Came across a tree with unusual leaves and this spike cone at Lincoln Park. Looked in my Trees of Seattle book and over all the Lincoln Park tree walk maps and couldn't find it.
Googled for 'rare leaves' and after scrolling through images for a while, finally found it:
Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree)
Listened to Carrie Harwood, "Plants Have Microbiomes Too: Plant-Microbe Communication in Cottonwood Trees" on Zoom tonight.
It was a webinar by the WNPS. It sounded very interesting, but I didn't know enough to make all that much sense of it. I mainly learnt that there is a Deportment of Energy that has top secret labs around the US and is experimenting on Cottonwoods and some other plants. BP apparently also experiments on some - you might have heard of algae as one future source of energy, but it sounded it is still a bit early for major discoveries.
Here is some more information from the WNPS website:
All plants have beneficial bacteria and fungi living on them and in them. Plants have microbiomes. Microbes can increase plant growth and confer resistance to pathogens. Cottonwood (Populus) is a dominant perennial component of temperate forests, has the broadest geographic distribution of any North American tree genus and is a model woody perennial organism being studied by the US Department of Energy.
Carrie will describe a large project that is being carried out by the Department of Energy on Plant-Microbe Interfaces. Its goal is to characterize interactions between Populus and its microbial community with the idea that such information will set the stage to better understand ecosystem responses to climate change, the cycling of carbon on earth and the management of a renewable energy source. This talk will present a broad overview of how we do the research and of major things that we have learned. It will not be a detailed technical talk.
Carrie Harwood is an expert in the care and feeding of bacteria. Especially the kinds of bacteria that like to live near, in and on plants. She states her knowledge of plant biology is weak. She took a botany course in college 45 years ago, but nothing since then. But she notes we are always learning! That’s why she likes this project so much. She has been a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at UW since 2005 and before that spent 15 years as a Professor at the University of Iowa. A large part of her time is devoted to running her research laboratory – which overlooks the Montlake cut. She studies fundamental questions in bacterial physiology including how bacteria sense surfaces, how bacteria survive long-term starvation and biofuel production by bacteria.
One of two so far that I found growing close to my sitspot. I love watching nature do it's thing. I hope that all the new plants I bring that survive will continue thriving on their natural cycle, so it won't need humans to do as much invasive work as I do now.
Also the flower of the State of Washington.
Fun activity I want to save for later:
How did the Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) get under the hazel?
And do lichen grow on specific trees?
I also discovered the mysterious plant shining in the light was a wall lettuce, which I always confuse with nipplewort and also sow thistle.
I reviewed some plant descriptions.
Sat a little after a nice wander exploring Me Kwa Mooks. It was pretty quiet. Just some sanding sounds from neighbors. Sanding wood? And some music. And some screechy sound from the cherry log. Juvenile crow? And some clicking. Most likely from the little hummer.
I talked with Hazel, my old friend. Left my scent next to the log. Put some branches on the new trail and downhill. Whoever has the guts to master the course can explore.
I smelled Hazel, the maple, the soil, the ivy. Most familiar and surprisingly not strong. Ivy leaves don't smell in September.
Right after, it rained and rained and I stayed happily inside.
A wet day in the PNW. We needed it to have some relief from the smoke, but still. I was not super excited to get out when it got darker - it was already dark all day - and also colder, but I did it. I needed to figure out how many paces in each direction I need to draw my Master map.
I walked in, enjoyed that the trash pile was gone, walked up, sat down, noticed the rain hitting the leaves and with my Owl eyes I tried to react to every movement, but all the movements where just leaves bounces up and down after being hit by a raindrop.
When I took off the mask for a second, I could smell the smoke in the air, like a camp fire.
I then focused right in front of me where the Roly-Poly was hanging out yesterday, but couldn't see anything move. I looked to my left and there she was. Graciously blending in with the pretty stump. I was memorized for a bit by this beautiful sight. She looks like marble. Not all slugs are usually that pretty and elegantly glued to a stump.
I saw some fresh cut hazel twigs on the ground and tried to figure out what happened - and found a little trail going along the power line connecting to the power pole to one of my neighbors back yard fences. Now I wonder if they want to be connected to the Park, or just needed excess to the power pole where all the Internet cables are connected, but I couldn't see anything different about the hazel there. Very mysterious.
Walking back to my spot - counted steps - I noticed this plant beaming in age. So fragile. Delicate. Laced. Another master piece. And the light just hit it to make it shine. One more time.
We will spend a lot of dirt time this year and sit.
My current relationship with my sit spot is somewhat torn as I see so many things and feel really connected but the space feels somewhat transient. Change is in the air. It's a City Park and neighbors on all edges interact with the space in different ways.
I did have the most impact on the space, restoring it to native plants, removing the intruders. It feels interesting as an intruder myself. But I might call myself 'introduced' and 'non-invasive', as I try to play along with the others in a respectful, harmless way. Am I really?
Stealing valuable resources: Light. Water. Air. Space. Smothering over the others. Just like the Himalayan Blackberry? I do use resources. Some are limited. Some raised in value because people like me moved here and made space more rare. Outpricing the locals/natives.
I will go now and introduce myself to my little nature patch, I feel to know for a while now, and try to reach out and find my 'Octopus teacher' (Jon Young just suggested his friends Craig Foster's new film). I will try to see everyone and everything with new eyes.
I really like the idea how external tracking and relating to a place also activates internal tracking. I will try to pay more attention to that.
But this time I will wear shoes as my spider limbo made me be a little less cautious and step in Himalayan blackberry which left an inch long gap on the bottom of my foot. Ouch.
Despite the smoke, I needed to go outside and check in with my forest friends. I took off my socks and climbed down the stairs.
First, I visited Hugo, my little buddy. The fern I gave him as a companion didn't seem to have survived the summer heat but Hugo seemed to be doing better. It definitely helps that he doesn't get as many destructive visitors.
I had to roll back my little log I used in my sit spot. My sit spot rock was still there. I had to clean up a bit. Lots of trash left from the telecom workers.
I went up to the curvy cedar, picked up some trash there and sat a little bit in my sit spot. I heard a lot of city noise and the ferry horn. Air plane. Construction. Cars. But also the hummer and some other birds. I watched a
On my way back I noticed all the spider webs and I started to do a limbo dance/crawl so I wouldn't touch all their cobs. There were about 6 back to back and it was quite the challenge and a lot of fun. I didn't enjoy the blackberry canes as much on the ground. Barefoot. I grew up barefoot. I should check in with my Dad how often he is still walking barefoot.
I visited my little Madrone babies. My toddler seems to be doing great. Everything around him is brown but he is bright green in his little spot over the marker. Seven of the 10 babies seem to be viable. The Cedars on the other hand are all dried up. :-(
There were lots of clumps of moss lying around the south of the house I once learned the crows love to feed their offspring with.
When I came back in my socks where not on the porch anymore. I found them on the couch.
My name is Christine (she/her) or Biene. I'm very excited to join
Anake this year as my longing for more connections with the natural
world and other people has steadily increased during the pandemic.
Growing up I roamed the woods in the Bavarian alps, climbing my
favorite spruces, observing the little creek, falling in and breaking
my collarbone (ask me about the fish), playing house under the hazel,
snacking on dock and purple dead-nettle with my best friend, chasing
dandelion seeds, picking grapes, apples and berries, in awe with
Nature. In 4th grade I finished my school's scavenger hunt first. It
was held in my woods, a home game for me.
After college I worked in Marketing and Internet StartUps, produced an
Astrology show and sold wine and delicacy online. I moved to West
Seattle in 2004, where I raised my Climate Action Family, built the
West Seattle Bee Garden, started the West Seattle Coworking space, and
work as a bookkeeper for the Community School of West Seattle,
currently closed during Covid, which allows me to join the Anake
In 2016 I got my mind blown attending Art of Mentoring at WAS, rolling
in mud, chasing the Golden Elixir (GE) with a bunch of fun Canadians
that I made say 'about' a lot. It was the highlight of my summer,
being playful, rekindling with my childhood passions and the following
year I wanted to do Anake, but there was just too much going on in my
life, so I joined the Tracking Intensive and the Wild Plant Intensive
the following year, became a Native Plant Steward and Master Forest
Steward. I volunteer for the Green Seattle Partnership, the Bee
Garden, South Sound Nature School and Seattle Tracking Club. I love
learning, becoming more humble with each day and hanging out with
other Nature nerds.
I am fascinated by all things Nature and a few of my favorites are
chickadees, mason bees, huckleberries, nettles, deer mice, madrones,
hoverflies, crows, maidenhair fern, lupines, ghost pipes, spittlebugs,
racoons (we Germans call them 'wash bears'), sphagnum moss, oaks,
horsetail, yarrow and thimbleberries. My all time favorite pastime is
going on wanders and foraging with friends.
Curious Bee. Forest Steward. Nature Nerd. Climate Activist Mom.