In January 2008, Laurent Penet launched the blogosphere’s first carnival devoted to plants. He called it Berry Go Round and pointed to 26 posts about some aspect of botany. The carnival has appeared nearly every month since then and I’ve come to appreciate the quality of information within easy reach every time I read through a Berry Go Round carnival.
As Laurent says on his About page, English is not his mother tongue, but his use of the language is wonderful – full of puns and made-up words that enrich my reading.
The carnivals are hosted at various blogs, but at the end of August, Laurent returned with Berry Go Round #31. I found lots to enjoy there, not the least being Laurent’s fun prose. Because I grew up in a region where the “oak-hickory” forest was supposed to be the climate ecosystem, and because I later learned that that same region was really a savannah, I was particularly drawn by the poignant post at Gravity’s Rainbow on the restoration of an oak savanna in Michigan.
I also enjoyed reading about a field trip practically next door to me now in Costa Rica (I’m in western Panama) at Science & Soul. Funny how all those tropical systems have become more familiar to me than the ones I grew up with. Laurent featured one post on that field trip, but the month of August is devoted to the experiences there.
Then there was the historical document, a letter to Joseph Hooker, talking about manioc in Africa at Agricultural Biodiversity Log. Manioc is a root that grows here, too, probably a different species, and there are poisonous and a non-poisonous versions of this root here in Central America as well as in Africa. The poisonous one can be made safe with proper treatment, but you do need to know the difference. Here in Panama the non-poisonous one is called yuca (with one c and pronounced roughly like U-ka). It’s very good and I definitely prefer yuca chips to potato chips!
There’s more, but you should go find them for yourself at Berry Go Round #31. I’m finally realizing, slow learner that I am, that with limited time for blog reading, all I need to do is once a month visit the Berry Go Round carnival.
Thanks, Laurent, for getting all this going.