Pinus palustris

pinus palustris grass stage
Before European settlement, longleaf pine forest dominated as much as 90,000,000 acres stretching from Virginia south to Florida and west to eastern Texas. That range has been vastly reduced. These are not popular trees with pine plantation folk. This form is called the grass stage. During this stage, which lasts for 5–12 years, vertical growth is very slow, and the tree may take a number of years simply to grow ankle-high.
Longleaf pine takes 100 to 150 years to become full size and may live to be 500 years old. When young, they grow a long taproot, which usually is 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) long; by maturity they have a wide spreading lateral root system with several deep ‘sinker’ roots.–Wikipedia

Herbivores above and below. Last year grackles killed ten of these trees from above. This year I am struggling with the underground herbivores.
Herbivores above and below. Last year grackles killed ten of these trees from above. This year I am struggling with the underground denizens. Voles dig under plants, eat the roots until the plant falls over. I make 1′ diameter rat wire collars, buried at ground level. That way the voles have to work harder for their food.

rat wire in situ
This is a photo in process. Different plant, same species. Three hours after this photo was taken a mole tunnel appeared. Moles are carnivores. Earthworms a major part of their diet. The mole bumped into the wire. My theory is that voles opportunistically run mole tunnels. Just a theory…

mammals

boston terrier
Mammals are any members of a clade of endothermic amniotes distinguished from reptiles and birds by the possession of a neocortex (a region of the brain), hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands. The mammalian brain regulates body temperature and the circulatory system, including the four-chambered heart.–Wikipedia

climbing mulch pile
Bowser and the goats.

goat and dog
goat and dog

goat and coat
goat and coat

Prunus × yedoensis

snap
D.C. packed above and below with tourists filling phone memory with cherry blossoms.

civility instruction
In a ceremony on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of these trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.–Wikipedia
(March 26, 2016, Mr. Beaver’s call for civility was ignored. At least one tree was broken by climbers and stripped of flowers for personal adornment.)

grey and green touristinfrastructure
Republicans were once interested in the Environment, witness Teddy Roosevelt and National Parks, Dick Nixon and the EPA. What happened?
In 1965 Democrat Lady Bird Johnson accepted a bunch more Yoshino trees from the Japanese Government. They were planted on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

Couple on the tidal pool.
Many many selfie sticks in action on the perimeter of the Tidal Basin..

much of a muchness

swamp
Bennett’s Creek, the water later runs into the Chowan River then to Albemarle Sound. It is south and west of the Dismal Swamp

swamp
Merchants Mill Pond. via two-lane roads, south and east, skirting the Nottoway River, Courtland Road, Jerusalem Plank Road, Plank Road, through the town of Courtland, bypassing Franklin, crossing the Blackwater River, directly south to North Carolina on the Gates Road, rt.666, through Reynoldson, Wileyton. The Park is near Gatesville NC

open water
Much of a muchness? These clearly baldcypress, but upstream on Bennett’s creek, seemed that there were red maple and tupelo in the mix.

Slow way home

schoolchildren in Okinawa
saw a movie yesterday written by UVA professor Leonard Shoppa,

poster
  In Japan, 98 percent of children walk to school every day, unaccompanied by a parent.  In the United States, just 13 percent of children walk or bike to school, and most are driven to school by a parent.

smart cae
The Slow Way Home explores this divergence, examining how American families have largely given up on keeping our streets and public spaces safe enough for children, while Japanese communities have mobilized to keep their streets safe and walkable, not only for children but for everyone in society.