In the next of our series of blogs from the Don't Move Firewood summer interns, Natalie marauds around the gorgeous gardens at Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls as Esmeralda the Emerald Ash Borer.
Deerfield River Festival – EAB Invasion of the Bridge of Flowers
by Natalie Garcia
What’s 5’3”, has 2 antennae, is metallic green, and loves to run around on the Bridge of Flowers? That’s what a lot of people were trying to figure out in Shelburne Falls a couple of weeks ago when we were on our way to Deerfield River Festival. Well the answer is ME! I suited up, not as Natalie Garcia, but as Esmeralda the Emerald Ash Borer—a sassy borer with a big agenda–because what EAB doesn’t have a big agenda?
If you haven’t heard, these borers are bad news. They’ve been described by the USDA Forest Service as the “most destructive forest insect introduced into North America in recent history” having infested trees in 16 states as well as parts of Canada. In Michigan alone the EAB has killed more than 30 million ash trees. Pretty darn impressive for a bug that’s smaller than a penny!
So back to the point of this post, the Bridge of Flowers visitors were having a lot of fun speculating on what I was. Many people appeared to be alarmed by my presence, which they should be because I was there to stir up some trouble, but they listened to Sean and me tell them about invasive insects and the threats they pose.
After this escapade, it was finally time to go to Deerfield Fest. It turned out to be a friendly festival, filled with lots of whitewater lovers that luckily for us, also loved the idea of not moving firewood. It was also a great time for Sean and me to show off our sick Frisbee skills to everyone, needless to say we killed it… but not really.
Until next time, if you’re enjoying a nice walk through the forest, the Bridge of Flowers, or your favorite outdoor spot, keep your eyes out for signs of the not-so-big real emerald ash borer.