So far winter in the Ozarks is following the new pattern. Cold moves in for a few days. Warmer temperatures move in for a few days. The latter are good winter hiking weather.
All spring and summer I take plant pictures. I do download and file them in a file for that year. Winter is the time to go over the pictures and try to complete plant picture sets for the botany project.
The other day I set off for ShawneeMac Lakes Conservation Area. American Holly grows there. It isn’t supposed to grow in Dent County, but it didn’t read the book.
Holly is an evergreen shrub. I took a picture of it last summer. Green holly against green trees defeats the purpose of the picture: to show what the plant looks like.
In winter holly is still green. The other trees, shrubs etc. are not green, don’t have leaves to hide the holly. Winter is the time to get the plant picture. Winter hiking weather is the time to go walking.
The lakes were full of water after a wet fall. The short leaf pines looked lovely. The sunny day had brought other hikers out on the trail.
The trails around the lakes are easy walking. The lake views from the various bridges showed the extent of the lakes much more than when trees block them. A flock of Canadian geese were enjoying the lakes.
Several of the holly plants were decked out with red berries. Holly has two plants. The male produces the pollen. The females produce the berries. A number of plants including American persimmons have that arrangement.
Now I have the American Holly plant picture. The next time winter hiking weather arrives, I will be back out on the trail to take winter bud pictures of various trees, shrubs and woody vines.
Enjoy nature for all seasons in Exploring the Ozark Hills, a book of nature essays and photographs.