It’s carnival time

In blog world, ‘carnival’ has a special meaning. A blog carnival is a regular blog that features links to blogs on a particular theme. Each ‘issue’ of the carnival is hosted by a different blogger. Blog carnivals are a great way to sample lots of writers. There’s a great description of nature blog carnivals at the Nature Blog Network.

Berry Go Round is a blog carnival ‘devoted to highlighting recent posts about any aspect of plant life from the blogosphere’. Each month, bloggers submit a story to the Berry Go Round web site, and a host blogger then links all of the submitted blogs into one post. Berry Go Round has hosted my blogs in the past, and this month it’s my turn to host the carnival. This month’s carnival is shorter than most, as only three bloggers submitted posts this time. Come on, all you plant, ecology and nature bloggers, submit a blog for next month’s carnival, at the Berry Go Round web site.

The first blog on the Berry Go Round list is one my regular readers will absolutely love. Make sure you read this, as all my efforts (in blogging and conservation) fade into insignificance by comparison.

The endangered Prairie White-fringed Orchid, Platanthera leucophaea. Source: Stephen Packard at Vestal Grove.

How much work would you do to restore a population of an endangered species? Would you try harder if it was a beautiful orchid? If population numbers stayed low for 10 years in a row, would you give up and move onto easier things?

In this post, Stephen Packard (yes, the ghost-who-walks also writes a blog) gives a fantastic account of the importance of persistence, and ‘learning on the job’, when restoring endangered species and habitats. If you thought you were persistent, wait until you read Stephen’s account of saving the endangered Prairie White-fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea).

If you ever feel down when trying to restore a degraded ecosystem, re-read Stephen’s blog, and you’ll hop, skip and jump into work for another year, and another year, and another year, and another year, and another year, until … voila … success!

Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) fruits. Source: In the Company of Plants and Rocks.

In the second post, Hollis, from ‘In the Company of Plants and Rocks’, presents a great photo essay on the colors of early fall in North America. I always get a strange feeling when reading about places that are experiencing the opposite season to where I live, here in south-east Australia. With spring marching on, we had our warmest September night on record last night (climate change marches on too), so it’s great to read about a region that’s cooling down, rather than warming up, for the year. The USA certainly doesn’t need any more warming this year.

In the third blog, book author, blogger and scientist, Daniel Chamovitz, at The Daily Plant, asks, do plants feel pain? This might seem an absurdly simple question (with a similarly simple answer), but Daniel’s blog spins a wonderful narrative on the philosophy and physiology of consciousness, awareness, suffering and sentience in plants and animals – including we humans of course – and is well worth a read. I also enjoyed another of Daniel’s recent posts, What’s an individual?, on how much genetic diversity lies within a single plant – the answer ain’t what you’re likely to think.

The amazing Dragon’s Blood Tree – it’s real, not a cartoon. Picture source: Top 10 Amazing Trees.

Given the paucity of Berry Go Round submissions, I thought I’d add two more blogs to the list. Ideas for Sustainability contains an eclectic (and at times, an almost dysfunctionally schizophrenic) mix of posts on sustainability science, land management, conservation and academia from Joern Fischer’s group in Europe. The diversity of voices really adds to the attraction. For each post that grabs you, another is likely to pass you by, so it’s worth keeping tabs on regularly. I’ve found many of Tibor Hartel’s posts on land use change in Romania fascinating, as some changes are similar to those in parts of SE Australia, but the impacts on biodiversity are almost exactly the opposite; compare this post by Tibor with this one of mine, for example.

Finally, you’ll enjoy this detailed account from Nature and Science on the extraordinary Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari) on the Isle of Socotra. If this doesn’t give you travel fever, nothing will.

That’s it for this month’s Berry Go Round, make sure you check out earlier collections at the Berry Go Round web site. Happy blogging!

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6 thoughts on “It’s carnival time

    • No trouble N&S, thanks for a great post. You should consider submitting your next post to Berry Go Round, as your blogs fit perfectly with the BGR mix of stories, best wishes Ian

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