For today’s Ecology Club, we took a small walk but covered a vast distance. @jamesisland, @sassygirl26, and @alonalearning walked a few hundred yards down the road with attention to our environment. Our focus were the trees and plants.
Immediately we noticed a Magnolia tree Magnolia grandiflora, each one of us was familiar with Magnolias. Even without their enchanting flowers these trees are distinctive. We noted the waxy leaf, with fuzzy ridges, ,and large fruit pods scattered on the ground.
The giant leaves are lighter underneath @alonalearning observed, and when we held them up to the light we could see their cells. This got me chattering about plant and animal cells. Even to the naked eye they are different but here is a nifty illustration with labels as well.
And here is the website with hyperlinked definitions.
Across the street was an Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis. @sassygirl26 noticed the pods and they reminded her of cacao. They do have common traits and @sassygirl26 picked up on this subtle relation. Redbuds belong to the family Fabacea to which soybeans, chickpeas and even alfalfa belong. Cacao belongs to the family Malvacea. Hibiscus and cotton belong to this family.
In perspective Humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutangs all belong to the same family Hominide.
Cacao and Redbuds relate within the realms of Order and Class, that’s like saying humans fall in the realms of primates and mammals.
Wherever the connection, it was deep in the past of genetic recombination. I like this quote:
Ranks are somewhat arbitrary, but hope to encapsulate the diversity contained within a group a rough measure of the number of diversifications that the group has been through. **
To our question: Are Redbud seeds edible? Yes they are! And their flowers are too. Seeds can be roasted as in Native American tradition, and flowers can be boiled.
@jamesisland was drawn to a hole in the trunk of a Willow Oak Quercus phellos. It was a whole new world down at the base of an oak tree. Lichens and moss established a mico-ecosystem right on the street corner.
These key provide a perfect nesting ground for seeds and spores, and we saw evidence of this entangled amongst the tiny forest. Spiders appeared to have used the architecture to their advantage as well.
Back at school we decided to do test prep. I am not smarter than a 6th grader in case no one was wondering. READ THE QUESTIONS. gah still need to learn diligence.
At culture meeting we talked about our structures and meetings. My favorite nugget of gold was this:
READ THE BOARD!
Yoda took sense of the meeting 🙂
Our meeting was about meetings. Speaking up in groups can be difficult. Perhaps it was the presence of Yoda, members of the community spoke openly and honestly about school structures and what we can do to transform them together.
I am very grateful for the outdoor interludes.
**Gingerich, P. D. (1987). “Evolution and the fossil record: patterns, rates, and processes”. Canadian Journal of Zoology 65