Posts Tagged 'trees'



Sprung

Tossing their pollen into the air…

Scott Pruitt, the oil and gas industry operative given the hammer to destroy our environmental protections, claims that physics and chemistry are bunk. (Such a good lesson for students, but, then, the person put in charge of education doesn’t even know what education is; she thinks it’s a fundamentalist-infected profit-center.)

We know Pruitt’s paymasters are aware that he’s talking out of his ass. Exxon, for instance, has known for decades that global warming is the result of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane, both byproducts of their industry (and, of course, the rest of civilization). They have suppressed their own scientists and lied to everyone, including their alleged “owners,” the stockholders.

As I’ve said before, these destructive fools can claim it doesn’t happen, they can destroy and defund, but they can’t stop it. And the bullshit excuse that all these lies are for jobs? Sorry, but what a bitter joke. This is for the profit of the few who claim “liberty” is their right to despoil and pollute.

Here’s a clear explanation of climate change if your friends need one. The author, Erin Blakemore, with whom I work at JSTOR, also provides this sidebar of six irrefutable pieces of evidence.

Pod

Gymnocladus dioicusVariation on a Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) pod.

“Listen to them! The children of the night. What music they make.” Ok, Bela Lugosi’s Count D is talking about the Transylvanian wolves, but Brooklyn has some interesting early spring night musicians, too. Join me on a Brooklyn Brainery expedition to the edges of the borough to listen for spring peepers, choral frogs, and American Woodcock doing their mating flights on the 18th. It will be cold and dark and we will be depending on our ears more than our our eyes, for a change.

Oak Galls

gall1The mighty oaks and their galls are an endless source of curiosity. This particular type, a hard, fruit-like structure, is created by a tiny wasp, which essentially irritated the tree into making them for their larva.
galls2Clever boots! The trees are Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor), according to the Street Tree Map. (I’m waiting on some leaves to see if I can confirm that.)gall3The wasp’s exit hole. I think these are Disholcaspis genus gall wasps. D. quercusmamma perhaps? (Why, yes, a translation of that would be “oak breasts.”)

Hot February

cherriesYesterday, in Green-Wood, some Cherries and a Red Maple were blooming already.Acer rubrumRecord-breaking temperatures raise the bar to the new normal. A nice review of climate change now. People, from the rotting orange head of the regime on down, can say it doesn’t exist; they can suppress research; intimidate scientists; but they can’t change the radical, wide-ranging effects of climate change on the planet, in human societies, and down the block. But, by sticking their heads in the sand, they sure can guarantee worse effects. Acer rubrumimg_2984

Twiggy

Liriodendron tulipiferaThe twigs right now! The twigs! Green, red, orange, brown. Spring is coiled for the spring.

This is our old friend Liriodendron tulipifera. Look at those leaf scars! The bundle scars, too, are nice and obvious. In the Native Flora in Winter course I just took at NYBG, some species’ bundle scars were damned hard to see, even under magnification (magnification is a necessity in this endeavor).

Here’s how Harlow describes these in his key: “terminal buds with 2 outer scales; flattened, glabrous; leaf scars nearly circular; bundle scars numerous, scattered in an irregular ellipse.” Core and Ammons: “Leaf scars alternate, large, round; bundle-scars many, in an irregular ellipse; stipule-scars linear, encircling the twig.”

Hey, we’re doing Where the Wild Things Are again on Tuesday.

Rings

25Just about the entire time I’ve lived in New York City. This was a big fat Red Oak. I will miss it.

My birthday falls on Not My President’s Day. Perfect!

Thoreau Thursday

Liriodendron tulipiferaThe purple, duck-billed buds of Liriodendron tulipifera. These are just over 2cm long and were taken from some recent windfall branches.

Thoreau seems to have become acquainted with “tulip trees” on Staten Island, where he lived from May-December of 1843, having gone there to tutor Ralph Waldo Emerson’s brother’s children. I read in one source that that there were no specimens of this species in his native Concord. The tree’s range does go into Massachusetts and Vermont, even Canada in some sources, so I wonder if they were all cut down by HDT’s time.

I needed a background, and Leslie Day’s Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City came in hand. This book does not actually include Tuliptrees because they are very rarely found on our streets. There was one right around the corner of my old Cobble Hill apartment. If you remember, that was where I found this Eastern Tiger Swallow caterpillar, which feeds on this tree.

Tomorrow is a sort of national or general strike against the extremism of the Trump regime. Not sure how much headwind they have, but Strike4Democracy has more details. Backyard & Beyond will join this action.

Meanwhile, March 8 is scheduled as a Day Without Women.

Until then, folks should read Engler & Engler’s This Is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-first Century.


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