Earth Day 2017

Earth Day
morning

birds
frogs
rain on the window

already
celebrating

 

Where we live, Western Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) are a species at risk. Yet for decades they have graced the little marsh at the back of the fields with their energy and song. We are honoured by their presence. For more information about this fascinating little frog, and to hear its unique voice, visit

http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/frogs.asp?fr=5  https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/western_chorus_frog.php

 

 

Marcescence

I learned a new word recently. A strong word. A significant word. Marcescence.

Marcescence is the phenomenon whereby trees hold onto their leaves – some well into the winter –  for reasons others can explain better than I.*  Around here, it’s the Red Oak (Quercus rubra) and American Beech (Fagus Americana) trees who hold onto their leaves the longest, adding surprising colour and a radiant beauty to the winter forest.

american-beech-leaves-hanging-on  oak-leaf-hanging-on

While the Oak and Beech trees are the stars of marcescense in this region, other trees can do it too. Like the Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) and the Balsam Poplar(Populus balsamifera).

black-cherry-leaf-hanging-on

balsam-poplar-leaf-hanging-on

 

 

 

 

 

It’s remarkable to see these leaves hanging on right through the winter. It’s somewhat inspiring  to contemplate what they are doing, holding on despite inclement times.

And there is a word for it. Marcescence. How have I managed to live without that word?

american-beech-leaf-cluster

For more information about marcescense:
http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/centers/private-forests/news/2012/winter-leaves-that-hang-on
http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/why-do-some-leaves-persist-on-beech-and-oak-trees-well-into-winter/