Archives for Mainely Phenology

Mainely Phenology 7/14/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Chestnut Flowers

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

Maine was once a boundless tract of old growth pines that were so magnificently large and straight the most perfect of the trees were reserved for masts on the King of England’s sailing fleet and Thoreau wrote that the trees were so large a team of oxen could stand two abreast on their stumps. There are even a few tree species that living generations can attest were once abundant but now must be categorized in the archives of “forests that once were.” One of these is the grand and much sought after American Chestnut, whose flowers can still be found in bloom this time of year in a couple of secluded and much guarded groves here in Maine.

Mainely Phenology 7/7/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Fireweed

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

June gave us the crescendo into summer, with turtles on the move to lay eggs, rhodora shrubs becoming covered in pink blossoms, gray tree frogs trilling away in the forest, and the fields of endless color painted with bright yellow buttercups, white daisies, red clovers, purple vetch, and the entire spectrum of pink to purple found in large patches of lupines. These tall spikes of color were decidedly en route to becoming spikes of fuzzy seed-bearing legumes right around the summer solstice, giving us all a brief start, wondering if summer was already on its way out. But fortunately, another flower that offers us swaths of exuberant color is already taking the place of lupines, telling us that we are merely at the beginning of the middle of summer in Maine: fireweed.

Mainely Phenology 6/30/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Cattail Pollen

Cattails are perhaps best known for their iconic sausage-shaped seed heads which playfully billow their fluffy seeds across the countryside. But this beautifully bucolic wetland wonder also holds a treasure-trove of wild foods, for which it has garnered the nickname “supermarket of the swamp.”

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

Mainely Phenology 6/23/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Red Clovers

One of our especially common plants that is in bloom right now is red clover. For as long as people have coexisted with this plant, red clover flowers have been eaten for food and used for medicine. Red clovers are not just useful to humans, of course. Much of our local wildlife enjoys eating them and they also provide a special service to the soil.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

Mainely Phenology 6/16/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Turtle Eggs

Having spent the warmer days of last month sunning themselves on logs and stumps, turtles can now be seen ponderously scooting their way across lawns, roads, and beaches in search of a suitable place to lay their eggs. Painted turtles are just one of the turtle species we have in Maine that are currently laying eggs.

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

Mainely Phenology 6/9/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Asters

Some iconic members of the Aster family include dandelions, sunflowers, daisies, sunchokes, lettuce, burdock, and artichokes, to name just seven of the over 23,000 species that exist in this plant family around the world. Once you start to keep an eye out for the sheer diversity of the Aster family’s daisy-shaped flowers, their numbers make sense. But is that daisy a single flower?

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

Mainely Phenology 6/2/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Blackflies

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

Warm air, hot sun, and the endless shades of green and songs of birds and evening peepers invite us to sit outdoors and contemplate this new season that seems to have arrived so quickly. That daydream quickly turns to reality, however, for being still outdoors is impossible this time of year, due to the nosy swarms of our bitty, buzzing, biting neighbors: blackflies.

Mainely Phenology 5/26/18

Producers/Hosts: Hazel Stark and Joe Horn

Apple Flowers

Photos, a full transcript, references, contact information, and more available at mainelyphenology.wordpress.com

An apple tree in full bloom is a sight, smell, and sound to behold. If you’d ever doubted whether summer would actually arrive, apple flowers tell us that it will, no matter what the weather report says. But beyond their beauty and use to us today, apple trees reveal a crisp slice of springtime necessity as rich as the flavor of apple pie.