Showing posts from March, 2011

Juniperus virginiana; Open for Business

I was preparing for a lecture on gymnosperms for my MST botany class and decided to collect specimens of male strobili from theJuniperus virginiananext to my house. You know, something to pass around, to smell, to feel. Male strobili are easily found. In fact, when in abundance on certain trees they give a tan hue that can be zeroed in on from quite a distance. The little cones, just a few millimeters long, were opened just enough to let the microspores slip through and onto the gusty superhighway that is the air on these warm days of late winter.
I admire these reproductive gems every year and anticipate their awakening as one of the first stirrings of Spring. With spring Peepers chanting in the background, I shook a branch and delighted at the millions of encapsulated microgametophytes lofting on their journeys of hope, each wanting only to contribute its self-determined half to future eastern red cedars everywhere.The assumption of hope being my wish for them and an obvious stray fro…