Petals from blossoms on a magnolia tree looked like fallen snow. Let me just add that I think it was a magnolia tree. My tree identification skills are about as shaky as my bird identification skills. This week, we’re talking about dendrochronology, which came to mind when your photographer happened to spot a tree which had been cut down in his hometown. I believe it was a pine tree. The image of the circles in the tree was eye-catching.

Special serenade, poachin' pooch, talkin' trees

Please read this. . .

In the “it was so warm and windy last Thursday” category...

...it was so warm and windy last Thursday in Union County that when I drove by a pasture along the highway, I saw a horse fly...

...get it...a horse fly...as in a horse flying in the wind...oh, never mind...

This week, we’re going to take a look at a big ol’ word. Before we get to that...

...just wanted to share some of the exciting things which happened in a space of about 24 hours or so last week on The Journey Through Life...

...your writer had an opportunity to meet a world-famous opera singer who has hobnobbed with the queen of England...

...during the meeting with the world famous opera singer, she agreed to have a photograph taken with a couple of long-time friends. The friends also happened to be singers. Next thing I know, a world-famous opera singer and her two friends are serenading the photographer. That, friends, has never happened before. Just wish I’d written down the song they sang... 

...had another up-close and almost personal visit with a Canada goose...sometimes, it’s hard to remember that a Canada goose is a wild critter...

...attended a local government meeting which, thank goodness, was pretty short...

...had a big ol’, friendly dog leap on me, knock the reading glasses off my noggin, pick up the reading glasses in her mouth, run around with the reading glasses, slobber all over the reading glasses, and then drop ‘em on the floor...

...and folks say that nothing ever happens in a small town...

Now, back to that big ol’ word we mentioned way back in the fourth paragraph or so...

...the word is...

...dendrochronology...

...which, as you no doubt already know, is the...

...dating and study of annual rings in trees.

The University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research explains that the word dendrochronology “comes from these roots”:

“ology: the study of

“chronos: time; more specifically, events and processes in the past

“dendros: using trees; more specifically, the growth ring of trees.”

An aside or two here...didn’t even know there was a University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research until last week. Found it online, so it has to be real.

And how ‘bout “the world dendrochronology ‘comes from these roots’”? Roots...trees...yup...once again, your writer is proving that he has way too much time on his hands.

The reason for our look at dendrochronology can be traced to a walk yours truly took one evening last week. I happened to spot a tree which had been cut down. I think the tree might have been of the pine variety. Anyway, the circles in the tree just seemed to be quite striking. 

Just for the sake of this column, I attempted to count the rings in the tree. I came up with something in the range of 54 rings. Guess that made the tree about 50 years old. 

Late, back at The Paragraph Factory, I decided to do a little bit of “research” about tree rings, which included paying a visit to the aforementioned University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

I also ended up finding some information about tree rings on the climate.nasa.gov website, which might seem a little bit odd. After all, there don’t seem to be very many trees in space.

“If you’ve ever seen a tree stump, you’ve probably noticed that the top of a stump has a series of concentric rings,” the NASA website explained.

“These rings can tell us how old the tree is, and what the weather was like during each year of the tree’s life. The light-colored rings represent wood that grew in the spring and early summer, while the dark rings represent wood that grew in the late summer and fall. One light ring plus one dark ring equals one year of the tree’s life.

“Because trees are sensitive to local climate conditions, such as rain and temperature, they give scientists some information about that area’s local climate in the past. 

“For example, tree rings usually grow wider in warm, wet years and they are thinner in years when it is cold and dry. If the tree has experienced stressful conditions, such as a drought, the tree might hardly grow at all in those years.”

Makes me wonder what the tree rings might look like when winter in Southern Illinois starts in October and lasts until April.

Well, enough about trees. I’ve got to figure out what to do about mowing the lawn...

 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 11 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Comment Here