Tag Archives: Tree

Tiny Climates Article By Earthyman

By Howard Bright, hbright@acegroup.cc

Have you ever thought about how little it takes to change the climate?  Pay attention the next time you walk down a lane, street or natural area.  They all will show you what nature does.  It may sound very simple but did you notice that the temperature dropped 10 degrees beneath the shade of a tree as you stopped to catch your breath on a hot 90-degree day?  Did you ever sit on the south side of hot sunny slope and feel the heat from the sun.  As you walked up the steep slope and down on the other side, you sat down on this north facing slope under a tree and now you actually experienced a chill as the temperature suddenly was reduced and no direct sunlight was found there.

Nature’s plants are finely tuned with these tiny climatic conditions known as microclimates.  That’s why we find plants such as Hepaticas, Snow Trilliums, Harebells and Trout Lilies on north facing slopes.  Ever noticed that the moss grows thick on the north side of a tree?  Ever noticed how your inner self-feelings can change as you face different directions.  Native Americans knew this and recognized the different directions in their everyday rituals in greeting the new day.

Tune your senses to your “tiny climate” and notice what is going on in your world and how easy it is to change your outlook on life.  Happy climate change to you!

Earthyman

http://ionxchange.com/

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Lesson Learned from the Land Article

As I mapped soils throughout eastern Iowa back in the early 70’s, it was interesting for me to put together a picture of what the original landscape looked like.  In eastern Cedar County, I came upon some soils that did not fit the general description of prairie or savanna soils in that they were somewhere in between the two. I pondered this as I walked day after day over the land and began to see the picture in my mind.  Savannas are transitions from prairie to a micro climate that favors some tree growth.  There must be all grades of transition but what are they called?  When does a prairie become a prairie as we walk westward out of the timber into the savanna into the “prairie”?  When does a prairie become a savanna?  What is your definition of a savanna?  I don’t think there is a definition or name that can be placed on this “la la land of the past”.  One way to look at these ecosystems is to imagine an interaction not individual influences, although they may be critical.  If we back away in time and peer down from above, we can see a constant winning and waning of movement much like the tides that come and go.

What footprint is left in the soil to give us clues to the past? Certainly visual imprints are evident even though the land is now covered with corn and beans.

John Madson, who wrote Where the Sky Began, so beautifully described his vision of coming out of the timber and seeing, looming in front of him, an open sky and a sea of grass as far as the eye could see.  He made mention of the front line soldiers sent out by the savanna or timber which allowed the advancement of the savanna and timber upon the prairie.  Wild plumb trees were sent out as a front line defense or offense depending upon which the environment favored.  Sometimes the battle would be won by the prairie and other times by the savanna and eventually a total overthrow of one over the other but the soldiers of the front line are always forgotten for they are in this “la la land of transition”.   I was reminded of them that day in Cedar County, Iowa as I observed the grainy grey coats of the now vanished front line soldiers of the savanna who left their mark upon the prairie soil profile.  Were they lost in battle as they succumbed to the forces of the prairie or were they stopped dead in their tracks by the ever- advancing moldboard plow?

I am reminded of my life and how it is much like this ever- changing world that we know as Prairie and Savanna but not a struggle or battle but the ebb and flow with the tides of life.  Just as every component of the prairie and savanna are a part of the total wonderment of creation so are we.  Are we on the frontline of change?  Do we have the courage to move forward regardless of the elements that we face?  The lessons of the land are there for all of us if we just open our eyes and hearts and breathe in the intuitive powers of this great planet.

Howard Bright, President
Ion Exchange, Inc.
http://www.ionxchange.com
800-291-2143
“Helping you create your own natural beauty”

A Few Garden Tips

Tip: Clear Away Tall Grasses and Weeds from around Trees Fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs can be attacked by four-legged critters. Removing bunches of tall grasses and weeds will eliminate the hiding places and habitat for rodents that will nibble on bark through the winter. Rabbits, gophers, meadow mice and voles can gnaw on bark tissue which will result in severe damage to the plants.
Tip: Remove Pine Sap Remove pine sap from tools using a light oil, such as WD40. Using rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, or vegetable oil to remove it from your skin.