Wintergreen – Beyond Christmas Trees!

Maybe it’s me being un-provincial, moving every so often as an Air Force brat, but I want to see something distinctive about each new place I go or live, not how those good at copying weak ideas consider it.

For those in colder zones than USDA Zone 7, did you know there are evergreen plants with broad leaves, not just conifers? Zone 7 is where one really begins to see this shift to southerly plants of mesothermal winter climates…those with a mean monthly average temperature above freezing / 32F. But some in Z 6 and even parts of Z 5 have some broadleaf evergreens too, and I hope this post inspires you to seek those out.

That freezing temperature determines things like above-ground life, such as photosynthesis, and below-ground life, such as rooting when the soil isn’t frozen. Mesothermal does depend on how much moisture and cloud cover one gets, as well as other extremes and the plants used.

But those are side notes. From a business trip, then back home.

Albuquerque: 35F in December is the coldest month average. Photos taken 12/12/2013 –

Southern Live Oak / Quercus virginiana adds life during a rare, bleak winter day in Albuquerque…that white is snow

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I’ve driven past this tree almost daily, a few blocks from my abode.

UTEP’s Juan Blanco told me about this tree, and how our far-out west Texas urban forester, Oscar Mestas, has more details. Richard Burges planted this oak in 1915, after building his house. A former Texas state legislator, originally from Seguin, he introduced the bill to form the Texas A&M Forest Service

There’s more – herePhotos from 1/3/2014 –

Escarpment or Texas Live Oak / Quercus fusiformis

Continue reading “Stately”

Saturday-Sunday Sky: 1/5/2014

Weekends may still be for work in my world, but I try to look up. Some of you need cheering up with sunny, clear desert skies, I gather! But don’t all of us?

My advance apologies for the 15% of the time the sun isn’t bleaching out burning a hole in something cheerfully shining here…

Hike near Anthony Gap, New Mexico, 1/5/14 –

nice to the north, so close yet so far

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