Saturday, June 15, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Geranium among the licorice

Geranium among the licorice

Red! A closeup of geraniums blooming in a bed of silver licorice.

Using flash under the directly overhead midday sun. As seen in a garden, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 11 June 2019.


Saturday, June 08, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Mimosa stamens

Mimosa stamens

Pink, perfumed...and invasive!

A mimosa tree blooms in June, as seen along the East Decatur Greenway, in Decatur, Georgia, on 1 June 2019.


About the Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin is known by a wide variety of common names, such as Persian silk tree or pink siris. It is also called Lenkoran acacia or bastard tamarind, though it is not too closely related to either genus. The species is usually called 'silk tree' or 'mimosa' in the United States. The leaves of the tree slowly close during the night and during periods of rain, the leaflets bowing downward; thus its modern Persian name shabkhosb, means 'night sleeper.' In Japan, its common names are nemunoki, nemurinoki, and nenenoki which all mean 'sleeping tree.'

Originally brought to the U.S. as an ornamental tree, the mimosa tree has escaped gardens and pushed its way into natural areas that should be preserved for native plants. With its ability to reproduce vigorously and with only one natural enemy to keep it in check (Fusarium wilt), it has spread unchecked across the South. It is considered a non-native invasive weed.
Walter Reeves: Georgia Gardener.


Saturday, June 01, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Still leaf with rapids

Shoal Creek shoals

"Hi! Why are you doing that?" a young girl enquired as I lay prone on a flat rock on the banks of the creek, focusing my camera.

"I'm trying to see what the fish see," I responded.

She seemed to think about that for a couple of seconds, said, "Oh," and walked off.

A 'fish-eye' view of tiny rapids in Shoal Creek, in Dearborn Park, Decatur, Georgia, on 11 May 2019.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

$328 Billion: U.S. beer industry's stake in American economy

Beer Serves America
The Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association released their Beer Serves America economic report on the nation’s beer industry just ahead of Memorial Day, which marks one of the top beer-selling holidays of the year and the start of the summer beer-selling season. The study found the U.S. beer industry supports more than 2.1 million good-paying, local jobs in a wide range of industries, including farming, manufacturing, construction, and transportation in every community across the country.
Beer Institute, 21 May 2019.

Key statistics

  • The beer industry contributes $328.4 billion in economic output, which is equal to 1.6 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
  • There are over seven thousand active breweries in the U.S.
  • Brewers and beer importers directly employ nearly 70,000 Americans.
  • There are over three thousand beer distributors in the U.S. The number of distributor jobs has increased by more than nineteen percent in the last decade, to nearly 141,600.
  • Combined, brewers and distributors directly employ more than 200,000 Americans.
  • Every job in a brewery supports another thirty-one jobs in other industries.
  • Large and mid-sized brewers and beer importers provide about fifty-eight percent of brewing jobs.
  • Suppliers to the brewing industry —enterprises that manufacture bottles and cans, cardboard case boxes, brewing equipment, marketing displays, etc.— generate nearly $102 billion in economic activity and are responsible for almost 436,650 jobs alone.
  • Overall, the beer industry generates more than 2.1 million jobs.
  • Beer produces $58.6 billion in tax revenues equal to nearly forty percent of the retail price paid for these products by consumers, comprising:
    • $46.3 billion in revenues to federal, state and local governments
    • $4.8 billion in federal and state excise taxes for consumption of beer
    • $6.6 billion in state sales taxes
    • $816 million in city and county excise taxes and other beer-specific local taxes.

US Beer's Economic Impact 2018


Growth of Beer Industry

Compare these 2018 data to those from, say, the 2014 Beer Serves America report:
  • $253 billion in economic activity (1.5% of GDP).
  • 1.75 million jobs.
  • $48.5 billion in tax revenue.
In 2018, economic activity and jobs are up, while taxes collected are down. And yet, the beer industry —for whom the federal excise tax rate has not changed since 1976 (when it was went down!)— asks for a tax cut.

Just sayin.'


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Ambush Owl

Ambush Owl
'An Ambush,' said Owl, 'is a sort of Surprise.'

Surprising me and my dog, this fine fellow graciously held his pose overhead for a couple of seconds.

It was 19 May 2019. All three of us were in a forest on the grounds of the former United Methodist Children's Home, in Decatur, Georgia.

The city recently purchased this seventy-seven-acre parcel of land. What it will do with it remains up in the air.