Yellow Pollen Pants

By Sydney Chandler After the recent rainy streak, the Arboretum buzzes with activity. The buzzing includes human traffic as well as pollinators who travel from flower to flower in an excited frenzy. Following these pollinators on their travels prompts exploration into the pollination process. Butterfly visits an attractive flower Visitors to the Arboretum are lucky…

Exploring dis-a-re- (Disarray)

By Greg Lecker This hazy, sunny morning I’m walking around Green Heron Pond.  Last month’s study of duckweed and watermeal covering an adjacent smaller pond spurred me to think about the apparent disarray we find at first glance in nature.  I propose a compound word, “dis-a-re-”  to encompass complex themes ranging from dismissal, disturbance, and…

Ridge Trail Reflections

By Holly Einess The day promises to be a hot one so I set off early along Ridge Trail. I hear a number of different birds singing and calling—robin, common yellowthroat, catbird, red-winged blackbird, chickadee—and see several downy woodpeckers, one of them a plump juvenile with characteristic red feathering on the top of its head….

Summer Orchids

By Mary Beth Pottratz Yellow-tipped stamens dangle like pom-poms from tall meadow rue plants. Tall Meadow Rue White beardtongue flowers trumpet their existence. The colors of bush honeysuckle leaves range from green to purples all summer long. Right now they are flowering, in tiny bursts of yellow that take on reddish orange highlights as they…

Olfactory Outings

By Sydney Chandler A long inhale . . . traces of basil, rosemary, and thyme swirl into visitors’ nostrils. For some, these scents may trigger emotional responses, pull up vivid memories, or prompt reflection on applications of these plants. Golden Lemon Thyme The Fragrant Herb Garden is home to an incredible variety of herbs and…

What a Wonderful….Watery….World

By Greg Lecker A fine morning to be out, so says a parenting pair of Canada geese and their goslings.  The sun has just cleared the tree-line ringing the still pond between the visitor center and Green Heron Pond. Dawn on Green Carpet The glare of sunlight grazes a magic green carpet.  Magic carpet indeed! …

Spring in Full Swing

By Holly Einess When I was last at the Arboretum in early April I snowshoed through the white landscape, bright sun reflecting off the snow and hurting my eyes. What a different scene is before me today as I set off in shorts and sandals into a lush green landscape dotted with splashes of color….

Arboretum Dendrochronology Workshop by Dr. Brita Lorentzen, May 5, 2018

The following is a summary of the Dendrochrology workshop conducted at the Arboretum on May 5, 2018, by Dr. Brita Lorentzen of Cornell University: Cored 4 trees southwest of the Learning Center: Bur oak: minimum age= 1893 (125-year sequence) (reasonably close to the center, so we’re probably within ~10 years of the center) Red cedar:…

A Venerable Oak Tree

By Dan Miller Behind the Arboretum’s Andrus Learning Center stands an impressive Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa).  It is a well shaped tree approximately 60 feet tall and with a canopy spread of nearly 90 feet.   Although there are other oak trees at the Arboretum that are both taller and with wider canopies, as far as…

Bog Blog

By Sydney Chandler The secure boardwalk through the bog differs from the spongy mat below. The dense layer of sphagnum moss and roots form a nine foot deep layer of plant life that floats on twelve feet of open water. Gasses release from this layer causing a unique smell and subtle bubbling sounds. Below the…