Ramble Report October 14 2021

Chief for as we speak’s Ramble: Dale
Variety of Ramblers as we speak:  32
Immediately’s emphasis:  Timber on the White Path, outdated entry highway and Inexperienced Path
Be aware: Don was unable to attend as we speak’s Ramble, so there can be no Fb album to doc what we noticed. As an alternative, I’ve used his images from previous Rambles and photographs despatched to me by fellow ramblers. If there isn’t any attribution for a photograph, it was taken by Don Hunter.

Studying:  Bob Ambrose learn an Emily Dickinson poem prompt by Sandy Shaul:

Two butterflies went out at Midday —

And waltzed upon a Farm —

Then stepped straight by means of the Firmament

And rested, on a Beam —

After which — collectively bore away
Upon a shining Sea —
Although by no means but, in any Port —
Their coming, talked about — be —

If spoken by the distant Fowl —
If met in Ether Sea
By Frigate, or by Merchantman —
No discover — was — to me —


1. It’s time to order your Nature Ramblers t-shirt! They must be ordered earlier than Nov. 1 (Final day to order is Oct. 31.)  Right here is hyperlink for ordering.

All earnings from the t- shirts will go to the Botanical Backyard to help the brand new Butterfly Path.

2. Please be a part of the Mates of the Georgia Museum of Pure Historical past. As UGA charts the longer term Museum’s future, your membership within the Mates is significant to show public help for the Museum and pure historical past. You'll be able to be a part of on-line and pay by means of PayPal or with a bank card.

When you be a part of or in case you are already a member, you might be invited to an out of doors members solely occasion on Sunday, October 24 from 4-6, On The Hill. RSVP at [email protected].

3. Dan Williams will lead a Tree Ramble at Sandy Creek Nature Heart on Wednesday, November third at 9 AM. We are going to meet on the entrance of the Training and Guests Heart. Carry a masks and your enthusiasm!

Immediately’s Route:

from the Pergola to mulched path by means of the Dunson Backyard. Throughout paved
highway on White Path spur, throughout ROW to level contained in the woods the place
White, Inexperienced and Blue trails be a part of. Then comply with White Path to entry
highway, take entry highway towards the river to the Inexperienced Path crossing; the
Inexperienced Path again to junction with White Path.



American Beech bushes with clean, grey bark .

American Beech leaves with “wavy” edges.

American Beech terminal bud; formed like a pointed cigar.

American Beech
   The very first thing that strikes you a few Beech tree is its clean, grey bark. (And, typically, the declarations of affection inscribed in that bark by adolescent boys with pocket knives.) There are different options which can be distinctive to Beeches: Their elongate, pointed buds on the ends of every department or on the base of many of the leaves. The leaves have wavy edges, every “wave” bearing a tiny prickle.
   A very good mnemonic for remembering the leaf edge: “The place do you discover waves? On the seaside (Beech).”
   Avis advised us that the phrase Beech has the identical root because the phrase Guide, indicating that folks have been writing on Beech bushes for the reason that daybreak of time, or one thing like that.  On-line Etymology Dictionary confirms it: “German Buch ‘e book’ and Buche ‘beech’; see beech), the notion being of beechwood tablets on which runes had been inscribed; however it might be from the tree itself (folks nonetheless carve initials in them).” 
Clean bark
   Timber have two units of embryonic tissues referred to as cambiums; the vascular cambium and the cork cambium. These are like stem cells in animals. Once they divide both each daughter cells stay cambium cells or one stays a cambium cell however the different differentiates into a unique specialised cell that’s incapable of additional cell division.
   The vascular cambium cells type a sheath that surrounds the complete tree, trunk, branches and twigs. It causes the tree to extend in diameter. The vascular cambium produces the cells that turn out to be the woody a part of the tree, the xylem. Xylem tubes conduct water from the roots to the remainder of the tree, branches, twigs, flowers, fruits and leaves. Annually the exercise of the vascular cambium provides roughly 1/16 to 1/8 inch to the diameter of the trunk.
   Outdoors the layer of vascular cambium is a layer of various embryonic tissue, the cork cambium. This layer of cells produces the bark. The cells it produces on the outer floor pile up and die, changing into a layer of corky cells of variable thickness. (Wine corks are comprised of the bark of the Cork Oak.)
   If the cork cambium can maintain tempo with the vascular cambium the ensuing bark is clean and skinny, like within the Beech. If it may possibly’t sustain with the vascular cambium the bark is stretched and at last breaks aside. The bark sample that’s shaped relies on the distinction in reproductive fee of the 2 cambiums and the energy of connection between the useless cork cells within the bark, giving every tree species a unique bark sample.

   Some younger bushes and decrease limbs of older bushes grasp onto their useless leaves all through the winter, a phenomenon referred to as marcescence. Cells within the outer abscission layer don’t utterly break down (see picture beneath from Linda’s winter tree class handout that exhibits the abscission zone). 

   Timber in our space that apply marcescence: American Beech, Oaks, Hop Hornbeam, Musclewood and Chalk Maple.

Abscission zone at base of leaf petiole.
If the separation layer would not break the leaf will grasp on the tree till spring.
(Illustration compliments of Linda Chafin.)

   This phenomenon is one thing of a puzzle. Why ought to a plant retain useless leaves over the winter? There are round a dozen hypotheses, none of that are clearly right, or clearly incorrect. This web site has a abstract of them.
   Jim advised us that the retained leaves of Beech turn out to be paler and paler throughout winter, showing to him as “ghosts of the forest.”
   For an evidence of why and the way bushes drop their leaves take a look at this Nature Rambling submit.

Mockernut hickory 

Mockernut Hickory bark
(picture by Susan Brown)

Left, Mockernut Hickory fruit; observe thick husk and huge nut.
Proper, Purple/Pignut Hickory with smaller nut and skinny husk.

   Mockernut hickory has very distinctive braided bark. The nut is surrounded by a really thick husk. Linda ready a information to identification of our native Hickories. It may be downloaded from this location: Hickories within the Georgia Piedmont.

   Gary Crider advised us about boiling Mockernut nutmeats and discovering them tasty versus
the literature which says they’re bitter. 


American Toad (not the one we noticed as we speak, nevertheless it has comparable coloration).
The swellings simply behind the eyes are parotoid glands that comprise a cocktail of poisonous substances.

American Toad

   Somebody found an American Toad close to the bottom of the Mockernut Hickory. This was no imply feat. The toad had a reddish-brown coloration that completely matched the soil in addition to the leaf litter. If it hadn’t moved we might have missed it.
Toads are well-known for being warty, however they do not trigger warts if dealt with. There’s a completely different motive to keep away from tough dealing with. Behind the eyes, on the highest of the top are a pair of swollen lumps, the parotoid glands. (To not be confused with the parotid gland, which is a sort of salivary gland within the mouth.) Parotoid glands secrete a really poisonous, milky white fluid when the toad is roughly dealt with. (You could have heard of the demise of canine in Florida and Australia after trying to eat a big species of toad, the Cane Toad, Rhinella marina (previously Bufo marinus). Australian snakes and mammals have additionally died from makes an attempt to eat Cane Toads.)
   For those who’ve ever picked up a toad you most likely received your arms moist when it emptied its bladder. That is most likely worse for the toad than for you. Toads are at risk of dehydration and the lack of all that bladder water may endanger it. Mild dealing with won’t trigger the discharge of the toxins from the parotoid gland. They’ve to return involved together with your mouth membranes to be absorbed. After dealing with a toad, wash your hand, simply in case.
   Linda seen the toad’s throat transferring up and down and wished to know if it was respiration. The quick reply is sure, however the lengthy reply is extra fascinating. When people breath two teams of muscular tissues are concerned: the diaphragm and the rib muscular tissues. When the rib muscular tissues contract they pull the ribs upward. When the diaphragm contracts it drops downward. Each actions enhance the amount of the thoracic cavity, decreasing the strain on the lungs. This lowered strain attracts air into the lungs. When the diaphragm and rib muscular tissues loosen up they return to their resting place, which squeezes the lungs, expelling the air. You most likely keep in mind this from grade college. Frogs and toads cannot breathe this manner – they do not have ribs and so they haven’t got a diaphragm. So how do they breathe?

   Respiration begins with getting oxygen into the blood. In people the lungs are the place this occurs. In frogs and toads there are three locations the place oxygen enters the circulatory system: lungs, pores and skin, and the the liner of the mouth. All these places convey quite a few high quality blood vessels (capillaries) into shut contact with a moist floor uncovered to air. It’s there that oxygen diffuses into the crimson blood cells of the circulatory system. 

   Of the three websites in frogs and toads, oxygen absorption on the pores and skin continues consistently. 

   The opposite two places, mouth and lungs contain another constructions: the nostrils and the glottis.The glottis is a valve within the esophagus that opens to permit air to go into and out of the lungs. The glottis sits atop the larynx in frogs and toads because it does in people. (At one time or one other we have all had meals go down the incorrect method. That was a failure of the epiglottis, a flap that retains meals from moving into the lungs — when it really works correctly.) In frogs and toads the glottis simply opens or closes, there isn’t any epiglottis.

   Frogs and toads can open and shut their nostrils. You and I can not.

   We’re able to learn how frogs and toads breathe.

   Mouth respiration, which Linda noticed, happens when the nostrils are open, the glottis is closed and the ground of the mouth is pulled down by muscular tissues, enlarging the mouth cavity and decreasing the air strain within the mouth.  This attracts air in by means of the open nostrils and mouth capillaries decide up the oxygen within the recent air that enters the mouth. This mouth respiration is what Linda seen — the toad’s “throat” was fluttering quickly up and down.

   How does air get into the lungs? First, nostrils open, glottis closed, mouth ground drops additional than when simply mouth respiration. Then the nostrils shut and the glottis opens as the ground of the mouth rises. The air cannot get out by means of the closed nostrils so it will get pushed into the lungs by means of the open glottis. Reversing this course of strikes air out of the lungs into the mouth. Then the glottis is closed and the nostrils open. When the ground of the mouth strikes up it pushes the stale air out the nostrils. What strikes the air out of the lungs? The lungs are elastic baggage with a couple of muscular tissues. When the lungs are stuffed and the glottis opens the lungs loosen up, expelling among the air into the mouth cavity. Like {a partially} inflated balloon expells air when it is opened.

White Oaks or Purple Oaks
   The Oaks in our space fall into two teams: the Purple Oak group and the White Oak group. Listed here are among the variations:

Comparability of White Oak and Purple Oak leaves.
Left: White Oak leaf; observe rounded lobes.
Proper: Purple Oak leaf; observe pointed, bristle=tipped lobes.

White Oak group:
        Leaf lobes: rounded, no bristle tip
        Acorns mature of their first 12 months
        Acorns germinate in fall of first 12 months
        Acorns have decrease tannin content material
Purple Oak group:
        Leaf lobes: pointed, with a bristle tip
        Acorns mature of their second 12 months on tree
        Acorns germinate in spring of following 12 months
        Acorns have larger tannin content material

Tannins are bitter tasting compounds. For those who’ve ever tasted a persimmon earlier than it is ripe you know the way it “puckers” your mouth. That was tannin that did that. When squirrels are getting ready for winter they collect acorns and bury them for later retrieval and consumption. However squirrels steadily eat White Oak acorns, as an alternative of being buried. When they’re buried, the squirrel will typically chunk off the underside finish of the acorn, the place the plant embryo is situated, thus stopping the acorn from germinating. Purple oak acorns are buried intact.
   Jim advised us about one other distinction between the Purple and White Oak teams. The water conducting cells of bushes, the xylem, are changed yearly. The older cells are useless and, within the White Oak group, are stuffed with balloon-like constructions referred to as tyloses. Purple Oak xylem tubes stay unfilled. For those who take a chunk of Purple Oak wooden and put your lips to at least one finish, you’ll be able to blow cigarette smoke out the opposite finish. This stunt fails with White Oak wooden.

White Oak leaf; observe the rounded lobe suggestions and lack of bristles .

   Linda advised us in regards to the outbreak of Black-dotted Brown Moth on White Oaks in Athens 10 years in the past.
The affected bushes misplaced their attribute pale grey bark as a result of
birds had been flicking the the unfastened plates off the trunks to get on the
thousands and thousands of caterpillars that had been hiding below the bark. Fellow Ramblers
talked about how folks coated the trunks of oak bushes of their yards
with Crisco shortening to discourage the caterpillars. Additionally obtain this pdf file in regards to the Black Dotted Brown Moth.


Comparability of Purple oak group leaves
From Left to Proper:
Southern Purple Oak (solar leaf)
Southern Purple Oak (shade leaf)
Scarlet Oak
Northern Purple Oak

Northern Purple Oak is without doubt one of the commonest oaks within the backyard. The trunk has “ski trails.” The ridges of bark are clean and mirror mild, giving the impression of ski tracks going up and down the trunk. The leaves are broad with shallow sinuses and every lobe finish in a pointy level.

Southern Purple Oak is present in dry, upland websites. The leaf undersurface is white, as a result of density of white hairs that mirror the sunshine and slows moisture loss. Leaves are thick and grasp perpendicular to floor and parallel to solar. They’re additionally extra variable in form, starting from elongate with barely curved predominant vein, just like the blade of a scythe, to a bell formed (rounded) leaf base and a outstanding “clapper.”  The bell form of the shade leaves offers one other mnemonic: bell-shaped leaf base = Southern Bell(e) = Southern Purple Oak. The trunk lacks the “ski trails” of the Northern Purple Oak.

White ash 

Linda pulled out her pocket knife and sliced off a assume sliver of bark to point out us the interior bark colour orangey-tan. White ash grows in additional upland websites whereas Inexperienced Ash grows in moister conditions, like flood plains and stream banks. They’ll advised aside by particulars like the situation of the lateral bud relative to the leaf scar or the form of the samara with its seed.

Solar leaf vs shade leaf

   Leaves, even on the identical tree, differ rather a lot. The place of the leaf on the tree makes a distinction in its construction. Leaves low on the tree or on the north facet get much less daylight than leaves on the prime or on the south facet. As a rule of thumb: the extra mild acquired, the smaller, thicker and darker inexperienced a leaf is. Much less mild: leaves are bigger, thinner and paler inexperienced. These variations are adaptive. Leaves uncovered to larger winds must be smaller to cut back water loss. On the identical time, on the highest of a tree, they will pack in additional layers of inexperienced, photosynthetic cells to seize extra of the extreme mild. Leaves within the shade will not be uncovered to excessive winds and may have a bigger floor space to seize the attenuated daylight.

Burls distort the trunk of a tree.

Burls had been seen on a number of bushes (the picture is from a earlier ramble). They’re woody, rounded lots on the trunks and roots of bushes brought on by a pathogen – micro organism, fungi, or virus that has invaded the stay tissue beneath the bark. The pathogen releases chemical substances that stimulate the manufacturing of tumor-like tissue. This tissue isolates and comprises the invader in order that the harm is proscribed to the burl. Burls are often not deadly and can proceed to develop with the tree, laying down annual rings like the remainder of the tree. Burls are a lot wanted by wooden turners, who flip the loopy development sample of burl cells into artworks.

Scarlet oak 

Scarlet Oak leaf
Be aware the very deep sinuses (the house between the leaf lobes.) My finger and thumb are inserted within the first pair of sinuses.

   Scarlet Oak is a member of the Purple Oak group. It is leaves are lobed, with bristle factors on the finish of lobe. The sinuses (the house between adjoining lobes) are a lot deeper than these of Northern Purple Oak. Just like the Northern Purple, the Scarlet Oak has “ski trails” on the bark. Some folks assume they’re narrower, however I’ve by no means been capable of confince myselt that is true. The acorns have a faint ring across the finish reverse the cap.  

Half 1; Finish of a Scarlet Oak shoot.
The opposite finish is seen within the picture beneath.
Each photographs had been taken by Susan Brown.

Half 2; Scarlet Oak shoot
That is the top of the shoot that was closest to the tree.

We discovered an entire present 12 months shoot of a Scarlet Oak that not too long ago damaged from the tree. Half 1, above, exhibits the top of the shoot furthest from the tree; Half 2 exhibits the a part of the shoot closest to the tree. My finger and thumb are holding the department by final 12 months’s development (2020). Transferring alongside the department, away from the tree finish, you’ll be able to see a change in texture of the shoot. It’s a completely different shade of brown and is glossier. That marks the start of this 12 months’s development. Every thing to the left of that mark appeared in 2021, together with the distinctive components proven in Half 1.

   Transferring to Half 1. The grey objects you see on the base of many of the leaves are axillary buds, so referred to as as a result of they’re within the “arm pit” of the leaf petiole. (Axilla is the anatomical identify for human arm pit.) Axillary buds will often give rise to leaves the next 12 months.

   Nonetheless in Half 1. On the very finish of the department you will see a a lot bigger bud. That is the terminal bud of the department. Subsequent spring it’ll give rise to a brand new shoot (department) just like the one we’re proper now. (Or, it might if it had been nonetheless related to the tree.) For those who coulc look into the terminal bud proper now you’d discover subsequent 12 months’s shoot in miniature — each tiny leaf in microscopic miniature.
   The subsequent paragraph explains this extra lucidly than I can, so it is best to learn it, particularly if I confused you.
Shoot Development in bushes:

“Throughout the bud, two development habits are attainable, fastened development and free development. Fastened development happens in species comparable to pines, hickory, and oaks, the place the buds comprise a preformed shoot. The entire parts of subsequent 12 months’s shoot are contained within the bud shaped this 12 months; the variety of leaves and nodes is predetermined by this 12 months’s environmental situations. The size between leaves and nodes is influenced by the environmental situations the tree encounters subsequent 12 months. 

Free development, in species comparable to cottonwood, willow, and silver maple, happens when buds comprise shoots with some preformed leaves, however that are additionally able to forming further leaves. These species can proceed to develop so long as environmental situations are favorable.”


Shagbark Hickory bark
plates are unfastened at prime and backside.

Shagbark hickory

   Three Shagbark Hickories
develop within the shallow ravine between the Inexperienced and Blue trails. Their
shagginess is because of their bark’s vertical plates turning unfastened at
each prime and backside and curling away from the trunk. White
Oak bark can be shaggy, however its

bark plates loosen alongside the facet, not the highest and backside.

   Shagbark nuts are a lot smaller that Mockernuts and have a
very skinny husk in comparison with Mocckernuts thick husk. 

   Shagbark happens on this
ravine as a result of the soil there probably has a better pH as a result of a band of
amphibolite that angles throughout the Backyard from the close by ridgeline all
the best way to the river. Amphibolite is excessive in calcium and magnesium which
raises the pH of soils that develop over it. Calcium-loving crops
(calciphiles) comparable to Shagbark Hickory are sometimes discovered over amphibolite



   There are numerous “blowdowns” alongside the paths within the Botanical Backyard. These are as a result of numerous components, however a prominant one is nineteenth century agricultural practices. They stripped the topsoil from the hills and now oak bushes are solely shallowly rooted, making them susceptible to windthrow.

   Windthrown bushes create “tip ups,” the time period utilized to the turned up root mass of the tree. The house occupied by the roots is now a pit and the soil adhering to the roots is a brand new microenvironment. The forest could have misplaced a tree, nevertheless it gained new habitat that may be utilized by a wide range of crops and animals.


Mockernut Hickory    Carya tomentosa
Southern Purple Oak    Quercus falcata
Scarlet Oak               Quercus coccinea
Northern Purple Oak     Quercus rubra
American Beech        Fagus grandifolia
American Toad          Bufo (Anaxyrus) americanus


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