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Firethorn (pyracantha)  This close relative of hawthorn and rowan usually signals the coming of autumn, but I don't feel it. I'm feeling consumed by fire, both literally and metaphorically, with no end in sight and no ability to do anything about it. The heartbreak of what's been lost in the gorge is monumental. I am profoundly sad. Keep Oregon in your thoughts, and remember: THIS IS CLIMATE CHANGE. Even though the fire was started by ignorant assholes, it should not be dry enough for it…

Firethorn (pyracantha) This close relative of hawthorn and rowan usually signals the coming of autumn, but I don't feel it. I'm feeling consumed by fire, both literally and metaphorically, with no end in sight and no ability to do anything about it. The heartbreak of what's been lost in the gorge is monumental. I am profoundly sad. Keep Oregon in your thoughts, and remember: THIS IS CLIMATE CHANGE. Even though the fire was started by ignorant assholes, it should not be dry enough for it…

Looks like hops, but isn't! This curious lil fella is the flower of a tree called hops hornbeam. While it looks like a big, fluffy hops flower, sadly you can't make beer out of these guys. While hops is a vine, hops hornbeam is a tree, so if you think you've found a hops tree, this is what you're seeing. It's a pretty ancient species; hops hornbeam fossils have been found in Germany from the Paleocene era (two eras before the Jurassic, where our beloved dinosaurs flourished). It's considered…

Looks like hops, but isn't! This curious lil fella is the flower of a tree called hops hornbeam. While it looks like a big, fluffy hops flower, sadly you can't make beer out of these guys. While hops is a vine, hops hornbeam is a tree, so if you think you've found a hops tree, this is what you're seeing. It's a pretty ancient species; hops hornbeam fossils have been found in Germany from the Paleocene era (two eras before the Jurassic, where our beloved dinosaurs flourished). It's considered…

Fern frond from the Black Forest  We wrapped up our time in Munich this morning and headed south, stopping frequently to soak in the unbelievable magic of the Black Forest. These old forests are the stuff of fairy tales: lush mosses, ferns, mushrooms, frogs, birds, and of course, trees. I'm so very happy here; after struggling through a very hot and bright summer, the foggy forest feels incredible. I can't believe how lush everything is! I love it!! Bavaria has thousands of native fern…

Fern frond from the Black Forest We wrapped up our time in Munich this morning and headed south, stopping frequently to soak in the unbelievable magic of the Black Forest. These old forests are the stuff of fairy tales: lush mosses, ferns, mushrooms, frogs, birds, and of course, trees. I'm so very happy here; after struggling through a very hot and bright summer, the foggy forest feels incredible. I can't believe how lush everything is! I love it!! Bavaria has thousands of native fern…

Oregon ash  This tree is responsible for the "helicopter seeds" that we all knew and loved as kids (and adults, let's be real). *EDIT: maple trees are the ones that have the true helicopter seeds that spin. Ash seeds just fall without spinning. Thanks @fightmemom for the catch!* The ash tree is a deciduous hardwood whose wood is both strong and flexible, making it ideal for crafting bows, bats, and stairs. Cows and goats love its foliage, and it has a rich history in European folklore. Ash…

Oregon ash This tree is responsible for the "helicopter seeds" that we all knew and loved as kids (and adults, let's be real). *EDIT: maple trees are the ones that have the true helicopter seeds that spin. Ash seeds just fall without spinning. Thanks @fightmemom for the catch!* The ash tree is a deciduous hardwood whose wood is both strong and flexible, making it ideal for crafting bows, bats, and stairs. Cows and goats love its foliage, and it has a rich history in European folklore. Ash…

Peony  These fluffy beauties are done blooming here in Portland, but I stopped by the flower shop yesterday and couldn't resist this one. Peonies are among the most popular garden flowers, and are a common symbolic theme throughout art history. Many Chinese paintings and engravings dating back two millennia feature the peony as a symbol of prosperity and wealth. Peonies are very common in tattoo art as well, a theme originally inspired by Utagawa Kuniyoshi's illustrations of Suikoden, a…

Peony These fluffy beauties are done blooming here in Portland, but I stopped by the flower shop yesterday and couldn't resist this one. Peonies are among the most popular garden flowers, and are a common symbolic theme throughout art history. Many Chinese paintings and engravings dating back two millennia feature the peony as a symbol of prosperity and wealth. Peonies are very common in tattoo art as well, a theme originally inspired by Utagawa Kuniyoshi's illustrations of Suikoden, a…

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Biochemies peluche

DNA makes you . Don't you wish you could thank your DNA? Well, now you sort of can with these adorable DNA plushies. One for each nucleobase that makes up DNA.