Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii

Blue Oak in front of MSOB. The Blue Oak is characterized by its "short, leaning trunk."

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This has been one of the main feeding grounds at the medical school for the Western Tussock moth infestation this year. You can see the gaping holes in the leaves.

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There was a period when larvae were literally dripping from the branches with frightening irregularity. People would walk with umbrellas. Damn you, Western Tussock moth larvae!

Western Tussock moth larvae

Monday, May 21, 2007

Valley Oak, Quercus lobata N.

(This is definitely an assessment I'm not 100% on).

Growing up along Welch Road, and all against the Stock Farm parking lots: Valley Oaks.

California Scrub Oak Whole

It is not the most well-maintained of the campus trees. Or this particular one has seen better days.

California Scrub Oak Branch

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia B.

One of the many Oregon Ash trees in front of Beckman Center.

Oregon Ash Leaf

This particular ash is related to the olive tree family. It is also dioecious (male and female parts on separate trees). No hermaphrodites here.

Oregon Ash Whole

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Planetree Maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L.

I will preface this post by saying that I could be completely wrong about how I'm identifying all of these trees. But people are free to correct me if they have extra special knowledge.

First up: Planetree Maple (also known as the Sycamore Maple), outside of the Beckman Center at Stanford.

Planetree Maple Leaf

Obviously a maple leaf, which is fitting due to the Stanley Cup playoffs happening (even though Toronto did not make it to the post-season).

Planetree Maple Whole

From Wikipedia:
"The word Acer is derived from a Latin word meaning "sharp" (referring to the characteristic points on the leaves)."



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Botanical Goals and Objectives

I created this blog to be a digital version of the botanical notebooks that everyone gets to do in elementary/middle school. You know, the ones where the teacher made you collect 100 different types of leaves or flowers, and identify and catalog them. I grew up in the desert, so there weren't a ton of trees/plants/flowers hanging around; therefore, no botanical notebooks in my nascent years.

Now I live in Northern California, and the living things are in abundance. I toyed with the idea of starting a tangible botanical notebook, but I don't have much experience with pressing flowers or leaves, nor did I want to go plucking things from trees and bushes. In addition, I did not want to be arrested for picking something that is illegal to pick (e.g., the California poppy).

So the purpose of this blog is to digitally identify and catalog the local flora. Maybe some people will read, maybe not, but I feel that as long as I keep my eye on the original goal, I won't be hurt that I'm not making new friends :).