Monday, July 19, 2010

An Up North on Vacation Blog!

Howdy! I know-it's been a while! I'm going to blame my recent absence on on my vacation. My husband and I spent an extended weekend up north for the Fourth of July. As a result, I've decided to take a break from all of the wedding posts and share a nature bunny blog with you!

Spending a weekend up north is one of my favorite things to do. I find it both relaxing and fascinating. Of course, I am a flower lover, but beyond that I'm really a nature lover-in a very dorky sort of way. My degree is in plant biology and I love to meet new plants. My dichotomous keys (Michigan Flora I, II and III) are always in our vehicle when we are up north. (They are hard cover volumes so it isn't always practical to hike with them on my back!)

So let's start with a flower...Pyrola ellptica, otherwise known as Shinleaf. A fairly common wildflower in Wisconsin and much of North America. I did a little digging on the origin of it's common name and found some great info on this blog. It's name is derived from it's medicinal properties as it's leaves were crushed and applied as a "shin plaster" to relieve pain. Yet another reason as to why plants rock. (Told you I was dorky.)

On to something I know less about. This is a very prominent little fungi on our property.

While I took mycology in college, we focused more on the physiology of fungi than individual id. And we talked a lot about making beer and wine. (Which was pretty cool too.) From what I could discern, I believe it is a white coral fungus.

And now on to something I know even less about. I love that as this blog goes on my knowledge is diminishing... :)

Our property in Goodman, Wisconsin is littered with these huge decaying tree stumps that look like they were the victims of a fire from long ago. I would love to know when that fire occurred. Was it a major forest fire? I've tried to do some searching but haven't been able to come up with anything. If anybody knows anything, please share!

My other mystery photo...any theory on what caused this tree to do this?

There was nothing next to it that it would have been forced to grow around. Plants are gravitropic (they always grow against gravity) so maybe this little guy got tilted a bit when he was a seedling. Because he would want to grow against gravity he would have worked to straighten himself out over the years-resulting in his curvy figure!

And lastly, a picture of some fauna to go with all of this flora.

My Canis familiaris, otherwise known as Halo the Black Lab. Lover of the Up North and Shedder Extraordinaire.

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