Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Still Searching for a Tree

Oh dear. It’s February 13 already. The window of opportunity is about to slam shut. I’m talking about tree-following of course. Early each month, we have a week to report our tree. Yes, a full week, but I’ve been really busy trying to catch up on work after being delayed by our #$%^&(@ government shutdown. And the weather has been mostly miserable. As I write, the wind is blowing 41 mph on average with gusts to 53. Temperature is 36ΒΊ F (2.2ΒΊ C). But duty calls!
As a tree-follower, I’m currently faced with an important question: Which tree shall I follow this year? I mentioned in my January report that I will choose a deciduous tree on the University of Wyoming campus. But I have yet to find the right one. Continuing on that quest, today I'm going to explore the area around the Department of Visual and Literary Arts. This is a relatively new building, one that I’ve not yet visited.
Department of Visual and Literary Arts webpage header.
Now off I go … 

... and now I'm back. What did I find?

Wind, seriously howling wind! But I’m glad I got out and focused on something besides updating the Park Service plant database. I found multiple trees of interest, but didn't attempt to identify them. I’ve been putting names on plants for months now. This outing was for fun, to look closely, to forget about the rest of the world for a bit.

These two trees (single species) are appealing for their form and location—nicely arranged. The bark is golden; a few old fruit hang on.
Resident cottontail.
The next photo is for Lucy Corrander, the original tree-follower. Yes, Lucy, we do have red berries here in Wyoming! Well … red rose hips anyway.
Not surprisingly, the wind occasionally "decorates" our trees with plastic bags.
I like the multi-stemmed smaller tree below, in front of the conifer. It appears to be dancing in the wind.
The brown-canopied tree in the next photo is the only one I could name—maple. It was obvious from the dried samaras (keys) waving in the wind. Luckily, I found some on the ground to photograph. This tree is appealing in part because of the nearby rocks.
Sandstone on left I think; definitely granite on right.
And the final candidate ...
Ha ha!

Yes, you're right. I went inside. It was wonderful to leave the wind behind ...
 ... and to discover that the departmental lobby is sunlit, spacious and includes a gallery.
Fragment of  literary artwork.

So what did I decide? Still not sure. But all of these trees qualify as good candidates for following, especially given where they grow. Stay tuned ...