Field of Science

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin

 Yep!  It was Charles' birthday. And Abe Lincoln's and my kid sister too. So pretty easy to remember.  In times past we've had cake in the Herbarium but cake and a viral pandemic don't mix well.  And TPP gets  out all the Darwin books he owns just so students can see them.  Heck, it's getting so faculty don't own such things as books either.  Sadly books and journals used to be a measure of how good you were as a scholar.  Once a month a visit to a big library would help keep in touch with the literature and you would solicit reprint copies of really good papers by sending a postcard.  You would buy reprint copies to give away, now you just download a pdf copy.  As a graduate student at least you got mail with reprints.  Of course Charles wrote books, not a 8-10 page journal research article.  Well Happy  Birthday anyways, Chalres, you would not like how some things have changed.

Avoiding winter - the Big Tree

 Hey all, after last year's attempt to avoid winter failed (also in Texas), this year's trip managed to avoid a foot or so of snow, by going farther south.  So TPP found himself in Goose Island State Park, which features the largest live oak (Quercus virginiana).  It is truly a massive tree.  And then a few hundred feet away we spotted a couple of whooping cranes.  The tree has a sort of multiple trunks massed together for a circumference of nearly 40 feet.   The crown spreads some couple of hundred feet in all directions.   It has seen better days but is still an impressive tree (even if not very tall, only 44 feet).