Matthew Aiello-Lammens Ecologist at Work

Spring time naturalizing

Every year, when spring comes, I get pretty excited to get outside and do some naturalizing. Well, mostly botanizing. I don’t consider myself a particularly good naturalist. I can’t walk through the forests close to home and spout off the names of all the plants around me - common or binomial. I can name the most prominent ones. I can usually identify the habitat I’m in. But overall, I have a lot improving to do. And each spring brings the promise that I can practice, and get a little better. However, I’ve been a little short on time this spring. I’m trying to wrap up several projects I’ve been working on for my postdoc, because I’ll be ending that sooner than I had expected to take a new position this fall (more on that later). But last week I had the chance to get out for a bit, and I was actually pretty happy with how much I remembered from years past! More importantly, I got out into the northeast (North American) forests, and had time to just look around. I wasn’t running or hiking, just looking, identifying a few plants, refreshing my memory, and thinking about forest structure, associated species, etc.. In years to come, my research focus will be moving back to these forests (though I’ll still be working on CFR projects as well), so it’s good to be reintroduced, and get that spark to open up Flora Novae Angliae and just poke around the pages a bit.