Monday, April 27, 2009

The Barks of the Arboretum

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

This morning I went to the Arb to take pictures of the Spring ephemerals.  Not too many up yet, I guess it's shadier than our backyard.  Found a few Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot) plants and a nice patch of Dentaria laciniata (Cut-leafed Toothwart).  Still a week early for the Dutchmen's Breeches and the Hepatica are late too.

American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

So instead I took pictures of bark. With nothing else around to distract me from the textures, it was an easy adjustment to go from looking down for ephemerals to looking sideways at trees.  Beeches, oaks, hickories, tamaracks, and maples were all represented.  Pretty cool.

There was an old growth oak that had some moisture running down the side, oozing from a sore, a symptom of a disease that often afflicts older oaks.  Upon closer inspection, there were dozens of tiny slugs (I prefer to think of them as homeless snails).  I actually like mollusks of all sorts, especially the giant land snails I found in Hawaii.

For the most part, most all mollusks are quite beautiful if you look at them the right way, that is, if you really see them as they are (beautifully textured, subtle coloring), not as we are told to see them (disgusting slimy things).  The order Nudibrachia (a collection of sea slugs) are brightly colored, almost surreal in their vibrant hues and patterns.  Same family as the lowly slug, don't forget that.

There were birches (genus Betulaceae)

There were cherrywood trees (Prunus serotina).  Not to be confused with cherry trees.

And of course, Shagbarks (Carya ovata).

Anyway, a nice walk in the Arb, even though I didn't find what I set out to find.

Respectfully submitted,



Silbs said...

Lots of shade, huh? I guess, in this case, the light was worse than the bark.

David Morlock said...

'specially like the slug photo...

Rosie said...

Totally envious, as usual, since our spring peepers haven't even thought about making a peep yet. Two things:
I like the bark pics. They're like nature's wallpaper or something.
Second, nudibranchs rock.