The time a bird named a flower for me

by Ben Sikes When I was a new dad and living in Louisiana, I was working hard and trying to figure out how I was going to do this thing called life. I was newly married and had a new job at a big USGS facility working on population genetics and restoration. I was learning about the the city, Lafayette, and decided to go try frisbee golf just to be outside and see the area. I wasn't very good at frisbee golf mind you and only had 3 disks (a driver, a mid-range, and a putter), which I had left over from my college days. On hole two, my mid range went directly into an island of trees that was around a seep or low area of the course. Having little recourse, I adventured through the shrubs and br

The Juncus People

by Lucy Zipf Black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) is the dominant plant species in the wide, flat marshes that surround the Pamlico Sound in Eastern North Carolina, where I found myself working a few years ago, as well as much of the US southeastern and gulf coasts. And yet, the vast majority of marsh ecology takes place in cordgrass-dominated marshes. This could be due to the high concentration of research universities in New England and California, where cordgrass marshes prevail. Or it could be because cordgrass marshes are generally home to more species, take more beatings from waves, and are considered a more iconic landscape. But we, The Juncus People, have an alternate hypothesis: bl

Love Jade

by Sara Kuebbing I will share an embarrassing secret with Plant Love Stories. One of my favorite movies is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. My love for this RomCom is in part nostalgic; my college roommates and I watched this film too many times to admit in writing. It is in part because I adore Kate Hudson; she is charming and funny and beautiful. And, it is in part because you sometimes just need a movie with a "silly premise and predictable script" (Critics' Consensus at Rotten Tomatoes.com). Most important to this story, however, is that How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days gave the world the term "love fern." For those of you unfamiliar with the premise of the film, it revolves around a classic co

Two siblings, one tree, and one broken arm

by Bonnie McGill I’m telling you he was throwing sticks at me and wouldn’t stop. So I did what any little sister would do when verbal communication fails to bring about a change in your older brother’s behavior: give them a little shove. That’ll get their attention. And it sure did. It was August 1995, think President (Bill) Clinton, Toy Story and Garth Brooks. I was 11 and my brother, Tim, was 13. (The photos at left were taken in ~1987 and 2016.) We had been climbing trees together all our lives in western Pennsylvania. That day we were up in the silver maple tree in what is now our dad’s backyard. At the time this was a house my parents rented out. The tree was (and still is) a fine speci