Oh, sod off! The sod at the Riviera Pier base cost $18,000.00. Wow. How wonderful. A quote from a local landscaping operation indicated that the sod itself could have been purchased for a bit less than twenty-five hundred. Maybe the grass the city put in, however, is that special stuff evangelical movements walk on to prove that they have faith. Or is that hot coals. Hard to remember exactly, since GSR staff members have been released from the hospital recovering from the burns. How hot is the sod laid down at the Riviera? One would probably have to ask the current city council members in Lake Geneva. Certainly the grass growing there now will be considerably hotter that it was before the public found out what they paid for it. In looking deeper into the ‘sod buster saga,’ GSR X-Files investigators traveled to Home Depot and then over to Delavan and Lowes. The cost of sod, if purchased fresh from either place (Lowes is about 20% more than Home Depot) would in no way exceed two thousand dollars for the entire area in front of the Riviera Pier, and that would be delivered. This does not include the fact that about eight hundred square feet of the under three thousand square foot total was not replaced when the job was done.
Done for eighteen thousand (and that was the cost for the sod, not the labor!). When will Lake Geneva be done with this sort of business?
Chimney Swifts, and why they’re important. Chimney Swifts historically nested and roosted in hollow trees. As American pioneers moved westward across the continent, they cleared forests and removed the swifts’ natural habitat. The birds that Audubon called American Swifts became known as Chimney Swifts as they readily adapted to the masonry chimneys erected by those same pioneers. Chimney Swifts create a variety of sounds during their stay with us in North America during the warmer months. There is the “whooshing” sound of their wings as they come and go from the chimney. They utter a gentle “chippering” as they socialize with one another in the roost during nest-building and at night. The most audible sounds are those of the young which have two basic vocalizations: the feeding call which is a very loud, high-pitched “yippering” as they beg for food from the returning parents, and their mechanical, hissing alarm call which they make when disturbed or frightened. People living in houses with chimneys should be aware and have tolerance for that short period of the year late in summer when the swifts take up residence to produce young and get them out into the world beyond.
Chimney Swifts can consume over 1,000 mosquitos each in a day and since there has a been reduction of nesting locations, groups have been erecting Swift Towers to encourage the population
These wonderful birds surround us with their presence so much of the year. There are all sorts of things that can be done to help promote the care of these vitally important birds. Here’s the organization dedicated to that effort:
Chimney Swift Conservation Association,
14246 Hunters Pass, Austin, TX 78734.