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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The flowering Dogwood is alive with flowers and leaves opening this week in Brasstown, North Carolina and the Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Cornus florida, Flowering Dogwood, Brasstown, North Carolina
The Dogwood trees are so beautiful this time of year!!!!  The leaves are opening up and growing by the hour.  Some trees are in full flower and some are leafing out.  It is a wonder filled time of year.

Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, Brasstown, North Carolina

Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, Brasstown, North Carolina

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Boreal Forest of Alaska

I have been on a trip to the Boreal forests of Alaska.  Amazing and breathtaking are two words that describe my time in Alaska.  I also ventured above the Boreal forest to the frozen tundra above the tree line; what an experience to see the last tree on the Dalton Hwy.  There were no more trees; yet, incredibly beautiful in it's white and blue beauty.
Boreal is named after the Greek God of the North wind, Boreas.  29% of the Earth is covered in Boreal Forests.  The Boreal Forests of the world run in a band across upper North America and Eurasia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Distribution_Taiga.png#filelinks
Thank you for the map, Wikimedia!

The Aurora Borealis is an incredible phenomenon, a light display seen in the area I was visiting.  To see this light dancing in the sky over the top of the trees was one of the highlights of my life.


Some of the trees I visited with were The Red Alder.

Red Alder, Alnus rubra
photo by Robert Priddy.  www.robertpriddyphoto.com

The White Birch
Paper Birch, Betula neoalaskana

Paper Birch, Betula neoalaskana
The Black Spruce
Black Spruce, Picea mariana
Photo by Robert Priddy
http://www.robertpriddyphoto.com/

Black Spruce, Picea mariana
Photo by Robert Priddy
http://www.robertpriddyphoto.com/
 and the incredible frozen Artic Tundra, which is treeless.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Alaska cottonwood trees


The light was so beautiful today in the cottonwood trees with the eagle making it twice as incredible.
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saving the redwoods

I am flying to Alaska today on a journey to find the northern lights.  Stopping in the Atlanta airport I have been inspired by a short documentary about a young man who has a mission to save the redwoods.   I am grateful for his dedication!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tag Alder

Tag Alder, Alnus serrulata, The Botanical Gardens of Asheville

This Tag Alder lives by the creek at the Botanical Gardens.  The light was beautiful this morning as I walked by the beautiful trees.  I always see these trees as being graceful and dancing as they sway in the wind and the light.  One can sit near here at the creek and I encourage everyone to do so.  Just take a moment and sit on a sunny day on the creek and just watch as the trees sway and bend and seem to dance in the light.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum

Acer saccharum
January 5th

This is the fifth tree I have been visiting in the Maple family.  It is winter time so lets look at the bark.

This Acer saccharum lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.  This tree is also known as the Sugar Maple.  The Sugar maple gets a characteristic black color on the bark as it matures; that is one way that you can identify the Sugar maple tree is the black looking sections on the bark.  The growth of a fungus complex causes the black coloration on the bark of the sugar maple trees.  Notice the sapsucker holes in the bark in this photo that my daughter took.  I imagine the yellow bellied sapsuckers enjoying the sweet sap as they peck into the bark.  

Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum
Yellow bellied sapsucker.  photo by:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sphyrapicus_varius.jpg
.  thank you http://www.flickr.com/people/9765210@N03.

I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.

Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum

Acer saccharinum
January 4th

This is the fouth tree I have been visiting in the Maple Family.  Since it is winter time, lets look at the bark.

This Acer saccharinum tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.  This tree is also known as the Silver Maple.  My daughter and I took a walk today at the Botanical Gardens to take photos of bark; here is what we found.

Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum, Botanical Gardens of Asheville

The Bark of  the silver maple tree when young, is smooth and gray.  When this tree matures, the bark is silvery gray that looks shaggy as long pieces of bark turn up at the ends.  These pictures are of a fully mature silver maple that is probably near 100 feet tall.

Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum, Botanical Gardens of Asheville

I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.

Red Maple - Acer rubrum

Acer rubrum
January 3rd

This is the third tree I have been visiting in the Maple family.  It is winter time, so lets look at the bark.

This Acer rubrum lives near my house at Priddy Woods.  This tree is also known as the Red Maple.  This tree has so many red features that the name is certainly appropriate.  I am finding each and every tree species has it own individuality.  There are features that are unique to each species in each season.  The red maple tree in the winter will have these red twigs that emerge from the smooth gray bark.  A trait of the maple family is the way these trees grow in community.  Where there is one, there are many.  Can you tell that by this first picture.  The two trunks grew from one of the many shoots that emerge from the earth.  You will notice when you find mature maples, they commonly have multiple trunks.

Acer rubrum, Red Maple, Priddy Woods

Acer rubrum, Red Maple, Priddy Woods

I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Striped Maple - Acer pensylvanicum

Acer pensylvanicum
January 2nd

This is the second tree I have been visiting in the Maple family.  Since it is winter time, lets look at the bark.  

This Acer pensylvanicum tree lives at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.  This tree is also known as the Striped Maple. It is usually a small tree, 30 to 40 feet tall; and it has striped bark, thus the name.  The stripes are white against a green trunk; the stripes go in an "up and down" direction.   As the tree gets older, the trunk becomes brown and gets a bit warty.  However, the twigs will remain green striped with white.

If you want to find this tree at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, take the trail Crayton Trail from the Educational bldg up towards the Arbor.  Just a bit past the Arbor, you will find some Striped Maples.  Just look for the green striped bark.

Acer pensylvanicum, Striped Maple, Asheville Botanical Gardens
Acer pensylvanicum, Striped Maple, Asheville Botanical Gardebs
I encourage you to go into nature and enjoy the peace that surrounds you.