Lichens: A lesson on how to get along

They’re delicate, but tough; beautiful, yet crusty. They’re also found almost everywhere, but you probably don’t pay them much attention. They grow in patches on rocks, trees, buildings and just about every other surface. They’re under-researched and misunderstood. Most people probably don’t even know their name, which is lichen, by the way. I’ve written about lichens before (after a trip to Seattle, where they are … Continue reading Lichens: A lesson on how to get along

Changing leaves means time to transplant trees and shrubs

The leaves still cling to the trees, immersed in the process of shedding their emerald green tones for the vibrant warm colors they don for the fall. The process begins as cooler weather and shorter days signal the trees that winter is approaching. The trees in turn begin breaking down their chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for capturing energy from the sun to be used … Continue reading Changing leaves means time to transplant trees and shrubs

This means war! Some plants use chemicals to compete

A walk through the woods can be one of the most peaceful and calming experiences — a place where you can find quiet for reflection and marvel at the beauty of nature. Little do most people know that some plants, especially one specific tree, wage chemical warfare against other plants to keep away potential neighbors that would compete for nutrients and sunlight. In the Appalachian … Continue reading This means war! Some plants use chemicals to compete

Taking a lichen to each other

On a trip this past week to Seattle, I was able to get out and explore some of the area’s natural plant life. Because it is wedged between the ocean and a mountain range, the climate is mild and fairly wet. In my adventures, I noticed a phenomenon we have here in our area taken, in some cases, to extremes. It is a mostly harmless … Continue reading Taking a lichen to each other

Give thanks for trees, and plant a new one

This week we celebrate two days that help us turn our attention toward making our planet a better place. On Tuesday, we celebrate Earth Day, which turns our consciousness to the Earth, and more specifically, to our place in it. Then on Friday, we celebrate National Arbor Day (for some reason, West Virginia Arbor Day was April 11), when we celebrate the role of trees on the … Continue reading Give thanks for trees, and plant a new one