Thursday, April 29, 2010


Walking the paths today, the wind was quite strong and the air was full of helicopters, mostly maple seeds being carried long distances from their parent trees. Arriving at the Salt Fork, it was clear that the wind was not the only thing dispersing these seeds. The surface of the river was covered with them, as shown with a sample in the inset, probably a silver maple seed. This is a reminder that hydrochory, the dispersal of seeds by water, is an important transport mechanism for riparian plants. Rivers and their tributaries can carry the seeds long distances and through broad changes in latitude, and downstream floods can deposit the seeds at some distance from the riparian corridor. Such dispersal can help maintain connections between isolated communities of plants as well as support plant diversity along the corridor.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring on the Salt Fork

A short kayak trip on the Salt Fork this afternoon revealed the beauty of the river habitat. The redbuds were in full bloom as were the serviceberries. The emerging leaves of the Sycamore and their white trunks were magnificent as viewed against the bright blue background of the midwest sky. And meanwhile along the shore, blue bells, violets, and spring beauties were blooming everywhere. The scent of the blooming blue phlox was in the air. Needless to say I was so busy taking in the beauty of the vegetation, that I only managed to view a few Canadian geese, a turtle sliding off a log and a heron flying overhead.