roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.
On a blazing hot Sunday several weeks ago, I visited one of the most amazing spots in Central Oregon, a state park called Smith Rock State Park. It’s a haven for rock climbers, as tall cliff faces shoot into the air at steep angles and varying sizes. For hikers like me, it’s a spot of sagebrush steppe with meandering trails and an array of plants and critters that can keep one occupied all day. It was a beautiful day in the rocks and always an education: as I sat on a sun-baked rock enjoying my lunch, I glanced down to see that I had chosen a spot which ants had chosen long before me. I’d disturbed their home, and they were haphazardly scurrying across both of my feet and up my legs. I leapt into the air, squawking and dancing and stomping like a madwoman. It’s a shame I don’t have it on video. After apologizing profusely for killing several of their tribesmen in my surprise and panic, I offered them a hunk of my lunch. They examined it and, after deeming it unworthy, returned to their subterranean home. Apparently ants don’t care for fried fish.
Today’s words are:
[phloem] and [xylem]
Pronounced: FLOW-um, ZYE-lum
Sciency Definition: Phloem and xylem are two layers of tissues found within the stems of plants and trunks of trees.
Or I could have said: Plant guts.
What’s it do? Phloem is made of tissues that transport sugars created during photosynthesis, feeding the plant from the top (where the leaves are) down to the roots. The xylem is made of tissues that transport water and minerals up from the root system. In trees, the xylem dies after one year, creating the rings you see in a tree’s cross-section.
Example sentence: A tree ain’t cryin’ without its XYLEM! Ha! Uh, sorry, I must have had some phloem stuck in my throat.
Can you use either of these words this week? Report back in the comments!
I recently got to go home to the East Coast for the first time in a year and was overwhelmed with joy for seeing my family! My niece has grown so incredibly much in just one year, and she’s now becoming all kinds of independent. I was able to visit with two of my three brothers and spend a great deal of time with my Momma Bird, who is simply one of my favorite people in the world (and not just ‘cuz she tells me I’m awesome and makes me food. But that’s definitely part of it).
I hope you all are having a good February. Thanks for tuning in and here are some photos from my trip home! Happy Wednesday!
This video short is a piece created by award-winning Tom Lowe and I thought it was so powerful I wanted to share it with you all. It’s comprised of beautiful time-lapse footage and an equally as beautiful soundtrack, looking at both the American Southwest and some of the people in it. It’s not completed yet, but you can check out timescapes.org for more footage and sign up to receive emails when more is available. There’s also a blog and a twitter to follow. Turn your volume up and enjoy!
Have you ever wondered why some trees have leaves while others have “needles”?
There are two basic systems for trees, and each has its own advantages and drawbacks. And of course, as can only be expected – there are exceptions to all the “rules!”