Saturday, November 10, 2012

An alder bush at the water's edge

When I walked down to the water's edge, I didn't see any loons... or Bald Eagles...just trees and lake... Oh, and I saw this lone alder bush.
Alder bush by the lake
   Of course, alder bushes are more that just bushes to me.  Like everything else in the natural world, there's much more to alder bushes than meets the eye.  To illustrate what I mean, why don't I zoom in on the alder bush and examine a few things within the frame.
Alder stem galls
   I focused the camera on some alder stem galls.  Somewhat blurred in the photo are some catkins that will hang all winter waiting for spring.  In the background are some "alder cones" at work dispersing this past summer's crop of seeds.  In the foreground are some leaves showing some evidence of herbivore activity.
  There's more there, but that should keep me busy for a while.  I'll just have to remember to turn my camera onto these common bushes.  I have many memories of alder bushes, alder thickets, and the great stuff in them, but not many detailed photos.
  The amazing alder bush is mixed in amongst the subjects of a number of our photos.  For example: I think that's an alder bush with a dark background in the picture below.
Here's another alder beside a lake with loons.
Here's a photo of an alder thicket.
By the way, how do you take an attractive photo of an alder thicket?  Perhaps like this?
Alder thicket in a swamp
Those examples of alder bushes will suffice for now.
   Alder is such a part of our lives it shows up in many memories and photos, but its easy to skip taking pictures of the interesting details.  As soon as I have some more photos I'll post about the alder stem galls, the catkins, etc.


  1. Ah yes, amazing tree alder is. I shall look forward to more on this wetland tree. Is this green alder (A. viridis)? Our black alder is similar. Planted thousands of 'em, and want to plant more.

    1. Wes,
      I mostly see the Speckled Alder and the Smooth Alder.

    2. I thought we might hear more about symbiotic relationships and nitrogen fixing in connection with the alder tree. I remember the bog trot you took us on years ago, and I was totally fascinated by the way some of those plants got their nitrogen there. Just thought your readers might be interested with the symbiotic stuff I loved so much.

    3. Wes,
      Interesting that you mention it... I've been working on that post. Actually, I had planned for nitrogen fixing to be the subject of the next post, but I reckon I was sidetracked. Consequently, more about the amazing alders...coming soon!

  2. Alders grow in abundance here in Nova Scotia. Over the last couple of years I've pulled some of them up --yep, just pulled 'em out (insert sucking sound here) of the ground. And they now thriving in my slightly damp yard.

    Love the "brown thing" in the background !

    1. Sybil,
      That's a good idea! I should plant some alder here at our house.
      Did you notice the unusual roots when you transplanted them? I have some photos of the roots to post soon.