It’s all about the plants!

There has been so much rain, I can’t believe it! However, no amount of rain or mud is going to stop me from getting outside and exploring the land… although the mosquitoes can be a bit much to handle. I never leave the barn without my bug spray!

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This week I had the pleasure of exploring nature by the side of Dan Boone, a retired arbologist and current botanist. He works for MAD Scientists, and knows so much about plants! I was in awe the whole time that we were out walking! For every plant that we came across, he had something to share about it. For example, there are many different species of clovers at Shephrd’s Corner, such as white clover, and red clover. Dan told me about the time that the saw Buffalo Clover and Running buffalo clover (an endangered specie of clover in the U.S.) in the same place at the same time. This is a really big deal because there is such a small window where these two clovers bloom at the same time, and there is an even smaller chance of seeing them in the same area in bloom at the same time! I am sharing this because Dan reminded me about the importance of looking carefully at my surroundings. It might be inconvenient at times to spend the five extra minutes looking at a patch of grass, but that spot may hold valuable information about the conditions of that land. Since the Running buffalo clover is endangered, Dan’s find reveals a spot that it is thriving, and could continue to thrive with the proper care. And this all goes back to caring for the Earth. We now know where this endangered species is, and we can take efforts to preserve that land and keep the clover in existence because it is connected with the existence of other forms of life.

There is one plant, inparticular, at Shepherd’s Corner that is facing threats of being wiped out. It is the Ash tree. The Emerald Ash Borer is a pest, native to Eastern Asia, that is threatening the further existence of the Ash Trees all across Ohio. It is a green jewel beetle that burrows into the tree trunks, taking away the tree’s nutrients and weakening its internal structure. Eventually the tree becomes too weak to support itself and it falls over and dies. It is sad to see so many trees dying, but on my walk with Dan we came across a patch of baby Ash trees deep in the mature woods! This was an instance where taking the time to look around revealed a patch of new life that can bring hope to the Ash tree! Shepherd’s Corner is all about caring for the earth, and with constant surveillance there might be a chance for these trees to be protected and surviving!

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About Shak's Summer

I am the 2015 Shepherd's Corner Summer Intern. I will be a senior at Ohio Dominican University, majoring in biology, environmental science, and life science secondary education. I am president of the ODU Birding Club, President of Panther's for Peace, member of ODU's Sustainability Club, and on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. I love being outside where I can give my love and care to all of mother nature!!!
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