Arbutus Flowers

Part 1 of 2

Last May, as I was preparing the articles about the Pacific Madrone, aka Arbutus, I discovered that their flowers just blew my mind.

 

They were small, and at first easy to overlook. But as I began to photograph them, some interesting stories unfolded.

 

 

Photos by John F. Williams
These flowers are pretty tiny and easy to overlook.
Looking more closely they resemble futuristic space capsules.
Their openings were so small, I wondered how they could possibly get pollinated.
Then I got to see the action, a bee sticking its whole face into the flower’s opening.
Walking on the beach at low tide, I saw the baracles at the bottom of the rocks. Then I noticed what looked like barnacles mid-way up the rocks. I had to look very closely before I could see that they weren’t barnacles at all, they were Arbutus flowers that stuck to the rock when the tide was higher.
Click on one of the thumbnails above to see the photos larger.
See more about these hardwood trees that keep their leaves in Winter in Issue #8.
Actually, there’s also a second article about the Pacific Madrone in Issue #8.
Watch for what happens after pollination in Part 2 of this Virtual Exploration coming towards Fall…

 

SOME OTHER RESOURCES ESPECIALLY INTERESTING DURING THIS "STAY HOME" ERA

IslandWood's Phenology Friday

Each week, one of IslandWood’s educators will be sharing a phenological highlight. Watch the video of their explorations and then share your own observations with us using #PhenologyFriday!

Rediscovering Science with the WET Science Center

Date: June 19- August 31
Join the WET Science Center for science exploration with activities you can do at home! Every week there is a different theme to keep you curious about the world around you.
Recommended grades: Kindergarten – 7th grade.

Hakai Magazine

Hakai Magazine explores science, society, and the environment from a coastal perspective. Not only is its content instructive, but it's presentation is visually inspiring.

Pacific Wonder Tracker

Pacific Wonder Tracker celebrates the delicious sense of wonder we experience when exposed to the natural environment. It is also specific to the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you live here, plan to visit, or just have a curious mental itch, you can enjoy reading about wonders you may encounter in coastal Washington and Oregon.

The Marine Detective

Jackie Hildering invites you to her blog: "Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there." But even before you get to the blog, on her home page there is a  slideshow of absolutely stunning photographs.

https://themarinedetective.com

Living on Earth

Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine. If you're looking for some substance beyond the normal focus of our media on sports, politics, fashion, and economy, listen to this show which does a great job of portraying earth ecosystems as something essential to our lives. The stories it tells are compelling.

Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound is a comprehensive guide to the science of Salish Sea ecosystem recovery. Articles on this site describe the region's major environmental threats and areas of concern, but also the facts and stories that make the Salish Sea an estuary of international importance. The website is a product of the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute and receives major support from the Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program.
Remote Science Learning

Use this guide to find science resources to supplement remote learning. Thurston County environmental organizations have developed activities for all ages. This resource is provided by the Thurston County ECO Network.

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