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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Slower than watching the grass grow

     Today is one of those days I am using a "throwaway blog" that I have written to be used on a slow day for blog readership.  It should be no secret, even to employers, that many blog readers read blogs before they start their work day.  By looking at when blogs are read I can see the biggest readership is between 8 and 10 am.  I can get a good idea of the interest in my blog post by 10 am each morning.

     One of the things I enjoy with my daily runs to see how nature changes with the seasons.  Watching the wildlife start to raise their families in the Spring or the crispness of the first cool Fall day or running during the first snowfall of winter is a great benefit of running in the morning. Something that I also find fascinating is how nature recycles organic material (and even us someday) such as trees.  The recent storms has made this task larger along the path from Lake Elkhorn to Savage Park.

Nature depends of the follow organisms in the process of recycling organic material:

a. algae
b. bacteria
c. animals
d. fungi
e. protists
Bacteria and fungi are both decomposers, able to break down organic molecules into simple inorganics.

      Fungi decompose dead plants and animals as detrital feeders putting nitrogen back into the nitrogen cycle but not as N2. Fungi cannot reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) to N2, so fungi evolve N2O as their final denitrification product. Some bacteria like actinomycetes also only decompose nitrate or nitrite to N2O. However true denitrification, like nitrogen fixing, does not occur in eukaryotes, only in some prokaryotes.
moss
algae fungi lichen

Artist’s Fungus
White powder fungi 

Insects take over
If you are looking at something interesting to do today consider taking a walk on one of our paths or trails and observe what is going on with nature along your way. Don't be turned off if the weather is less than ideal. Slow down and really observe and enjoy the small things that it are easy to overlook. These nature explorations are the best way to interact with your children. Children's perspective on what they see is a great way to "see things through a child's eyes."

P.S.
Register for the 5K Run on September 16th to support the Elkridge Food Pantry

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