Friday, January 22, 2010
Tropics in Minnesota!
Today, was a moderately cold, cloudy but dreary day in Minnesota, with a cover of snow everywhere. What better day, I thought to view and enjoy beautiful blooming flowers. Little did I know of the disappointment that was around the corner when I was told that I was a week early to see the flower blooms. All I could think was,"Shucks" and "Now What?"
Not to be discouraged, most of my time was given over viewing an exotic tropical rainforest display. There I learned so much. Did you know that rainforests now only cover 6% of the earth's surface, and yet contain more than half of the world's plant and animal species and also produce 40% of the earth's oxygen? That last fact really caught my attention. GULP!!!! Moreover, I also realized that many of these tropical plants are sources for fuel, oils, medicine, rope and even waxes.
In the photos, I have tried to capture some of these plants and their flowers. The one plant that is entirely bare is a Mediterranean fig tree. I learned that this particular tree will only produce new fruit from new annual growth, and that is why the tree is pruned back to the bark. This type of pruning is called pollarding, at least that's what the sign said!
All in all, it turned out to be a great day. I especially liked the photo of the children watching all the goldfish!