Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Paul, Ted and Justin

I know I'm supposed to be excited about pink and white spring wildflowers poking out of the cherty Ozark soils, but I didn't see enough snow this year and I'm not ready for the manic schedules that spring ephemerals command. More importantly, however, I want to see more acres burned before spring green up. I'd like another 700 burned in the central Ozarks before April 15, please. I'd like 680 in the Elk River Hills before April 7, as well, but a nice, hot, stand-replacing crown fire there. Knock out the rest of the glades in the western Ozarks on March days when the woods won't burn so we can see the sumptuous Viola pedata against a blackened landscape, if that's okay.

Because the three of you are such great botanists, I'm taking the lead of Ted and offering up a few pictures taken from a 75 degree skip day in January for a winter plant game. I love the quiet nature of the winter landscape where you can walk unbothered by not knowing a Panicum. Of course, if I was as talented a botanist as any of you--all of whom don't have to schlep Steyermark into the field--I'd probably be exceedingly more excited for spring. I love hepaticas and bloodroots and the rest, but I hit the wall on so many sedges and grasses without their flowers that the growing season (sometimes, occasionally) seems like really hard work. I'll suck it up. It makes life worth living, really, but winter is just easier. Nevertheless, I promise a pretty blushing Claytonia soon. And Ted, the red thing with four legs is for you....though you'll probably tell me it actually has 8 legs and breathes fire. I realize these will be easy for you all, but I can't remember for the life of me what the one is that looks like beech drops. So, thanks in advance.
The bonus picture on my winter botany quiz is a landscape. It's in the Missouri Ozark Highlands, but where? And, has it ever been burned?


Paul Nelson said...

Wow, great challenge, and good diagnostic photos.
1. Lechea tenuifolia
2. Aster linearifolius
3. Anemone virginiana
4. Hmm. Monarda russelliana
5. Gnaphalium obtusifolium

Bonus landscape is Western Star and yes it was burned as evidenced by dead rotting trees in background. I'm not really confident in #4. This is fun; keep it up.

Anonymous said...

For #4, I'm reasonably certain the bug is Cycloneda munda (polished lady beetle) (compare to photo on this page). The plant I'm less certain about, but those sure look like Apocynum cannabinum seeds.

I can't offer anything for #1-3 (and am flabbergasted to even be mentioned in the same sentence as the words "Paul", "Justin", and "botanists").

The hyperdiverse herbaceous layer and standing dead tree trunks tell me the habitat in the bonus pic has been burned recently, but I haven't a clue where it is.

all my best--ted

Justin said...

I just got back from an Ozark Spring Beauty hunt in southern Missouri. I have nothing to report but sore legs and a stiff neck. It's a bit early, but I can't think of a better way to spend a sunday.

Through a busy weekend, I have been meaning to get to this quiz before the answers are posted. Here goes:

1. Lechea mucronata
2. Aster linariifolius (aka Ionactis linariifolius)
3. Anemone virginiana
4. Rudbeckia hirta (I'm assuming the photo was taken at the same site as the other quiz plants. In which case, this doesn't seem like a glade because some of these are found in more acidic soils. Otherwise, it has the shape of R. missouriensis.)
5. Gnaphalium obtusifolium (aka Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium)

That's all the damage I can do. Thanks for the fun!

Allison Vaughn said...

Seems early for ozarkensis. Curious where you looked. LaBarque has been searched, as has the LaMotte areas. Hmmm.

James C. Trager said...

Hi Allison:

Fun to find this blog. Might have to start one myself soem day.

But, for the moment, I think number 4 is Verbesina helianthoides.

Allison Vaughn said...

James, Thanks for chiming in. Funny thing, on the burn this week, I called my colleague to tell him that #4 was V. helianthoides. I kept passing tons of Rud Mis and Rud hir all over the natural area. It really must lose the wingstem in the winter.

People Power Granny said...

Don't we love spring! But it seems so unsympathetic for Mother Nature to show off all her splendor while the world is in a deep recession. How dare she! Hope you get a chance to read my take on this all at and vote in my poll about what you're doing this spring.