I have been told to lead a nature walk & workshop for a Girl Scout event that has a "magic" theme. This will be in the Pacific Northwest in a coniferous-riparian setting, and these are 7-17 year old girls. Yeah, I know. that's a broad range of ages. That's why I need your help. I'm a botanist. EVERYTHING sciency and outside is magical to me, so I'm hoping to make a list of very quick (<5 minute) demos with things found outside that have a big impact or are somehow surprising to a non-science audience. I'd like to avoid the pointing-and-telling kind of nature activity - I want these concepts to show themselves off somehow. Apparently I'll be doing this multiple times throughout the year so seasonality doesn't matter. [more inside]
My partner desperately wants a cactus like this. It's the tentacle-like shape that he likes. Is this a particular variety of cactus, or just an unusually shaped... standard cactus? Thanks!
I'm thinking of doing this either next year or the following. Can I get some experiences, thoughts, and feedback? [more inside]
I've grown tomatoes three times now, and have noticed that my tomato plants seem to "give up" certain branches/stems. The affected stems turn yellow and do not flower; if I don't prune them off right away, they eventually turn brittle and snap off the plant easily. [more inside]
A plant appeared next to my tomato plant in a balcony box and I'd like to know what exactly it is. [more inside]
Over many years of learning how to cook, I developed from slavishly following recipes (and often screwing up anyway) to being able to improvise with a decent success rate. Now I'm learning how to garden, and would like to make a similar transition. If you have done this, what helped? [more inside]
I have a tumblr where I post pictures of four-leaf and other interesting clover that I find. I'm trying to come up with a (better) system for tagging the clover based on various features that make them unique including number of leaves, leaf configuration, leaf markings, leaf shape, symmetry and more. I need suggestions for tags to us as a flexible and comprehensive way to classify any interesting clover I find. Both botanical/scientific as well as more abstractly descriptive suggestions are welcome. Examples inside. [more inside]
Tell me about the energy dynamics of non-deciduous alpine trees. How do saplings stay alive when continuously covered by snow all winter? [more inside]
What type of plant is this (pic 1, pic 2)? It looks a little like bamboo, but the stalk is much thinner.
My fiancé proposed to me under a gorgeous tree, but I have no idea what it's called. [more inside]
This baby tree is (probably) in its second growing season. Can anyone identify the species? (urban-wild in Vancouver, BC) [more inside]
Oh gardeners and florists and other plant people of Mefi, can you help me figure out what this flower is? [more inside]
I'm considering going to Iceland this summer and I have a few questions that haven't exactly been answered in the other threads and/or the the rest of the internet. For background, I'm traveling alone, planning on staying a week to ten days, and I'll be renting a vehicle. [more inside]
Any recommendations for a software program for managing photos, notes, etc., of plants I am learning about. Just recently developed an interest in Botany and don't really know where to begin. I have tons of photos, journal notes and websites bookmarked and am looking for a way to keep things together and organized so i can access all the info easier. Also looking for a reliable resource for identifying and learning more about the plants I find. Any other advice for a beginner would be appreciated as well...
I can't identify trees, bushes, shrubs, or flowers. How can I learn to do so on sight? [more inside]
I am a creative writer (NOT a gardener or botanist) and have some questions about carnivorous plants. I'm wondering what some of the more "out-there" examples of carnivorous plants are and how they work. I was also wondering how a person could modify a carnivorous plant so it doesn't eat insects (it doesn't matter if this would kill the plant; just need to know how to do it.) Have read wiki page and some other basic info. [more inside]
Please identify this tree (3 photo imgur album) growing in my backyard in Sydney, Australia. [more inside]
What the heck is this mysterious fruit/vegetable? Pics inside. [more inside]
I need help identifying this plant: photo 1 / photo 2. It's growing on the edge of a parking lot in Largo, MD, USA.
What is this fruit-bearing bush in the yard of my new house, and can I eat the fruit on it (when it ripens)? [more inside]
Seed-filter: Can you identify this seed (head-on, profile)? My mom came across this odd seed and is wondering what it is. I suggested that we plant it to figure out, but decided that Asking Metafilter might be a faster option.
BotanyFilter: Why does hard candy melt when placed in an orange peel? [more inside]
Help me figure out why I hear and feel a thumping noise when I sit next to pine trees. [more inside]
Our conjugal oak tree is dying, and I'm devastated. Please help us save it!!! [more inside]
Help! Another flower identification question... [more inside]
A friend sent this picture of a strange plant that he is trying to identify. He found it growing at his campsite almost underneath a tent that he had left up. He has asked a lot of people if they know what it is and no one has identified it yet. The closest anyone has come up with is that it might possibly belong to the same family..Monotropaceae.. as Indian Pipe. He said that it grew in relative darkness under the edge of the tent, probably had next to no water, and sprouted during the heat of August. The location is near Julian, CA about an hour's drive from San Diego, and the tent site is in a tree-shaded canyon high in the Cuyamaca Mountians at 4000 ft. Any ideas?
Please help us identify this flower that I just paid money for, that my parents claim is a scourge upon their yard at home. [more inside]
Please help me identify this plant, or what is the meaning behind my potential tattoo? (yes, these two are the same question) [more inside]
How do I move my plants cross-country? [more inside]
What does an undergraduate biology lab inquiry look like? Help me work for free. [more inside]
Help me start my environmental consulting career! [more inside]
What flower / plant is this? The photo lightens the flowers; in real life they are dark, kind of electric cobalt.
Aside from mushrooms, are there any decorative houseplants I can grow in a dark and neglected apartment?
Does a dark and somewhat uninhabited apartment mean I can't have houseplants? [more inside]
Can you help me identify these houseplants? [more inside]
Is there a term for travel accounts of explorers, both fictional and real-life? Also, tell me some of your favorites. [more inside]
Our school in Salt Lake City is fundraising to build a greenhouse - what should we consider related to the actual construction/type of greenhouse? [more inside]
"That plants employ many different strategies to engage in sexual reproduction was used, from just a structural perspective, by Carolus Linnaeus (1735 and 1753) to propose a system of classification of flowering plants." - I would very much like to find period diagrams/drawings that depict this (as many of the varying sex types/methods possible) [more inside]
SO what's this OTHER thing growing on my backyard tree. And more important, will I soon be able to eat it? [more inside]
What is this mystery nut? [more inside]
Where can I pick huckleberries in New York State that is accessible by public transportation and hiking? [more inside]
What are some good introductory gardening, botany/plant biology, herb/herbal medicine, or nutrition books? [more inside]
Plantfilter: Can anyone identify the species of tree in this image? [more inside]
Where can I take a summer graduate course in field botany (or something similar)? [more inside]
Found this mutant-cherry fruit on a tree near Laurelhurst Park in Portland, Oregon today. Can you identify it? Can we eat it?
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