Forensic botanizing…with a backdrop of snow

Yup, I’ve done it.  And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

On what seems to be an ever-increasing frequency, I’ve slowly walked along a trail that I would (and arguably should) have otherwise been on my cross-country skis.  Ski touring is my favorite winter outdoor activity.  It was once my favorite outdoor activity, particularly when I was younger (and when I was somewhat fit).  Along came climate change and winters are no longer filled with multiple skiable-snow days.

Furthermore, my favorite spring/summer outdoor activity changed from trout fishing to…botanizing, particularly wildflower identification.

Given those changes to my outdoor activity preferences, a “new interest” of mine has become forensic botanizing.  What’s that, you ask?  Being able to recognize a plant, sometimes a particular species, by one or more plant parts that are visible at any given time of the year.  And, at this time of the year, it is more like being able to identify whatever “plant remains” you can find at this time of the year.  You know what I’m talking about; plant rubble.

Milkweed

So, it was fun (and a little reassuring to learn that there was “someone else” out there who also did this!) to read this article (I hope you do, too).

Ready to “see” what I’m talking about?  Please view my winter plant ID quiz (from last winter).  I hope it will inspire you to talk a slow stroll along one of your favorite trails sometime this winter to see what you can find (and identify!).

Happy trails!

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