I thought for sure that my next blog post would be a good two weeks from now detailing my botanical trip to Missouri and Arkansas. But you never know what exciting natural wonders might pop up - even on your daily walk to school. In fact, I've been walking the same path to school for four years and I just now took the time to further inspect an odd looking plant: Black chokecherry (Photinia melanocarpa). According to BONAP and USDA Plants Database, this plant is a new record for Athens County; however, it was planted years ago in the nearby Waterloo Wildlife Area, which is also in Athens County. I'm not sure whether or not this plant emerged from a wild seed but it sure is a pretty native plant nonetheless.
What I found most exciting about this is that it not only decided to grow on Hocking College campus where hundreds of natural resources students come to learn dendrology each year, but out of such harsh growing conditions. This old train trestle also had wild hydrangea (Hydrangea aborescens) - an indicator of rich habitat - growing out of its crevices. Just goes to show that human disturbance is not always a bad thing. Who knows, this species may very well be added to the species of plants future Hocking dendrology students are able to learn on campus. And with Hocking's dendrology course being deemed one of the most infamously difficult courses on campus, sorry guys :)