May 2018 Tree Status

All the trees are growing well with the warmer temperatures and rain. The sycamore behind our house has lots of small green seed balls among its new leaves; last year a freeze came at the wrong time and the tree only produced one seed ball.

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The tulip poplar is full of flowers as usual. Its leaves are larger than the sycamores at this point. Later in the season the sycamore leaves will be the largest.

The maple had so many seeds early in the month that they made the tree look brownish…but then the were blown off the tree and the maple looks like is normal summer self.

The sweet gums are starting new seed balls as well. They look like spikey globes among the leaves.

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But the celebration of tree blooms this month is the horse chestnut. The tree I photographed is at the end of the drive up to the manor house. The top fell out of the tree several years ago but the part that Is left is blooming profusely. I stopped one day after I finished hiking and leaned out the open window of my car to take some pictures of the flowers.

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2018 Belmont BioBlitz – part 1


I’ve been volunteering for the Howard County Conservancy’s Belmont BioBlitz field trips since they started in the fall of 2014. We had a 3-day BioBlitz this week with students coming from 2 schools. On the first morning the day started out foggy and stayed cloudy. While we were waiting for the buses to arrive with the students, I took some pictures.


The horse chestnut tree was blooming although the blooms were past their prime and some had fallen to the ground already. I took a picture of one with the macro lens on the cell phone.


All the vegetation was covered in water droplets. Even grass seeds look like little works of art with the droplets.


The buses came up the tree lined drive. There are more gaps in the tree line now that the ashes have been cut down.


We headed back to our assigned ‘zone’ in the woods – finding white pines along the way to document and then a box turtle and violets gone to seed on the forest floor.

Stay tuned for more BioBlitz finds in tomorrow’s post.