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Unobtrusive Bloomers

                                While the Service Berry is making a big white splash among the still gray forest landscape, there are the rather quiet, inconspicuous flowers that are easily overlooked. They don’t mean to hide, they just don’t need to be ostentatious. They … Continue reading »

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A Bit of Spring

In these post-blizzard days, thought folks would enjoy a few wildflower photos.   ,

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Will the Real Poison Ivy . . .

More than once, first time visitors to the Ranch ask why poison ivy is allowed to climb  the small oak tree along the front door walkway. I’ve sort of gotten used to it and have developed a rather nice little speech about the virtues of the innocent five-leaved Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia L. Planchon) Almost every part of the vine … Continue reading »

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Redbud Extravaganza

While many people anxiously await the dogwood blooms, I look for the hints of the deep pink to red to purple blooms of the redbud (Cercis canadensis L.).  Appearing just after the white bloom clusters of the Service berry (Amelanchier aborea), I’ve never gotten used to that sudden splash of color. This year I decided I needed to mark the … Continue reading »

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The Witch Hazel Event

  We don’t have many dismal days around here, but the Saturday scheduled for the “Witch Hazel Event” in early March happened to have great  potential to be a dandy of a dismal day. Fortunately, some weeks before I had mentioned to James, my fishing buddy, that I’d have some trees to plant in March. “Would you be interested … Continue reading »

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Ebony Spleenwort – What’s in a Name

I’ve always been curious about things with the word “spleen” in its name since I don’t have one. Spleen that is. For those not up on human anatomy, the spleen is a sort of soft, spongy organ, usually located on the left side, just below the last rib. It used to be thought that people … Continue reading »

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“Non-Flowering Plants”

Non-Flowering Plants Ferns, Mosses, Lichens, Mushrooms and other Fungi  by Floyd S. Shuttleworth and Herbert S. Zim, is a Golden Nature Guide published in 1967. While it may seem that a 43 year-old book might not be a good reference guide, guess again. Certainly some of the information is dated, particularly taxonomy but the basic information is very … Continue reading »

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