Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Behold, the Emerald Ash Borer

Hi, everyone.

As seems to be my habit lately, I’m posting late. It’s always my preference to do this first thing, but on Fridays the Catbird needs to be in early which leaves me less time, especially because I never get these things truly written in advance. I’ve actually got something like three posts in various forms of draft, one almost complete, but I couldn’t pull it together this morning, and at this hour I’d rather expend my brain power on my WiP.

Instead, I’ll share this piece with you, with some background. Late last year my boss connected with the publisher of a local weekly paper with the idea that someone in the organization (me) would write a column on environmental stuff that might appear once a month or so. He agreed. We sent him three columns, he was enthusiastic, and even came out and took some head shots of me. Eight months and multiple nudges from my boss later, he still hadn’t run any of them, so she approached the other weekly. They liked them and ran one. Then another. This is the third, and is the most recently written. Visit the page here, and try not to be frightened by my humongously large picture. As much as I like that photo of myself, it’s a bit…big. Time for a new one, I think.

Howard Russell, Michigan State University,
– See more at:

I should also note that if you live in the northeastern portion of the United States, you should probably pay extra close attention and take a look at your state’s Department of Natural Resources or Environmental Protection or whatever they call themselves (ours is the Department of Environmental Conservation) and see if you need to worry about this little sucker, the emerald ash borer.

Howard Russell, Michigan State University,

Much better than the occasional spider picture, right?

Hope you all have a nice weekend!

6 Responses

  1. The pic wasn't big at all, and you look very smart/professorial and friendly in it. Yay for your boss's persistence and getting the other weekly to run the stories. I read it and commented. It's a great article filled with info I didn't know. Thanks!

  2. You make me smile, Jeff. Congrats on those posts finally being published. We have a beetle here that's pretty much decimated whole forests in the mountains.I guess they'll eat themselves out of trees eventually (leaving just aspens) and the beetles will die out. There's something wrong about that.

  3. I will head over and check out the article. Sounds like an important topic and I am glad that the other weekly ended up publishing the series. I will also have to learn more about the emerald ash borer, as I live in CT and am not sure if it is here. Thanks for the info!

  4. I read the article and it was VERY informative. Thanks! Also, your picture looks great- not too big at all. 🙂

  5. Thanks for your comments, everyone, mucho appreciated. I don't know, maybe the picture looks bigger on my browser than yours.


    -Donna, not sure what it is you have out there. It's amazing how much damage these little beetles can do in a short amount of time, though.

    -Carrie–thanks! I wonder if that's an invasive stink bug or just one of those seasonal things where they seek shelter indoors? At least they shouldn't be biters!

    -DMS–thank you very much! I appreciate it!

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