Have you ever noticed tumor-like growths on plants? Fungi, insects, mites and bacteria are like “body snatchers,” penetrating plant cells and manipulating them to produce galls, cankers and witch’s brooms for the parasites’ benefit. Fortunately, most are benign.
Mosses are among the most ancient plants on earth, and their peculiar biology shows it. The lovely leafy green plant that all of us are familiar with? It has just half the normal number of chromosomes, like an egg or sperm!
Taking “forest baths” and recording your observations can be wonderful therapy for modern times. Here are some tips from acclaimed natural history writer Bernd Heinrich for keeping your own nature journal.
Have you ever taken a close look at mosses? They’re simply elegant, and you can find them almost anywhere. They’re not that hard to tell apart especially with Ralph Pope’s moss field guide, so why not get to know them?
Why do leaves change color in the fall? I asked Bowdoin College Biologist Barry Logan that question. It turns out that the answer depends upon what color you’re talking about. Who knew that red acts like a leaf’s sunscreen?