Inaugural Blog Post: Early Spring for Magnolia

March 12, 2012  •  7 Comments

After weeks of deliberating on whether or not to dive into the world of photo-blogging, I finally took the leap and made one.  Starting now, I'll be doing my best to give regular updates on just what exactly I'm working on when I'm out of touch for most the summer, or what I've been trying to capture when you see me coming back from a walk in the woods with mud stains all over my knees and elbows. I'll try and keep the nerdy biology rants to a minimum, but if you know me at all this new experiment should be a foray into the mind of a lover of all things living.  Let's start off with something pretty...

Soulangiana spp.

The inspiration for an initial post came to me on my way back from pollination ecology class today (in beautiful but balmy seventy-some degree weather) when I passed by a large deciduous Chinese Magnolia.  This tree (looks to be from the genus Soulangiana) happens to be blooming earlier than normal, according to Joey Thompson who took note of it last year.  Note the floral parts below in different stages of maturation: in flowers where pollen is being released by the male organs, the female organs in the center seem to be folded up and unreceptive, probably to avoid the negative genetic consequences that associated with self-pollination and inbreeding.  Unfortunately for this tree, there aren't too many bachelor/ettes of his/her kind within reasonable flying distance for bees or other pollinators.

 

It's been interesting to see the wildlife being confused by the regular seasonal timing here, where snow and ice storms are not uncommon in February and March.  Whether or not the timing of this exotic decorative tree can actually be considered "unnatural", this short lived display sure is stunning.  


Comments

Nishant(non-registered)
Dude your pictures are amazing. The last one could easily be my desktop background
Fabuloius you have a great eye(non-registered)
Keep em comin
Deborah Hansen(non-registered)
After reading this, I look forward to more. Beautiful writing and photography.
Tía Tere(non-registered)
Mo, realmente nos das más que una lección clara y perfecta de biología, una lección de reverencia y admiración por cada parte de esta maravilla de la naturaleza que diariamente se abre a nuestros ojos en espera de un ser de luz, como tú, que pueda traer a la luz todo el esplendor de tan magnífica flor.
Es hermoso maravillarse ante el milagro diario de la vida.
Just for you to practice Spanish. Hahahaha love you.
Thank you
Angela Mast(non-registered)
What a shot of energy to start the day looking at this overwhelming beauty inside a single flower and reading this short but very well delivered biology lesson. A good record log for our changing climate as well... And to think that every day we are surrounded by all this silent and intelligent beauty. Loved it!!!!!
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