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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Seasonal Senescence

"Winter!  Thou art e'er the grand finale,
Bringing death to all the fickle folly,
Of thy fair, but transient sisters.
List their requiem, the wind-wailed whispers.

All browned now and withered lie the leaves,
Gone are the circling swallows from the eaves;
The cheery summer scenes and sounds are past,
Winter reigneth supreme and rides the blast."

-"Winter" from Prairie Poems and Others by F.D. Dibble

Laramie's scene now involves snow and chilly breezes, and the Berry Prairie shows that well.  Now under an inch of snow, the plants are hunkering down for winter.  Following their cues, the Berry Prairie blog writers will take their senescence now too, until the new leaves pop up in spring.

Winter Projects
A couple of prairie-related projects we'll be working on this winter:

1. Weather: You'll see in the photo below that we have installed a weather station on the green roof, which monitors temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speeds, precipitation, dew point, and more.  

That information is routed to a receiver inside the building, which retains all of that data and allows the user (ahem, the people in the Berry Center) to download the information to a computer where we can analyze and share the trends and current conditions.  

2.  Propagation: Karen Panter (you remember her, right?  She's a UW faculty member who propagated a number of the commercially unavailable plants that we installed in the prairie) will be raising a number of seedlings again this winter.  She's focusing on those that didn't grow well last winter/spring, and those that weren't quite ready to be installed this summer. 

The green roof is still open for interested folks to visit, though it's not quite as interesting with most of the plants covered up with snow.  

Have a great winter, see you in the spring!

Written by Brenna Wanous, Berry Center

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