Archive for February, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My favorite gardening tool, the soil knife

by Caroline Brown

I was thinking about garden tools because as part of your blogger profile, Blotanical asks about your favorites when you sign up. This made me think about how much I really do love my soil knife.

I’m not doing an advertisement for anyone, so I won’t say the brand, though you can probably see the logo if you have good eyes. I think that everyone who isn’t using an old steak knife probably has this same tool!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weekend photoblogging: big snowstorm!

by Caroline Brown

It’s really coming down outside.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tree of the month: khejari (Prosopis cineraria)

by Caroline Brown

A reader asked about a tree in the Great Indian (or Thar) Desert in Rajasthan, India. Khejari (Prosopis cineraria), also called kandi, khejri, jand, and ghaf, among many others, is found mainly in the dry and arid deserts of India, where annual rainfall is 10-20 inches. Khejari are found on plains and in ravines, rarely in the hills. In these areas, there can be wild temperature extremes, ranging from 104-114 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade to less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, when frosts are not uncommon.

Image courtesy of Dr. Erick C.M. Fernandes, Cornell University

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New tropical butterfly garden at the Smithsonian

by Caroline Brown

Yet another reason to plan a road trip to Washington, DC. I haven’t been in at least 15 years, and I’ve been meaning to go visit the museums. Now there’s one more to add to the list: the Smithsonian is opening a $3million butterfly exhibit! The exhibit “Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution” features a 1,200 square foot tropical butterfly garden with approximately 400 butterflies. In the exhibit’s main hall, visitors learn about the co-evolution of butterflies and plants.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Excellent blogs

by Caroline Brown

Diane at Alberta Postcards was kind enough to give me an Excellent Blog Award. Mind Sieve came up with the idea to give this award to other blogs that you like, and if you’re awarded you have to pass it on, etc. Diane blogs about nature, gardening, writing, and poetry, among other things….plus you’ll really enjoy her photos (for ex., check out this post about the color blue.) Thanks Diane!

I have been derelict in my blogging responsibilities lately. I keep up with the blogs I read almost exclusively through aggregator sites like Bloglines, Blotanical, and Nature Blog Network. They give me a snapshot of the headlines, articles, and photos on many blogs without having to click through to all the blogs at different times. Because of this and time constraints I’ve all but given up commenting on blogs. But, I do have a list of blogs where I “lurk” or visit via a feed or other aggregator. These are the ones I give the Excellent Blog Award to.

In alphabetical order:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Science lesson: marcescent leaves

by Caroline Brown

Marcescence is when a plant part dies but is not shed. It’s most frequently noticed in the winter, when certain deciduous tree species don’t lose their dead leaves. Oaks and beeches have normally marcescent leaves. That’s an oak at left, and marcescent beech leaves are pictured below the jump.