Thursday, May 18, 2006

Evolution


5-18-06 SHORT HILLS: The last two days have been warm and sunny and the ground is slowly draining. Our soil is clay rich and so retains water, soils with more sand drain faster which is sometimes good and sometimes not. I spent the last two days back in the shrubs hacking and chopping and dragging away more dead wood, two carloads, to the dump. Somebody should try that with FEMA. I think I’m done with the pruning for the moment and time to move on to planting.

Here’s a link to flower evolution: http://www.world-science.net/othernews/060517_flowerfrm.htm. It suggests that angiosperms appeared “during a time of intense evolutionary experimentation” probably from gymnosperms, conifers, which were the dominant land plants. This idea is suggestive of Gould’s “Punctuated Equilibration” wherein major evolutionary changes happen suddenly between periods of relative species stability. The rise of angiosperms at the expense of the gymnosperms has been suggested as a contributory cause of dinosaur extinction. They might not have tolerated the change of diet. Angiosperms, with flowers, bloom and make seeds in one season, but pines, for instance, need two seasons to make seed-bearing cones. The race goes to the swiftest.

Pix: fresh rhododendron, worth a years wait. Dinosaurs beware.

1 comment:

AF said...

hey gardener: you need to repost the link. sounds like an interesting bit of reading. we haven't been able to catch enough sunny weather to dry anything out--four days of rain this week. but after a no-rain march, i'm not complaining.