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Friday, January 2, 2009

Tracking the Norway Keys

No Florida Keys for me, please.

If you are observant you can note the passage of three species in this picture. The "post hole" was made by a dog foot (Maggie). The hard-edged straight line is the cut from the edge of a ski (mine).

But the species on the top is the one I'm interested in today. This maple key (and many of its siblings) blew into the field from the cemetery. This key- the maple seed- is easy to identify. The only one found here with wings spread so wide is the Norway Maple. It was brought here from Europe and is native to Norway and Switzerland. Botanical name Acer platanoides. It's a great shade tree, with large leaves. It hasn't forced out any of our native species, so it is less despised than some aliens.

Maybe I'll hunt for some other winter maple keys. I know there are four other maple species all nearby.

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