What’s our first thought about fungi? Fungal infections? No doubt certain occurrences of fungus are unpleasant (athlete’s foot, black spot on roses). However fungi are critical to all life, particularly because over 90% of plant species benefit from a symbiotic relation with fungi termed mycorrhiza. Occasionally fungi in the form of mushrooms are attractive. Following […]
Another rose is blooming on this beautiful, brisk January morning in Louisiana. This is a fragrant English Shrub Rose named “Jude the Obscure”.
This December has been unusually warm in Louisiana. As evidence — I picked this gladiolus from the yard today (December 29). Happy New Year, everyone!
Shelf-like fungal growths on trees are known as conks Fungus identification is best left to experts, but I think the “conks” shown in the pictures above are the species Phellinus Tremulae. The photograph in the upper right is a close-up of the porous bottom-side of one of them. So far I have seen these growths […]
Mushrooms have appeared in abundance in our area in September. Mushrooms are actually reproductive structures that seasonally sprout from networks of fungal cells in the soil called mycelium. These fungi are critically important in the forest ecosystem as decomposers, soil would not form without them. About 120,000 species of fungus have been identified, however it […]
Cascade Hops (Humulus lupulus) Humulus lupulus, or hops, is a perennial viney plant in the hemp family. Its cone-shaped fruits are one of the four key ingredients in modern beer (water, malted grain, hops, and yeast). Hops add bitter flavor and provide anti-microbial protection for beer. A wide variety of herbs have been used throughout […]
Watershield (Brasenia schreberi) The pads of watershield are slightly smaller than other common lily pads, and they are more elliptical. It blooms throughout the summer, but we did not notice any of the smaller pink-purple flowers. Its most interesting and noticeable feature was a thick coating of very slippery mucilage (slime!) coating the underside of […]
Departing from the usual for one post to advocate an unconventional method to mow lawn — the old-style, non-motorized reel mower. I got one of these mowers for the first time about four years ago, and was surprised at how well it worked. Since then, I’ve used this type of mower a lot; the images […]
Previous posts have focused on the plants along the roadside, but a few other interesting things deserve attention. This post features two of them. Glacial Till Alongside our gravel road there is this terrific exposure of the glacial till that covers the entire region. Glacial till is a catch-all term for the sediment left behind […]
The previous posts have information that may be interesting, but is not exactly critical stuff to know. This post attempts to correct that by providing info that is at least somewhat useful. A Highly Noxious Plant Western Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii) Poison Ivy is recognized by groupings of three oval pointed leaves, its woody stems, […]