Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Locust Tree

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Trunk from what is probably a Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia,
colonized by a community of crustose lichens [study]
on the Konza Prairie, near Manhattan Kansas. March 2008.

Image: GrrlScientist 2008. [larger view].


  1. #1 KsBioteacher
    March 26, 2008

    Tis indeed a lovely image–but it’s not a sycamore. Did Dave tell you it’s a sycamore? Looks like one of the locusts to me–maybe a Kentucky Coffee bean.

    I’m really glad you are enjoying the Konza–one of my favorite places. One other little critique–there are no spring peepers at Konza–likely you’ll be hearing Western Chorus Frogs, instead. Spring peeper populations in KS have always been restricted to one or two counties along the eastern border and I’m not sure there are any recent records….


  2. #2 "GrrlScientist"
    March 26, 2008

    darn that dave! he made me look like an idiot!! GAH!

  3. #3 Albatrossity
    March 26, 2008

    “darn that dave! he made me look like an idiot!! GAH!”

    A complete slander; I told her it was a locust of some sort.


  4. #4 DNLee
    March 26, 2008

    I’m no botanist, but I too was thinking it might not be a sycamore. Sycamores are the one tree species I can identify. It does have bark but it doesn’t stick around long. the barks peels off. Sycamores have a characteristic ‘naked’ trunk and limbs – a smooth trunk, mostly white with green/ yellow green spots.

  5. #5 DNLee
    March 26, 2008

    oh, nix last comments. I connected from another site – Method and it listed the link as sycamore. The new title wasn’t posted. I’m too inexperienced to disagree with the new title. So yeah, Locust it is.

    great pic.

  6. #6 DrA
    March 27, 2008

    Funny, I am a botanist, and what I see is a community of crustose lichens.

  7. #7 "GrrlScientist"
    March 27, 2008

    thanks everyone for adding to my knowledge of trees. as a native of the west coast, i am quite capable of identifying a variety of evergreens, but the deciduous forests are generally confusing to me. i guess i should take a trees of the east coast class, or hang around with as botanist who is willing to teach me tree ID.

    oddly, i knew those were lichens but i didn’t even think to mention them, even though i certainly was impressed by them when i took the picture and when i published the picture here. so why would i not even think to mention them? i mystify even myself!

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