Monday, February 11, 2008
Celebrating the Holiday- Naturally
Are you sick of the gray, sunless days of winter? Me too. I thought I would start a series of posts where I'll be searching for color. And since it is February, why not start with red?
Here you see the fruits, or in more specific botanical terms, the pomes, of a hawthorn tree. Hawthorns are shrubs and scrubby trees with a nasty reputation for being terribly hard to identify. In fact, there really is no agreement as to just how many hawthorn species even exist. M.L. Fernald sums up the situation in Gray's 8th manual of botany by simply stating the genus is "of great taxonomic difficulty". I'm guessing that the tree pictured here was planted at our environmental education facility on the campus of ODNR. This specimen really adds a nice touch of color to a gray day. The fruits seem to be dwindling as the winter proceeds. Although I have not seen birds eat its fruits, this tree is a favorite perch of our year round population of mockingbirds.
So look for hawthorn fruits on your winter ramblings, they can really brighten up the day.
And be sure to check back for tomorrow's valentine colored plant, the red-osier dogwood.