What are those Purple Boxes in Trees?

Have you noticed the purple boxes up in some of the trees along Route 34? I also saw several up in Kent and it was at Kent Falls that I was able to read the note attached to them. I didn’t take a picture of the boxes themselves, nor of the note I am sorry to say, but here are some images I found online.

Emerald Ash Borer Trap
Emerald Ash Borer


The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that kills Ash Trees.  Here is some information from The Emerald Ash Borer University:

Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennisFairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald ash borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. Emerald ash borer is also established in Windsor, Ontario, was found in Ohio in 2003, northern Indiana in 2004, northern Illinois and Maryland in 2006, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2007, Wisconsin, Missouri and Virginia in summer 2008, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky in the spring of 2009, Iowa in spring of 2010, and Tennessee in the summer of 2010 . Since its discovery, EAB has:

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  • Killed tens of millions of ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Quebec, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • Caused regulatory agencies and the USDA to enforce quarantines (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana,Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Kentucky) and fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.
  • Cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries tens of millions of dollars.

If you think you have found Emerald Ash Borers in Connecticut, here’s a link from the State Department of Agriculture describing what you should do:


The Process of Process Art

This weekend I did a one-day retreat of yoga and art. The day started with a 3 hour yoga class taught by Nancy Opgaard and was followed by a leisurely lunch break and then a process art class taught by Pamela Hochstetter.

I would have thought that 3 hours of yoga would be more challenging then 2 1/2 hours of painting. But I discovered that process art is definitely a process. Our first assignments included painting with our non-dominant hand, painting with both hands at once and finger painting. All fairly straightforward assignments, but on another level,  for me anyway, very difficult.

One of the participants asked if it was OK for her to sing. Pamela said she preferred the room be silent so that each participant could be fully present with their own process. I felt as if I would have liked to ask if it was OK for me to keen and wail. Something about putting color to paper using my non-dominant hand, or trying to use both hands at once (much more challenging than you think) felt like an “opening up” on such a level that it was far too frightening to be with a group of people. The tears were right at the surface and while I could see people around me totally getting into their artwork; with hands and fingers and toes, I felt as if I was locked in an invisible box and could only swirl the paintbrush around in curves and lines and circles, following some internal pattern, some structure that only I could see.

I will look again at the paintings I created and see if they have more to tell me. For cracking open the shell of your creativity, I don’t think there is a more accessible tool than Process Art. For me, however, I think a solitary session/art practice would be a better option.

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