Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Carex communis, Beech Sedge (Rick Gardner's tips for recognizing this sedge: Look for persistent, broad, dried leaves at the base. This sedge grows in a clump, unlike its relative Pennsylvania Sedge, which grows in a spreading colony.)
Our group gathered round to study and admire Adams County's Carex eburnea, Bristle-leaved sedge. Sedge-heads in clockwise order- Ned Keller, your Weedpickin' blogger, Tricia West, Andrew Gibson, and our fearless leader: Dan Boone. Photo taken by Julian Campbell.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Can you name it? I sure couldn't.
But I was fascinated by the pink clouds of flowers on the Red (or Slippery) Elm, Ulmus rubra.
While leading our botany trip on Sunday, Dan Boone was kind enough to pull a branch down for closer inspection.. and a few photos taken by Andrew Gibson, Ned Keller, Tricia West (photo credit) and me.
Dare I call it anything more? Some say the two species were "lumped" into Hepatica nobilis. Other claim it is now an anemone. Indeed, we find that listed under the detailed information at USDA plants for Hepatica nobilis Schreb. var. acuta.
Hepatica- a welcome sign of spring, whatever the "confused" botanists call it.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Irish Eyes... smiling.
A favorite restaurant, The Harp on Detroit Ave. in Lakewood is reason alone for raising a glass to good music and boxties. Considered to be "poor man's bread," potato pancakes happen to be... delicious!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Greg and Leslie were kayaking along the Indian River in Florida (without me!?) when this beauty put on an air show. This is the time of year Swallow-tail Kites return to their summering grounds.
According to Sibley they can over shoot that migration by a bit, and make extremely rare appearances in northern states. Most records I find are in mid-April or in the fall. So look sharp for these fellows, and if anyone spots one- don't keep secrets!
Swallow-tail Kite........... photo by Greg Cornett
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The pine cone gall on willow is not uncommon. Deep inside this structure, a little insect has created an inner sanctum. Not unlike the thickened bulbs on the stems of goldenrod, it is the winter home of a insect- just trying to get by.
Once you tune into nature, your first reaction ceases to be: reach for the spray! Most of these insects will naturally occur and naturally be held in check in a balanced ecosystem. After all, web worms maybe considered unsightly, but they are unlikely to kill a a tree.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Not just the physical healing properties of trees, of which there are many; Aspirin is derived from Salix sp.- the willow tree, and Witch Hazel, Hamamelis sp. provides an astringent. These are just two of the many species used in traditional Native American medicine with proven efficacy.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
About 30 different species of Crocus are in common cultivation in the U.S.
Remember, our cultivated flowers where once "wild" somewhere else. In the case of the crocus (and tulip) many species are from the Middle East- especially Turkey.
The "gold" of the spice world, Saffron is cultivated from crocus stigmas. It is a highly desirable spice, used in gourmet cuisine.
So it is fitting that crocuses would be coming up in the gardens at the Murphin Ridge Inn, the most amazing B&B and restaurant, tucked away in the rural corners of Adams County. It was one of the highlights of a recent trip down to the Amish Birding Symposium.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
After all, what is a Snow Trillium, Trillium nivale if it can't take a little snow? If you are interested in learning more about this species- go here for Jim McCormac's special take on this population.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Another feature of even more importance can be found here. This craggy rock pillar, stands tall against time in the woodlands near Antioch College.
Pompeys Pillar could use a publicity agent, as most Ohioans are completely unaware of its presence. This 15 foot pillar has been a local attraction for over 100 years, but has failed to attract the attention it merits. One has to admire this time worn rock feature having a history that well predates our state.
Finally "Pompeys" story has been told in a marvelous book featuring many of Ohio's most notable, yet often unknown, geologic features. Timothy Snyder's book "Rainbows of Rock, Pillars or Stone" provides photos and text about the natural arches and pillars of Ohio. Tim will be a key-note speaker at Flora-Quest, where he will explain how geology and botany are explicable tied.
Many endangered plants like Wall-Rue, Asplenium ruta-muraria are so linked with geology, they are only found on a particular type of rock formation. As its name suggests, wall-rue grows on vertical rocky surfaces. If the geology is uncommon the plant distribution will likely follow.
Tim, the author, will explain why botany in Ohio is never simple. Join us at Flora-Quest in Shawnee to see how geology can rock your world.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Yellow Springs, Ohio has one of the loveliest yet, nestled in among the shops of this quaint college town. And although there has been some changes at the college, the town still holds its school-town charm. It is worthy of several visits.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Bald Eagles have re-bounded from the death throes of the the DDT days, but they may face a new danger. Wind Power has the potential to put the smack down on many of our avian species. Black Swamp Bird Observatory is playing a major role in cautioning against the coming fatalities if we continue to build towers and wind turbines in sensitive areas.
..For more information go to one of Mark's programs. Or better yet, go to BSBO's website and support their research and conservation.