When I was 23, my Norwegian relatives taught me how to sit still. During the long sunlit evenings in the summer of 1992, my cousins would lead me across the farm to the edge of the forest, each of us lugging a folding chair. There, in a scraggly bramble of wild blueberries, we would set them down a few yards apart, each in our own little patch.
While both plants and animals awaken via distinct changes in metabolic functioning, most plants prefer to err on the side of caution, waiting for hints of full-on summer before they bloom.
In New England, the pin oak thrives, its leaves tipping to a thorny point in a good-natured impression of its evergreen neighbor, the holly bush.
The wood of any tree growing anywhere records fairly faithfully the oxygen and hydrogen chemistry of the water the plant has access to through precipitation.
There is a fundamental and culturally learned power imbalance between men and women, and it follows us into the workplace. The violence born of this imbalance follows us also. We would like to believe that it stops short of following us into the laboratory and into the field - but it does not.
I love rocks with the unconditional love that you lavish upon a newborn baby.
A true scientist doesn't perform prescribed experiments; she develops her own and thus generates wholly new knowledge.
The turkey oak can grow practically submerged within the wetlands of Mississippi, its leaves soft as a newborn's skin.
Corn occupies a really special role in what I've been calling American agro-economics.
The deadnettle is the Punxsutawney Phil of the plant world: short of stature but stout of heart. At the first hint of winter's wane, its stem rises from the ground, and a green, grasping hand of sepals unclenches to divulge two silky-white petals, one of which unfurls straight up toward the sky.
My father's schooling during the 1930s was heavy with memorization; eight decades later, he is reaping the benefits.
I am not a farmer; I am a researcher who studies the plants that come to your dinner table, which means that I ask questions for a living.
The world is a fickle place, and it's not fair. But if you're getting most of your rewards from you, then you can use that as a kind of compass, and you can be secure in the fact that you're working for the right reason, and you're going in the right direction.
You can pick wild strawberries with your eyes closed, locating them by smell, for they are two parts perfume to one part taste. An hour of searching might yield a handful if you're lucky. Wild strawberries can't be encouraged, nor can they be discouraged: They come to you unbidden and unearned. They appear, or do not, by the grace of the sun.
I like weeds and hardy plants.
Even a very little girl can wield a slide rule, the cursor serving as a haft.