Thursday, October 25, 2012

Steve Smith rides in the 2012 Million Dollar Challenge for the Challenged Athletes Foundation

Steve Smith made an incredible journey this October in the 2012 Million Dollar Challenge for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
'The 620 mile journey down the California Coastline from San Francisco to San Diego is a week filled with iconic scenery, epic mileage, and friendship. Every year, this journey delivers a life-changing experience for all participants. This event is unique in the world of cycling, it builds a community of riders with a deep and lasting appreciation for life- and for those who overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to live life to the fullest. Helping to raise $1 Million dollars to help challenged athletes is deeply satisfying. But it is the journey that will change your life forever.'
For Steve and the other participants the experience was exhilarating and inspiring.
In Steve's own words from Day 3:
"It was difficult for me - I can't imagine what the double below- the-knee amputee felt like. All these guys have the greatest outlook on life. They don't feel that anything is owed to them and have a 'never give up' attitude."
We are so proud of Steve for what he accomplished!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beware the falling Bunya-bunya cone!

Araucaria bidwillii, Bunya-bunya pine or false monkey puzzle tree is native to rainforest areas near the coast in SE Queensland, Australia. The Bunya-bunya has gigantic cones and razor sharp needles, and can grow up to 120 ft. of more. Close relatives are the Norfolk Island palm (Araucaria heterophylla) and true monkey puzzle tree (A. araucana). The large, female fruiting cones of the Bunya-bunya are the size of a small watermelon and can weigh up to 15 lbs. or more. They generally mature in summer through to early autumn but they are not formed every year (approx.once every three years).
It was considered a sacred tree and an important food source to the Australian Aborigines.  The cones contain wedge shaped nuts that are similar in flavor to a chestnut.

This cone was collected on the ground by one of our Supervisors, Armando Diaz.  (not on a property we maintain!)  There is some real concern during fruiting season, as these extremely heavy cones can cause injury or damage to property.  

Author: Leslie C.   Photo credit, cones: Debra Moore