With Earth Day on April 22 and Arbor Day on the last Friday in April, this month is all about life on our home planet. (Check out those salamanders in the photo! Nothing says spring like a handful of baby salamanders!)
Earth Day was the brainchild of US Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. After seeing the destruction caused by an oil spill in California in 1969, Nelson recognized the need for a national, grassroots movement focused on the issues of air and water pollution. He built bi-partisan support for the effort, and recruited an organizer to pull Earth Day together for April 22, 1970.
I understand that it is welcome to see something green in the woods after winter - especially after the winter we just had - but just keep in mind that the welcome glint of green you see spells trouble for our native trees shrubs and wildflowers.
That green you see is honeysuckle. Soon to be followed by buckthorn.
Millions of small miracles happen this time of the year, as pollinated flowers transform into seeds. Seeds that will feed birds and wildlife throughout the winter as well as seeds that will lie dormant on the ground until next spring when they emerge as a new generation of plants.
Seeds are being produced – large and small – as part of the lifecycle of the plant world. Plants spend much of the rest of the growing season preparing for reproduction. Flowers bloom to attract insects and birds that are necessary for pollination. Pollination is how plants reproduce – insects, birds or the wind move pollen (male gametes, aka sperm) from one part of a plant to the female part of the plant (female gametes, or eggs), resulting in fertilization and the production of seeds (potential future plants).