Posts Tagged 'trees'

Beech Nuts

The root of the word book is the same as that of the word beech.


The late poet C. D. Wright’s posthumously published Casting Deep Shade is an “amble inscribed to beeches and co.”

Appropriately, this book itself is a lovely thing. The unusual trifold cover makes it highly inappropriate for subway reading, but there are plenty of other places to read. (This reminds me that I see many less e-readers on the trains now than I did when they were first being touted. Another e-gimmick gone to dust and toxicity.) The text block within is thus bare naked, showing all the parts of the binder’s craft. The pages here become heartwood, a creamy heartwood. Only after reading the book for a while did I notice that the boards were covered on the inside with wood grain-textured paper.

Pictured: a weeping variety of Fagus sylvantica, the European beech, highly favored as an ornamental on these shores. Next to this weeper is a stand-up tall one, and the nuts and husks it has piled on the path. The foot of another below. All in Green-Wood, local kingdom of the the threatened beech.

Old Hickory

This was actually yellower to my eyes than this orange-ish reproduction via the camera, but either way it sure jumped out at me — from outside the cemetery, actually.
Carya species native here include mockernut, bitternut, pignut, and shagbark, but of course Green-Wood is an arboretum originally planted with specimen trees. I think this might be the mockernut…

Oaks





Oaken Sights

Yesterday’s log was at the base of a big old oak.
The near-horizontal limbs were host to mosses and algae, which in turn host tiny invertebrates. This hole, too, looks like it has potential.
Higher up, still another hole has become an airborne garden.
Nearby, amidst the roots, a woodchuck den.

Buckeyes


Alas, they shrivel up and darken, losing these lovely colors and stain-like patterns, in no time.

Aesculus flava, or some cultivated form of it, I gather. “Aesculus Flava”, a hip-hop name for the taking.

Acorn Drillers

As is my wont, I pocketed a red oak acorn recently. Almost a week later I noticed this: a little wormy something was cutting it’s way out! Note the frass pile.

Perhaps a Curculio nut and acorn weevil. More here.

Not pictured, but this also happened with a shingle oak acorn, which has a much smaller nut than the red. The exit hole hole was correspondingly smaller, so perhaps the work of another species.

American Chestnut


Some earlier writing about American chestnuts in Prospect Park.

***

Just in from the science desk: Zebra Finches dream very much like mammals. Like us. The authors extrapolate to song birds in general. They hypothesize that such shared characteristics are a result of our shared early ancestry.


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