Wanderlust Festival and the Purple Traps

In the second of our series of blogs from the Don't Move Firewood summer interns, Sean ponders the meaning of yoga, donuts, purple traps, and the lack of open coffee shops at 6:30am.


Wanderlust: Slackasana and Purple Trap Roadtrips
by Sean Mahoney


This past weekend did involve a road trip to the great north woods, but nothing of the Jack Kerouac or Easy Rider sort of interactions took place. Instead the day started as most road days start for our outreach crew.


6am: On the road with no breakfast to be found in the sleepy towns along Route 7, but the chance to enjoy all the beauty of Vermont is all I need at this moment.


6:30am: Ok. All of that wishy-washy poetics about the open road and the beauty of Vermont is out the window. I’m so hungry, and why is there no food on the only highway to Vermont from western Massachusetts for 30 miles?


Purple Trap…


7am: Off in the distance a glimmer of hope emerges in the soft morning mist rising off the lake. Could it be? Yes! The sweet savory deliciousness of Donut Man off in the distance. Soon my hunger will be vanquished by a red velvet cake donut accompanied by an orange juice of exceptional temperature and quality.


8am: Cross the border to Vermont, the land of Ben and Jerry’s and real maple syrup.


Purple Trap…


Double Purple Trap…


What are these Purple Traps, you might ask? For those of you who are not among the dedicated band of forest entomologists who keep up with the happenings of Don’t Move Firewood on their lunch hour, I have included a picture of one. Perhaps you’ve seen them on your local roads?

The secret of the emerald ash borer monitoring trap is thought to be the purple coloration. Just as I was attracted to Donut Man this morning due to my hunger, an emerald ash borer is probably attracted to the purple coloration.


Look at the photograph below and compare it to the color of the trap above. See how the lower abdomen is a glistening purple?



The idea is the beetles are attracted to that same purple- and hence the purple traps set up in 47 states to map the spread of the EAB outbreak. If you see a purple trap in your neighborhood, you can post a picture of it on https://www.facebook.com/hungrypests.


Wait, where was I? Wanderlust… oh right Wanderlust.


Imagine this:

  • A ski hill with no snow
  • Beautiful views of the Green Mountains
  • Peace and relaxation with yoga classes running all day for an entire weekend
  • Slackasana (yoga on a slackline)
  • Acro Yoga (aka holding 120 to 200 plus pounds of yogi above your head while you both simultaneously move together)
  • A dome of Gongs that seemed to bring rain and thunder at the same point in the afternoon every day
  • A human sized emerald ash borer spreading the word about looking out for signs of invasive insects and not moving firewood
  • Some of the kindest free spirits who want to do all that they can to keep mother earth healthy including not moving firewood when they are not doing yoga


Natalie and I summed up the experience like this: