16 September 2011

The dichotomous key and leaf identification

Soon the leaves will make their way softly to the ground making their crackly carpet, a grand reminder of the circle of life. If only I could remember the name... "dichotomous key"!  That's it.  I was trying to help the neighbor kid with his fall science project and remembered this tool for leaf detectives.  I also finally found the name of the big tree on the terrace, by the lake.  It's an American Basswood.  Very climb-worthy, I just haven't taken myself up yet.  Should probably wood-burn a calling card and tie it up to the top limb, like I'd always planned, but never gotten around to.
The names of trees, as those of friends, should be learned and used when you talk about them. Names are convenient handles by which we designate a particular object. Until we know the names of trees, our interest and appreciation for these beautiful and majestic plants is truly hampered. The information here is designed to help you learn to identify "your trees."

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