SIGNS OF LIFE ON A WINTER’S DAY

Saturday, February 21, 2015, 2 to 3:30 PM

Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park Headquarters, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston

WitchHazelZemanWitch hazel at Mapleton Preserve by Anne Zeman

Join Karen Linder of the Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands for a walk through the fields of the Mapleton Preserve, looking for signs of life in the winter landscape, be they plants, animals or birds, or evidence of feeding, tracks or scat.  It will probably be cold and it could be snowy or muddy, so dress for the weather, whatever it is.  Hot chocolate will be served after the walk.  It is free and all are welcome, but preregistration is requested!  For more information and to register, call 609-683-0483.

RECENT EVENTS

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY VOLUNTEER WORK SESSION

Monday, January 19, 2015

P1190132P1190118On a brisk but sunny afternoon, an enthusiastic crew took on multiple tasks–clearing of vines and brush from an overgrown tree row, cleaning up the butterfly garden, cutting back wisteria along the fence opposite the ginkgo row, removing invasives adjacent to the Education Building, and collecting litter.

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P1190112FIRST DAY HIKE

Thursday, January 1, 2015

IMG_0102Photos by Jonathan Michalik

One hundred and twenty-two people turned out for our 1.5 mile loop hike through the Mapleton Preserve, into the fields on the other side of Mapleton Road, along the D&R Canal and back to the Preserve.  Getting that many into a photo was a new challenge for photographer Jonathan Michalik, but we think he did an admirable job!

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OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS–A THANKSGIVING DAY WALK

Thursday, November 27, 2014

FPNL president Karen Linder led a Thanksgiving Day morning exploration of the Mapleton Preserve.

Thanksgiving001RvZThanksgiving003RvZPhotos by Robert von Zumbusch

During the walk, someone asked what the cone-like seedpod of the Southern Magnolia was called, so she researched it.  Here is how it looks.

magnol3bThe entire unit is called either a receptacle or a follicetum, made up of an array of smaller follicles that are originally closed, but then split open to reveal the red seeds inside.  The similarity to a cone reveals the plant’s early heritage – magnolias were one of the first flowering plants, evolving 130 million years ago.  Cone-like fossils similar to magnolia receptacles have been found in the fossil record.

magnola5She came across another interesting factoid – magnolia petals are tough because they were originally meant to attract the attention of beetles rather than bees (which do not appear in the fossil record until 100 million years ago).  Since there were no insects specially adapted to live as pollinators when magnolia-like trees first appeared, the petals and reproductive structures of these first flowering trees had to be robust to survive attention from the hungry clumsy beetles (toughness which has passed on to the modern ornamental trees).

 

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