Two Bur Oaks and a Crawdad

A group of swamp white oaks Healthy soil is important, but for whom?  In the Garden  The young bur oak would not be kept down. Yet again it revealed itself among the standing dead stalks of a large patch of purple bee balm, a good three feet tall and leafing out. In spring, a bur oak’s leaves look like sharp-edged, glossy cutouts. They are not green, but shade delicately among soft corals, tans and pinks. The green comes a bit later, like a slow-motion wave gently pervading each leathery leaf. The question, as it had been for several years, was what to do with this young newcomer to the garden.  About ten feet away and across the walk from house to garage stands a second bur oak that I’d started from an acorn some twelve years ago. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow its first sets of true leaves, become large enough to attract birds and then mature enough to bear acorns. This winter I limbed it up three feet from the ground, mainly to give the sedges and wild geraniums growing underneath a

Do Your Backyard Plants and Animals Display Phenophases?


Of course they do. This is a blatant come-on for the USA National Phenology Network. As I wrote in Something New to Do With Your Lilacs, USA NPN is looking for citizen scientists to record observations of common plants at their website. The observations will be put in a database that will track the effects of global warming on these species. How will plants and animals adapt? Will they bloom earlier? Show up in our area earlier? This will be one way we'll find out.

I was just over at the site and they've redesigned it to make it easier to use, and have added selected animals to the species you can monitor. I've added bumblebees to my lilacs, but the Illinois list includes herps, birds and even white-tailed deer (hard to miss in my neck of the woods!).

I urge anyone in the U.S. with a concern about global warming and a garden or access to an outdoor area, wild or not, to take part in this effort.

BTW, my lilacs have leafed out. How are yours doing?

Comments

Martha Upshaw said…
Wow, Adrian! Enjoying reading your blog as I contemplate planting my flowerboxes on the balcony of our 18th floor highrise. I don't actually plant until after Mother's Day, but I like to think about ways I might make changes.
africanaussie said…
Thanks for visiting my blog Adrian, you have brought up some interesting topics, and I enjoy your quotes as well!
Martha,

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to know what you plant up there. Do you grow herbs as well as flowers?

africanaussie,

I'll visit again soon.