jump to navigation

Fall at Burlington High School November 5, 2013

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
trackback

I dropped my car off last week across the street from the BHS football field.  As I walked down the entrance road to the school, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty of fall that surrounded me.  It was cool and crisp.  The fog had started to lift and the plant life was covered with dew.  I found myself  in awe of nature, taking pictures and identifying local plant species.  I felt fortunate to live in an area that showed such dramatic changes with the seasons.  Here is some information and photos from my walk.

mefallwalk

Spotted Jewelweed:  Jewelweed is a wetland plant which prefers the shade.  It’s nickname is the “touch-me-not” plant, due the fact that its seed pod explodes open when it is touched.  Jewelweed is known as an antidote for posion ivy (crush and rub the liquid to sooth itching).  It is also visited by several nectar-loving animals including bees, butterflies and birds.  I particulary love its flowers.

Spotted Jewelweed

Spotted Jewelweed

Northern Catalpa Tree:  This tree is deciduous with large, heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 60 feet tall.  It prefers moist soil and has very light, but strong wood.  What I noticed most about this tree was the almost 2 foot long, thin seed pods, which resemble a long string bean!  European settlers used this tree for fence posts, railroad ties and fuel.

Northern Catalpa Tree

Northern Catalpa Tree

photo 3

Catalpa Seed Pods

Bittersweet:  This is an invasive species from Asia that smothers our local plant life.  It is a vine that can grow up to 60 feet tall and 6 feet across at the base.  It produces very beautiful berries (fruits) which are eaten by birds (hence seed dispersal).

Bittersweet

Bittersweet

Bittersweet berries

Bittersweet berries

Common Reed/Phragmities:  Phragmities is another example of an invasive species, which originated from Europe and Asia.  It invades wetland areas and takes over an area into a large group called a “colony.”  It makes a soft bristle sound as the reeds blow into the wind.

Phragmities

Phragmities

Poison Ivy:  I always teach my students that posion ivy is not always green & red or only green.  Fall is a perfect time to observe that this plant can be a varietyof colors.  Remember the saying “Leaves of three, let it be.”

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy (green, red, yellow, orange)

Poison Ivy (yellow & green)

Poison Ivy (yellow & green)

Cattail:  This tall, aquatic plant is a member of the grass family.  It prefers shallow water and is known for its sausage-like flower.  This plant is highly edible and the entire plant can be eaten depending on the time of year.  Native people used the leaves as siding for their homes and others used the seed fluff to dress wounds.

Cattails

Cattails

Pokeweed:  Pokeweed is a perennial herb with magenta stems and clusters of dark purple/black berries.  The entire plant is mildly poisonous so be sure to keep away children and small pets.  Pokeweed has long been thought to have medicinal value.   At one time it was used to cure everything from boils to acne.  Today, Pokeberry is being researched as a possible treatment for cancer.  According to the American Cancer Society, a chemical found in pokeberry juice has been used to successfully treat cancerous tumors in laboratory mice. The chemical is also being tested to determine if it can protect cells from HIV and AIDS.

Pokeweed

Pokeweed

Burning Bush:  Burning Bush is a favorite landscaping shrub, due to its vibrant red color in the fall.  This invasive plant is from Asia and has been banned from sale, trade or distribution all across MA.  It can easliy thrive in most habitats and can be harmful to the ecosystem.

Burning Bush

Burning Bush

Maple Tree:  The spledor of a maple tree is evident in its change during the fall.  This is one of my favorite trees at BHS during the fall.  The foliage of trees changing color in the fall is amazing!

Maple Tree

Maple Tree

Fallen Maple leaves

Fallen Maple leaves

While on this walk, I felt I was living “in the moment,” surrounded by the beauty of nature and our earth.  Life goes by so fast sometimes, so please remember to take the time and explore the amazing world around you.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Patsy Eldridge - November 5, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this “nature walk”! I did not know burning bush was an invasive species – and I never would have guessed it. I love your photos and I have renewed respect for the pokeweeds that grow here and there in the wild part of my lakeside buffer on Chebacco lake in Hamilton. I hope the pokeweed research results in great treatments. Thanks for sharing all of this :o)

2. Karen DeMone - November 5, 2013

Thank you Wendy,
that was a beautiful “nature walk”.

3. J.J. - November 5, 2013

Thank you, Wendy, for sharing the beauty of nature with us.

4. Jean Golding - November 6, 2013

I very much enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the great pictures and information. I didn’t know Bittersweet was invasive.

5. Faydeen - November 6, 2013

This was an awesome post, Wendy!!! Enjoyed every word and photo right through to the end!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: