserts, grasslands, and savannas is generally thought to lead to an increase in the amount of carbon stored in those ecosystems. For this reason, shrub and forest expansion (for example, into grasslands) is also suggested to be a substantial, if uncertain, component of the terrestrial carbon sink. Here we investigate woody plant invasion along a precipitation gradient (200 to 1,100 mm yr-1) by comparing carbon and nitrogen budgets and soil d13C profiles between six pairs of adjacent grasslands, in which one of each pair was invaded by woody species 30 to 100 years ago. We found a clear negative relationship between precipitation and changes in soil organic carbon and nitrogen content when grasslands were invaded by woody vegetation, with drier sites gaining, and wetter sites losing, soil organic carbon. Losses of soil organic carbon at the wetter sites were substantial enough to offset increases in plant biomass carbon, suggesting that current land-based assessments may overestimate carbon sinks. Assessments relying on carbon stored from woody plant invasions to balance emissions may therefore be incorrect.
Steve Neff:
> Hi Jake,
>     Interesting discussion on carbon-sequestering of grasslands vs forests. I have to agree that it would never have occurred to me that grasslands could sequester more, and yet, two things come to mind in support of the theory. First, I remember very well the 10' deep, rich, black soils of my grandparents' Iowa farm. I was always told that this was the result of thousand of years of ongoing prairie building up the soil, and I imagine that this was a pretty stable way for carbon to be stored (at least before plows started breaking up the sod, the wind began blowing it away, and the Mississippi carried much of it down to the Gulf of Mexico: I wonder if it is as securely stored when it is on the bottom of the sea?)
>      The second thing that comes to mind is my experience digging latrine holes in the forest when I go camping. Forget digging down 10 feet in rich dark soil: after 4 or 5 inches I'm always hitting rock. The bulk of the forest carbon really seems to be above ground, being recycled for use by new forest growth (or released to the air by fires)
Thanks for this contribution, Steve.  It corresponds with what I've read as well as my own observations.  

I'm an avid inspector of roots of fallen trees.  As a gardener and hiker I was obsessed with what was below ground, and wondered how the root system could support, say, a 300' redwood, a notoriously shallow-rooted tree.  You invariably find a 'pancake' root system in trees.  They spread laterally but never go deeply.  Even oak trees, which immediately starts sending down a taproot from a germinating acorn, for some counter-intuitive reason doesn't maintain the taproot beyond its early years; it will let the taproot die, sometimes sending down a few sinker roots, but relying primarily on its surface feeder roots.  That is true both in natural forests and in cultivated situations.  Also, most of my reading confirms that tree carbon doesn't stay in the soil long, partly, I suppose, because of lack of depth.

And yes, those prairie soils have been well-documented for their richness, depth, and carbon storage.

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7.
Bicycle sequestration
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gallery of photos where trees are overwhelming the building
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yahooeditorspicks/galleries/72157627553717395/



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8.

Press for exhibition that opens this eve at Dominican University:    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_18929108

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9.  You're Invited to a Talk: "Fifty Years of Filching: Corporate Control of California's Water"

Water has long been a source of conflict in California. At the center of this storm is the California State Water Project, the ambitious dams-and-aqueduct scheme hatched in 1961 to deliver water from the wet north to the thirsty south. Fifty years after ground was broken on the project's California Aqueduct, control of California's water is concentrated in the hands of the few, unsustainable development is still being approved throughout the state, and San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusinesses are planting ever more high-value but highly water-dependent crops.

Last year, the Center started a campaign to wrest control of the Kern Water Bank from San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and real-estate interests and return it to the state, where it could benefit all Californians and be operated with better environmental protections.

Please join John Gibler, author of Water Heist (a seminal exposé on the corporate control of California's water infrastructure) and Lost in the Valley of Excess, and Adam Keats, director of the Center's Urban Wildlands Program and head of our California Water Law Project, for a talk called "Fifty Years of Filching: Corporate Control of California's Water, 1961-2011." Gibler and Keats will discuss the latest on the corporate water barons controlling most of California's water infrastructure, how we got into this mess, and what the Center is doing to break up the party.

When: Thursday, Sept. 29, 5:30 p.m., snacks and drinks; 6 p.m., talk

Where: Center for Biological Diversity office, 351 California St., Suite 600 (between Sansome and Battery), three short blocks from the Montgomery Street BART

Space is limited, so please RSVP to akeats@biologicaldiversity.org.

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10.  And speaking of water heists...

The chutzpah and dishonesty of SFPUC as it touts in its e-newsletter:  "View some amazing photos of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir - not only a pristine drinking water source but also an inspiring place to visit", showing beautiful photos, taken upstream from the reservoir or cleverly taken to not show the reservoir that drowns formerly equally beautiful scenes.

Umm, PUC, why don't you look up pristine in the dictionary:  in its original condition; unspoiled

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11.  Ted Kipping pot luck/slide shows
4th Tuesday of the month at 7 pm (slide show at 8 pm) at the San Francisco County Fair Bldg, 9th Av & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park
Served by Muni bus lines #6, 43, 44, 66, 71, and the N-Judah Metro
Sept 27 Brian Kemble:  Botanizing Northern Baja
*Please bring a dish and beverage to serve 8 people

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12.
Stubble Field.jpg

 
AUTUMN

 
O Lord, it is time
The summer was so vast
Put your shadows on the sundials
And in the fields let the wind loose.

 
Order the last fruits to become ripe
Give them two more sunny days
Push them to fulfillment
And force the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

 
He who has no house now will not build one
He who is alone will be so for a long time to come
Will stay awake, read, write long letters
And restlessly walk in the park among the blown leaves.

 
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

 
(Contributed and translated by Charlotte Schmid)

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13.
> (bio)accumulation - NEW - Western Pond Turtle Brochure
> This July, I announced the kick-off of (bio)accumulation [http://bioaccumulation.wordpress.com/], an outlet for the biological miscellany specific to the natural history of California. With (bio)accumulation off and running, I've expanded its breadth to envelope (and eventually replace) my long-standing western pond turtle pages at www.atlantismagazine.com. This transition begins with the debut of a new western pond turtle tab [http://bioaccumulation.wordpress.com/the-western-pond-turtle/] on the (bio)accumulation homepage, where you'll find links to western pond turtle natural history, literature, educational material, and merchandise. 
>
> New this month is a brochure I've been developing in response to an inquiry from a San Francisco Bay Area resident this year who stumbled across a western pond turtle on her front porch and didn't know what to do with it. Poking around, I realized that very few wildlife rehabilitation/rescue centers offer the public guidance on what to do in cases like these. Thus, the Western Pond Turtle Brochure [http://bioaccumulation.wordpress.com/the-western-pond-turtle/educational-material/], a free, full-color, tri-fold .pdf brochure that describes our local turtle, describes what to do if you find a turtle, and provides guidance to private landowners and public land managers alike on the best way to protect and conserve western pond turtles through proactive land stewardship. My goal with this project is to distribute a tool to the public for free that provides consistent guidance: protect and conserve suitable aquatic and nesting habitat, curb invasive species, and leave healthy turtles in the wild where they belong.
> All I ask of you is to check out the brochure, then download, print, and distribute to clients and the public. And please feel free to forward this email to your colleagues and coworkers. I encourage all wildlife rescue/rehabilitation centers, state and federal agencies, parks and refuges, land trusts, and wildlife biologists to share this resource with the public. If readers drop me a Comment on the educational material page with their organization’s name to let me know they wish to print and distribute this brochure, I’ll create a register with links to the participating parties’ websites. Check back on a regular basis or, better yet, subscribe at the bottom of the page to get new posts in your inbox.  And please, share this new Bay Area resource with friends, family, colleagues - anyone who you think may be interested in joining (bio)accumulation. 
> Matthew P. Bettelheim
> Science Writer, Wildlife Research Biologist,
>      Natural Historian
> 5500 Pennsylvania Blvd. 
> Concord, CA 94521
> Tel: (925) 304-2201 (H)
> blackfish@nasw.org
>
> Blog: http://bioaccumulation.wordpress.com/


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14.  The ailing euro is part of a wider crisis. Our capitalist system is near meltdown

A 1930s-style crash threatens us and our financial partners. Collective action is the only solution

          o The Observer, Saturday 17 September 2011 (excerpt)

Eighty years ago, faced with today's economic events, nobody would have been in any doubt: we would obviously be living through a crisis in capitalism. Instead, there is a collective unwillingness to call a spade a spade. This is variously a crisis of the European Union, a crisis of the euro, a debt crisis or a crisis of political will. It is all those things, but they are subplots of a much bigger story: the way capitalism has been conceived and practised for the last 30 years has hit the buffers. Unless and until that is recognised, western economies will be locked in stagnation which could even transmute into a major economic disaster.

Simply put, the world has trillions upon trillions of excessive private debt financed by too many different currencies whose risk is allegedly mitigated by even more trillions of financial bets which in aggregate do not minimise the systemic risk one iota. This entire financial edifice, underwritten by tiny amounts of capital, has been created over three decades backed by the theory that markets do not make mistakes. Capitalism is best conceived and practised, runs the theory, by hunter-gatherer bankers and entrepreneurs owing no allegiance to the state or society.

This is nonsense. Business and the state co-generate wealth in a system of complex mutual dependence. Markets are beset by mood swings and uncertainty which, if not offset by government action, lead to violent oscillations. Capitalism without responsibility or proportionality degrades into racketeering and exploitation. The prospect of limitless pay is an open invitation to bad, or even criminal, behaviour. Good capitalism cannot happen without referees to blow the whistle or robust frameworks in which markets can function; neither is reliably created by capitalism itself, hence the role of democratic government. Yet the world is trying to solve the legacy of the last 30 years as if none of this were true and, instead, that the practice and theories that created the mess are still valid.
...We are living through the most dangerous confluence of economic circumstances in modern times. Trying to pretend the interdependencies do not exist or that the collapse of the euro is the answer can only make matters worse. It is a straight choice: we do all we can to help each other or risk going down in what could be the worst economic contraction for a century.
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They only call it Class War when we fight back.  (anonymous)

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

20110924_CNA117.jpg

Across the rich world the horns have sounded and the hounds are baying—and the wealthy are the quarry. In our cover leader we argue that, even though deficit-cutting governments should focus on public spending, the rich will have to pay more tax, but we make clear that there are good and bad ways to make them do so.  (The Economist cover and leader story)


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15.  Adventures of an Accidental /Sociologist:  How to Explain the World Without Becoming a Bore, by Peter L. Berger

In this memoir of his scholarly career, Peter Berger writes that, with a few exceptions, economists are "as impervious as fundamentalist mullahs to any language other than the one allegedly revealed to them, and to them alone".

…Berger ends his deeply engaging memoir with a series of jokes, including the following definition:  "An economist:  Someone who knows everything and nothing else."  I guess he just couldn't resist.

Excerpt from Washington Post book review by Michael Dirda

(Nor could I resist printing it.  JS)

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16.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

Jumping ahead

Do fleas perform a function in nature or are they just here to irritate me and my pets?

While the function of fleas in nature may be a mystery to us, the function of us and our pets is no mystery to fleas.

Samuel Reifler, Rhinebeck, New York, US

• They're essential to keep flea circuses going.

Ursula Nixon, Bodalla, NSW, Australia

• I thought of several responses, but scratched them all.

Margaret Wyeth, British Columbia, Canada

• Fleas, which [crossword compiler] Araucaria would view as false mutations, are champion high jumpers on a par with Olympic gold medalists.

Aaron M Fine, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, US

Out of tune

Does every sound that you hear have to have a musical note that corresponds to it?

Not when I sing.

Catherine Andreadis, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

• Clearly yes, except for the Sounds of Silence, which later bec
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