eBotanical Prints – April 2019

April was a slim month for botanical print books. I was thrilled to find two volumes of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine that I had not found before; the magazine began in 1787 and has continued through to the present with some name changes periodically but reverting back to the original name and is widely cited. Hopefully more volumes will be made available as the copyright on them expires; the most recent I’ve found online is from 1920. Find the list of all 1,628 volumes of botanical prints I’ve found online here.

Handbook to the ferns of British India, Ceylon and the Malay peninsula * Beddome, Richard Henry * sample image * 1892

Curtis' Botanical Magazine Vol 7-8 * Curtis, William * sample image * 1794

Curtis' Botanical Magazine Vol 25-26 * Curtis, William * sample image * 1807

The flora sylvatica for southern India: containing quarto plates of all the principal timber trees in southern India and Ceylon V1 * Beddome, Richard Henry; Bentham, George * sample image * 1869

 

I have already passed the 4 volume mark for May – more botanical prints into the collection by the end of the month!

Moving the Compost Bin

Last week we had some warm days and I moved my compost bin. It is so hard to turn the whole bin of material adequately, that it’s better to just move the bin periodically and get a good mix of the materials (and take the ‘finished’ compost out for other distribution). The stakes that I’d used to hold the cylinder of rigid plastic up were leaning toward the center too. I decided to move the bin just a few feet away on a bare patch of dirt – still under the red maple.

I got side tracked looking at the haze of yellow in the forest: spice bush in bloom.

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And the baby ferns in the mossy area under the deck.

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And a shell that had collected some water (probably need to turn it over so it doesn’t become a mosquito nursery).

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And some robin nests (neat enough to be from this year) on the deck support beams.

I pulled the stakes out from inside the bin - then lifted the plastic and repositioned it. I put the stakes back in using some branches from the brush pile to cross brace too. Then the material that still needed to decompose was moved with a pitchfork to the newly placed bin. Lesson learned: pine needles and egg shells take longer to decompose than kitchen scrapes and shredded leaves/paper!

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I found something that had sprouted in the compost as I spread the compost from the bottom of the bin around under the red maple in front of the brush pile. Maybe a beet top from last fall’s harvest?

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100 Desert Wildflowers in Natural Color

Dodge, Natt N. 100 Desert Wildflowers in Natural Color. Southwest Monuments Association. 1963. Available from the Project Gutenberg here.

Natt Noyes Dodge (1900-1982) was the regional naturalist for the Southwest Region of the National Park Service from 1935 to 1963. He was also an author and photographer – both of which are shown in this book along with his knowledge of the region. The version available from Project Gutenberg is from the third printing in 1967 which was a revision from the original in 1963.

I’m glad that the copyright holder has allowed this book to be available online....easy to enjoy the photos of desert wildflowers.

I had bought several of Dodge’s books is national parks when traveling to New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado from our home in Dallas in the 1970s, but I didn’t have this one.

Tree Bud Project – Week 3

It’s Friday – I’m updating the status of the branches I brought inside 2 weeks ago (previous posts: week 1, week2). This will be the last post. The flowers and leaves are wilting because the small branches can’t get enough water to the new growth.

The cherry blossoms opened but stayed small – then started to show stress – the delicate white petals wilting.

The tulip poplar branch lasted longer with more and more small leaves emerging from the bud.

Four leaves emerged from one bud and one of the leaves unfolded before they all began to wilt.

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The only branch that didn’t seem to develop at all was the black walnut. Maybe it was just way too early for those buds to develop even in the warmer temperature indoors.

Tree Bud Project – Week 1

I started a project to photograph tree buds this week by cutting small branches from trees in our yard: cherry, plum, red maple, tulip poplar, black walnut, and sycamore. Unfortunately, there were no branches low enough for me to reach on our oak.

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The plan is to bring the branches indoors (where it is warm) and monitor the buds – see how many of them would open indoors over the next few weeks. Once they do, I’ll check to see what is happening with the buds on the tree outdoors.

I took pictures of the buds with the 15x macro lens clipped to my smart phone…starting with the cherry. The buds are enlarging but still firmly closed. Our tree lags the blossoms down in DC around the tidal basin.

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The plum buds are still very small. They already show the pink color of the flowers. The tree usually blooms after the cherry.

The red maple twig is easy to identify - opposite twigs, red buds. I was surprised that there were so few branches with buds on the lower branches; the deer must be the culprits. It took a lot of looking to find a branch I could reach with buds.

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The tulip poplar already had a popped bud! The others on the branch were still closed. The leaf scars are interesting to notice too.

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The black walnut has a lot of buds at the tip of the branch. This tree was also heavily browsed by deer. The branch leaked sap as I was taking pictures. Hope is it OK with the water from the vase.

Finally – the sycamore buds are still tight. In a previous year, a sycamore bud on my indoor branch opened and a tiny leaf unfurled.

I’ll be posting about the leaf buds about once a week if there is action to report.

Zooming – February 2019

So many pictures captured with the zoom feature of the camera:

  • The framing of a sunrise so that no post processing is required

  • Birds photographed only because my presence was not detected

  • Documenting an oddity like a unique squirrel tail

  • Plants filling the frame…but the bit of background a blur

I estimate that most of the pictures I take use the zoom on my camera. The advantage of positioning myself at the right angle but not needing to be overly close is not to be underestimated. Before modern lenses, sensors, and autofocus photography was much more challenging. Now it is much more about composition and that is the part I enjoy more than anything else anyway. Being at the right place – and fast enough to use the technology – is the remaining challenge.

Icy Trees

Last week, we had some icy weather. It caused schools to close or start late. I was glad I could just stay at home and enjoy the scene through my office window. The zoom on my camera allowed me to get some pictures of the ice coating the vegetation. Many times, it looks like water droplets simply froze before they could fall to the ground. The sycamore had one last-season leaf catching the icy bits. The ice on the stems was coating the buds that looked enlarged…maybe getting ready for spring.

The remnants of a seed head from last summer collected flatter panes of ice.

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The evergreen bushes are sometimes damaged by the ice because their leaves hold so much of it. It seems that ours all came through the ordeal without any breakage.

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The Thundercloud Plum tree is showing its color even in the winter. Once the ice is gone, I’ll have to check to see if there are any split branches; the tree has had problems in previous ice storms. This time we were fortunate that it was relatively calm; ice followed by wind is what causes most breakage.

The next day I noticed that the icicles on the sycamore were quite a bit longer.

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 The red maple had very red buds. Hopefully the ice protected them rather than destroying.

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The shelf fungus on a tulip poplar back in the forest supported a mini ice flow

The trees that had the hardest time were the pines. Each needle became encased in ice. It remined me of art glass. The pines in our neighbors’ yards survived without breakage but I noticed as I drove to my errands the next day that there were some pines that did not fare as well. There were some significant branches that were ripped from trees along my route. Fortunately, there were enough people that had been out before me and all the branches were moved off the roadway.

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Smartphone Nature Photography – part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post….

Identification. Sometimes I take a lot of photos so I can identify something later. This was the case with these caterpillars. They were devouring dogwood plants at Brookside Gardens last summer. They remind me of lemon bars (yellow custard underneath powdered sugar). I defaulted to thinking they were a moth or butterfly larvae…but they turned out to be a dogwood sawfly larvae!

Stories. Some pictures tell a story. If you are aware at the time…make sure you take the pictures of the whole story. This Achemon Sphinx Moth was discovered by summer campers going out between rain showers during a nature photography activity. Moths are more active at night and usually are hiding in foliage during the day. This one was on the ground and twitching. I knew from experience in the Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy exhibit that it had probably been bitten by a spider. We took our pictures and left it where it was. I regret that I was too busy helping campers to keep my camera at the ready to shoot the moth being pulled between two rocks – presumably by the spider that never did make itself visible.

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Insects. Insects can be very fast moving and difficult to photograph no matter what camera you have. They often are slow or immobile when it is cooler. Cool mornings are good to find cicadas – silent and still…but maybe not dead. Butterflies can be under leaves roosting if it’s cool…or it is dusk and they are seeking a place to spend the night. Then there are masses of milkweed bugs that are prevalent in the fall. They are moving but there are so many that it’s easy enough to get a good number; I always try to figure out how many instars are shown in the same picture.

And sometimes it is just luck. This blue morpho sat on my wrist while I was at the exit of last summer’s butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens. I had my phone on the lanyard so was able to pull it out and one-hand the phone to take the picture.

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Specimens. There are nature photography shots that might be of specimens rather than out in the field. The shot of the blue morpho wing was from a specimen that had died using the 15x macro lens. I’ll try the 60x next summer. I included the label in the picture of the dogwood tree cookie…for documentation; I liked the irregularity of the rings.

Wet day color. Sometimes a rainy-day hike is a good thing. The color of fungus is often more intense on these days – and the phone handles the raindrops better than more traditional cameras.

Light. Sometimes an image is made by something special about the light – spotlighted ferns, the shadowing of a sectioned Nautilus shell, a sunrise.

Clipping. Because the camera only has a digital zoom, I often take the picture without zooming then make a clip after I get home. In the example below – the two butterflies (tiger swallowtail and male monarch) are clearly identifiable even though the clip has a painterly look.

So – go out and take some pictures! The only blooms we have outdoors right now are the witch hazels. There are other winter opportunities too: tracks in the snow (or mud), seed pods, snow landscapes, and ice crystals. And maybe a squirrel will be close enough and still enough….

Smartphone Nature Photography – part 1

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We almost always have our smartphones with us….ready for those natural events that just happen and for planned photoshoots. I pulled together a presentation of a Maryland Master Naturalist retreat on the topic and am using it as a basis for the blog posts for today and tomorrow.

Gear

Learn about the camera in your phone. Two critical aspects: 1) Usually the autofocus is reasonably good but tapping on the screen where you want the focus to be can sometimes improve results. Do some experiments to see how close you can be and maintain the focus on your subject. 2) Realize that the zoom is digital – not optical. You are better off getting close to your subject rather than zooming. This is difficult if your subject is an animal that will move if you get close. Birds are notoriously difficult to photograph with a phone.

Consider a lanyard. I like to carry my phone on a lanyard (one that is structured to not obstruct the camera) so that I can be ‘hands free’ while I am hiking or rolling over logs…just doing regular naturalist things.  I want my phone to be easy to access – easier than getting it out of a pocket or pack.

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I enjoy using macro lenses. I have 3 different kinds (8x, 15x, and 60x) and tend to use the 15x clip the most. Sometimes I just have it on my phone so that I can move it over the camera as needed. The depth of field is very shallow with the magnification and the phone must be close to the subject. Practice the best stance to steady your hands. I find that tucking my elbows into my body helps….and using one had to hold the phone and the other to take the picture.

Examples of Smartphone nature photography

BioBlitz. Almost all the BioBlitz pictures are taken with smartphones or tablets. Sometimes we use hands for scale – and sometimes the macro lens gives a new perspective! These are pictures taken during BiobBlitz: spotted salamander, wooly bear caterpillar, milkweed.

Landscapes.  The joy of being outdoors! Try to get something of high interest in the landscape: the trail as a leading line, clouds over the trees, an early winter scene with bare trees/large rock/pines.

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Macro. The macro lens offers to many opportunities to observe more closely than you can observe with just your eye: clams filter feeding, the center of sunflower.

A chicory flower, a newly hatched Monarch butterfly caterpillar turning to eat its egg covering, and damselfly larvae.

A few minutes observing. I play a game with myself looking closely at one thing and taking photos as fast as I can over a short period of time. In this case it was a sweet bay magnolia. There were seed pods at several stages of development and some eggs under a leaf (maybe a leaf footed bug…if I was patient enough I could see what hatched but that was outside my time box).

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Botany for the Artist (ebook)

Simblet, Sarah. Botany for the Artist. Great Britain: Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2010. Available from Internet Archive here.

It is packaged on the Internet Archive with Botany Illustrated – available via the same link. The author is an artist rather than a botanist but her passion for creating botanical art comes through in this book. It contains a lot of photographs, some botanical print history and how to draw plants. I’ll never be a botanical artist, but I appreciated this book.

Botanical prints are something I enjoy particularly in the winter when the outdoors here is not as colorful; many of the trees are bare and we are having a lot of cloudy days. Browsing through a book like this is an armchair version of walking through a conservatory or traveling to some other part of the globe where the air temperature is much warmer!

I picked four images to share here….so many beautiful ones to choose from …worth a browse through the whole book on a January day indoors.

eBotanical Prints – November 2018

It was another big month for botanical print books….27 added to the big list (here) and listed in this post.

I’ll write a little more about some of the books in later posts. Today’s post is a slide show of the 27 sample images and then the list of books. There are over 1500 books in the big list of digital eBooks available online free of charge. All the books for this month are from the Internet Archive.

Westafrikanische Kautschuk-Expedition, 1899/1900 * Schlechter, Rudolf * sample image * 1900

Alpenflora; die verbreitetsten Alpenpflanzen von Bayern, Österreich und der Schweiz * Hegi, Gustav * sample image * 1922

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V1 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1850

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V2 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1838

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V3 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1839

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V4 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1840

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V5 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1841

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V6 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1844

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V7 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1845

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V8 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1846

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V9 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1847

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V10 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1848

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V11 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1849

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V12 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1850

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V15 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1853

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V16 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1854

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V19 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1904

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V20 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1903

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V21 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1867

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V22 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1862

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V23 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1899

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V24 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig; Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1899

Xenia orchidacea  V1 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1858

Xenia orchidacea  V2 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1874

Xenia orchidacea  V3 * Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav * sample image * 1900

Refugium botanicum V4 * Saunders, William Wilson, Reichbach, Heinrich Gustav, Baker, John Gilbert * sample image * 1871

Botanische Ergebnisse * Wawra, Heinrich, ritter von Fernsee; Krempelhuber, August von; Reichenbach, Henrich Gustav, Seboth, J. * sample image * 1866

Alpine Plants

All four volumes of Joseph Seboth’s Die Alpenpflanzen nach der Natur gemalt (Alpine plants painted from nature) are available from the Internet Archive here. The books were published between 1879 and 1884.

The author does not have an entry in Wikipedia so it is difficult to learn very much about him. He was referred to in The Art of Botanical Illustration (Wilfrid Blunt, William Thomas Steam. 1949) as someone omitted from the book….but they did not give any rationale for the omission. There was a Czech site that has more information (after Google translated the page):

Seboth was Austrian and a prominent illustrator of botanical books.

He lived from 1814-1883 so these 4 books were completed just before his death. They were published in Prague.

Some of the references to this series of books published soon after were critical of the illustrations. There are not extra drawings of flower parts or seeds in the illustrations so maybe that made them more art and less ‘botanical print.’

Still – the illustrations are worth browsing through. I find botanical images like these particularly appealing on rainy days and all during the winter!

Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands

Isabella McHutcheson Sinclair was born in Scotland but emigrated to New Zealand as a child and then married into the Sinclair family that owned land in Hawai’i. She published her Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands in 1885 as Mrs. Francis Sinclair. It’s available from Internet Archive here.

Her book was the first book published with color images of Hawaiian flowering plants. She painted the flowers she saw and interviewed native Hawaiians to glean what they new about then plants. I selected 4 of the 44 plates to include in this post.

As I looked at the images, I wondered how many of the plants still exist…which ones were brought by the Polynesian colonists and not actually indigenous.

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 10, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Uncapped Wells Have Been Leaking Oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 14 Years - Yale E360 – Why can’t the oil companies do a better job of preventing leaks…or, at least, stopping leaks if they occur? Don’t they have the technology to address this issue?

With Shorter Winters, Plants Bloom Early and Die Young – National Geographic – Green springs…but the plants don’t sustain the green through the drier summers. Not good for our yards and our farms…and us.

Photo of the Week – October 19, 2018 – The Prairie Ecologist – Fluffy seeds from the prairie…including common milkweed,

Image of the Day: Clubbing | The Scientist Magazine® - Peacock Mantis Shrimp have a spring-like structure that enables them to beat the life out of their prey.

Beautifully Painted Shrine Emerges from the Ashes of Pompeii | Smart News | Smithsonian – Much of Pompeii that we know from tourist books was excavated before modern methods…and sometimes ‘restored’ in a way that we don’t know exactly what it looked like when originally uncovered. New excavation can provide clues about older excavations as well as the particulars of the newly uncovered walls.

Substantial changes in air pollution across China during 2015 to 2017 -- ScienceDaily – Particulates are down but ozone is up….so good and bad trends.

BBC - Future - The flu that transformed the 20th Century – The 1918 flu epidemic…100 years ago this year. There is still research on the virus and what happened…some surprises in the findings.

This Humongous Fungus Is as Massive as Three Blue Whales | Smart News | Smithsonian – 91 acres, 110 tons, and about 1,500 years old. And this is not the biggest one discovered…it was the first that was well documented.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Black plumage – National Geographic – I always like to include birds in my gleanings. I was surprised that there were no crows or ravens or starlings in this collection of birds with black plumage.

The Winners of the 2018 Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest Are Out of This World – Three are some pictures from the 2017 solar eclipse in this collection.

A few minutes observing…witch hazel

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On a very wet morning earlier this week – I arrived at Howard County Conservancy’s Mt Pleasant Farm before a field trip with 1st graders and spent a few minutes observing witch hazel. There is one that I knew was blooming close to the Gudelsky Center entrance. It’s a low growing tree; in a forest it would be in the understory. This time of year, the leaves are yellow.

The flowers have petals that look like curly streamers coming out of the center part of the flower. On this plant they were pale yellow.

I kept by cell phone pointed downward to keep any rain from getting on the lens of the camera. It was raining enough that I needed to dry off the front of the cell phone as I walked inside.

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 3, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors: And cut out need for insulin while controlling blood glucose -- ScienceDaily – There needs to be follow up study…but if this works, maybe it should be some everyone with type 2 diabetes tries.

10 States Now Get At Least 20 Percent of Their Electricity from Solar and Wind - Yale E360 – Progress! Hopefully other states will join the club and go beyond 30%. During some months in 2017, Iowa and Kansas, wind accounted for over 50% of in-state electricity generation.

Largest ever genetic study of blood pressure -- ScienceDaily – So much for find a root cause for high blood pressure. There are lots of genes and there is overlap with life-style exposures to things like fruit, water, tea, caffeine, alcohol, and salt. It’s complicated!

Too much vitamin A may increase risk of bone fractures -- ScienceDaily – Another study about the danger of getting ‘too much’ via vitamin supplements.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Courtship Displays – National Geographic Blog – The treat of bird photos!

Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting - Yale E360 – Interesting summary…hardiness zones on the move, Tornado Alley is shifting, the tropics are getting bigger, the Sahara desert is bigger, the 100th meridian has shifted eastward by 140 miles.

The Enchanting History of Notre Dame Cathedral's Famous Gargoyles and Grotesques – The stone carvings are pitted…but the sculptures are still awesome.

BBC - Future - How a daily 10-minute exercise could boost your happiness – The 10-minute exercise is jot down the answer to 6 questions each day: 1) What experiences, however mundane, gave you pleasure? 2) What praise and feedback did you receive? 3) What were the moments of pure good fortune? 4) What were your achievements, however small? 5) What made you feel grateful? 6) How did you express kindness? It’s a good way to end the day on a positive note!

U.S. Air Pollution Deaths Nearly Halved Over Two Decades - Yale E360 – A good trend but there were still 71,000 deaths in 2010 attributed to air pollution – more than traffic accidents and gun shootings combined. Air pollution remains a public health issue.

The chemistry of Venus flytraps in C&EN – I’ve always been fascinated by carnivorous plants. This infographic describes how it take two hairs to trigger the closing of the trap…that it only takes 0.1 seconds to close…and then up to 5 days to digest the insect.

Ferns under the Deck

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Our deck is over a story off the ground and it always in deep shade. I planted some Christmas fern a few years ago and it is almost overwhelmed with the splash from between the decking above. I think this is the first place I will put compost (as mulch) when it is ‘done’.

I thought he shade would be ideal for the fern and that it would propagate itself. But the muddy mess is not good for anything growing there unless I can find a way to improve the situation. Having mulch instead of mud should be an improvement.

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On the other end of the space under the deck there is some moss growing and maybe some little ferns. I’m not sure. I’ll spread some around them when I disperse my compost. The deer don’t seem to be bothering them so far.

eBotanical Prints – September 2018

It was a light month for botanical books because I was busy with some volumes of insect prints.

October is set up to be a big month for botanical print books because of the many volumes of Louis van Houtte words that are available on Internet Archive. I found the first volume toward the end of September and am savoring them all through October. There are at least 20 volumes!

Enjoy the September Botanical print slide carousel. Check out some of the eBooks using the links below the pictures.

Sturm's Figures of plants V2 * Sturm, Jakob and Johann * sample image * 1798

Sturm's Figures of plants V3 * Sturm, Jakob and Johann * sample image * 1798

Sturm's Figures of plants V4 * Sturm, Jakob and Johann * sample image * 1798

Sturm's Figures of plants V5 * Sturm, Jakob and Johann * sample image * 1798

Deutschlands flora in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen Abt. 1 Bd. 7-8 * Strum, Jakob * sample image * 1809

Australian Orchids V2 Pt 3 * Fitgerald, Robert David * sample image * 1882

Australian Orchids V2 Pt 4 * Fitgerald, Robert David * sample image * 1882

Australian Orchids V2 Pt 5 * Fitgerald, Robert David * sample image * 1882

Australian Orchids V2 Pt 7 * Fitgerald, Robert David * sample image * 1882

Cryptogames vasculaires V1 * Fee, Antoine Apollinaire * sample image * 1873

Cryptogames vasculaires V2 * Fee, Antoine Apollinaire * sample image * 1873

Flore des serres et des jardins de l'Europe V1 (1845) * van Houtte, Louis * sample image * 1845

 

Here is a list of all 1400+ books containing botanical books that I’ve found online – freely available. Enjoy!

Longwood Gardens – Part III

The water lilies are in a courtyard surrounded by the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. There are several shallow ponds and then beds around the edges with water loving plants. The courtyard is closed in the winter – everything there requires warmer temperatures that the Pennsylvania winter.

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Even the lily pads and leaves of water plants are different than the native water lilies we see elsewhere.

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The day was cloudy which makes for excellent waterlily photography because the water often looks black. I was surprised it was bright enough to create any reflections. The variety of blooms - colors, structure, stage of development…always something a little different to photograph.

And then there are the bees. This time I observed some bees that entered through the side of the flower center and then exited through the opening at the top!

Tomorrow – the gardens away from the conservatory. They were profuse and colorful.

Longwood Gardens – Part I

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Last weekend we made the day trip up to Longwood Gardens. We got there shortly after they opened at 9 and headed for the Conservatory since they only allow tripods before noon and we’re always interested in photography in the gardens.

I had my new camera on a monopod and was experimenting to get the perfect height to use the viewfinder…and not hunch over the camera. There were plenty of flowers to practice with the monopod and the additional zoom capability of the new camera.

The Childrens’ Garden is another reason to get to the Conservatory early….to walk through the confined place before the children arrive. Years ago when my daughter was small there were fountains that she loved to hold her hands under but nothing as fancy as the mosaic bottomed fountain there today.

The area is quite a bit larger than it was 20 years go but full of nooks and cranes for children to enjoy: a metal spider web sculpture near the floor, shells on the low arches of an entrance (adults need to duck!) and several bird/animal sculptures that are water features – at a good height for little hands.

There was a collection of cycads in a tropical forest room with a walkway at canopy level. I was fascinate by one of the ripening cones.

My daughter was intrigued by the leaves of the Swiss Cheese plant.

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We were all remined of Hawaii by the Torch Ginger.

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The ‘new to me’ plant was a Cocoon Plan in the desert. Somehow, I had not noticed it before. It is a succulent.