Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) near a river. The redbud is native to North America and is widely cultivated. Rarely growing more than 6–9 m (20–30 ft) they have become popular ornamental trees with a dependable.spring bloom of pink flowers.
There’s a new fuss about proposed social studies textbooks for Texas public schools that are based on what are called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Scholarly reviews of 43 proposed history, geography and government textbooks for Grades 6-12 — undertaken by the Education Fund of the Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog and activist group that monitors far-right issues and organizations — found extensive problems in American Government textbooks, U.S. and World History textbooks, Religion in World History textbooks, and Religion in World Geography textbooks. The state board will vote on which books to approve in November.
Ideas promoted in various proposed textbooks include the notion that Moses and Solomon inspired American democracy, that in the era of segregation only “sometimes” were schools for black children “lower in quality” and that Jews view Jesus Christ as an important prophet.
Each tree species has its own bacterial identity. That’s the conclusion of University of Oregon researchers and colleagues from other institutions who studied the genetic fingerprints of bacteria on 57 species of trees growing on a Panamanian island.
"This study demonstrates for the first time that host plants from different plant families and with different ecological strategies possess very different microbial communities on their leaves," said lead author Steven W. Kembel, a former postdoctoral researcher in the UO’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution who is now a professor of biological sciences at the University of Quebec at Montreal.
…Dominating the bacterial communities were a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta- and Gamma-Proteobacteria and Sphingobacteria. Some types of bacteria, the researcher found, were more abundant when growing on the leaves of fast-growing or slow-growing tree species, or on leaves with different concentrations of elements such as nitrogen or phosphorous.
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus). Black-headed Grosbeaks range from southwestern Canada east to western North Dakota and Nebraska, and south to the mountains of Mexico.One of the few birds that can safely eat the poisonous monarch butterfly. Pictures by Amado Demesa and theilr
Chicory (Cichorium intybus). A herbaceous plant, usually perennial. While there are variations, the flowers are usually blue. The roots have been used for years to make chicory coffee. Photos via Frank Mayfield & Peter