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August 03, 2020
Pictured is some wildlife in my yard, fledged birds and very young four legged creatures.
At the Bottom, a couple sunset pictures on Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey area.
The sun now sets before 9:00 PM (ET), in my part of west Michigan.
I so enjoy the longer days of June and July.
Our trip to northern Michigan was short, but well needed.
The virus has taken its toll no matter where you go.
Businesses that depend on tourism, some were closed still, some with limited hours, while others offered limited items, or services.
Others still couldn't find help (making more while staying home isn't always a good thing).
No matter, we made the best of it, and God's beauty was all around us.
It is easy to relax when we are Up North.
The first of a new month.
Where has this year gone, August already.
It's time to scrub and clean your bird feeders.
Don't forget your birdbaths and other water sources too.
If you don;t have time for a good cleaning, spray your feeders with rubbing alcohol.
It sanitizes ans dries fast, no harming your birds.
A cap or two of chlorine bleach in baths will kill off algae, cooties, and mosquito larvae.
Do this in the late evening, where the chlorine has a chance to oxidize overnight.
Its been a hot summer for most.
Where you can water, vegetable gardening are thriving.
Heat speeds up evaporation.
In plant life it is known as Transpiration.
(I love Chickadees.)
If you are at all like me, you enjoy learning.Yes, I like exercising my mind.
Learning for me isn't always about Gardening, and it isn't always on Wildlife,
Today's topic isn't about either really, but it is something I am familiar with and it does effect both as well as yourself.
Transpiration: The release of water from plant leaves.
Something for you to think about.
Transpiration is the evaporation of water from plants.
It occurs chiefly at the leaves while their stomata are open for the passage of CO2 and O2 during photosynthesis
(There is that carbon stuff again.)
But air that is not fully saturated with water vapor (100% relative humidity) will dry the surfaces of cells with which it comes in contact.
So the photosynthesizing leaf loses substantial amount of water by evaporation.
This transpired water must be replaced by the transport of more water from the soil to the leaves through the xylem of the roots and stem.
(Feed me dad.)
Transpiration is not simply a hazard of plant life.
It is the "engine" that pulls water up from the roots to:
supply photosynthesis (1%-2% of the total)
bring minerals from the roots for biosynthesis within the leaf and cool the leaf.
Studies have revealed that transpiration accounts for about 10 percent of the ' total' moisture in the atmosphere.
More so over land.
Oceans, seas, and other bodies of water (lakes, rivers, streams) providing nearly 90 percent, and a tiny amount coming from sublimation (ice changing into water vapor without first becoming liquid).
Plants take in water through their root systems to deliver nutrients to their leaves, then release it through small pores, called stomates, found on the undersides of their leaves
Just as you release water vapor when you breathe, plants do, too – although the term "transpire" is more appropriate than "breathe."
Plants put down roots into the soil to draw water and nutrients up into the stems and leaves.
Some of this water is returned to the air by transpiration.
Transpiration rates vary widely depending on weather conditions, such as temperature, humidity, sunlight availability and intensity, precipitation, soil type and saturation, wind, and land slope.
During dry periods, transpiration can contribute to the loss of moisture in the upper soil zone, which can have an effect on vegetation and food-crop fields and your flower gardens.
So, how much water do plants transpire?
You may be surprised.
Plant transpiration is pretty much an invisible process – since the water is evaporating from the leaf surfaces, you don't just go out and see the leaves "breathing".
Just because you can't see the water doesn't mean it is not being put into the air, though.
One way to visualize transpiration is to put a plastic bag around some plant leaves or build a terrarium.
During a growing season, a leaf will transpire many times more water than its own weight.
An acre of corn gives off about 3,000-4,000 gallons (11,400-15,100 liters) of water each day, and up to 400,000 gallons in a growing season.
In comparison, an Olympic sized swimming pool is roughly 648,000 gallons.
A large oak tree can transpire 40,000 gallons (151,000 liters) per year.
Now think how much these plants and trees must drink to grow and survive?
Indeed, 10% of the earth's atmosphere moisture comes from plants.
Rain forests recycle 75% of this moisture in the form of rain (another one of God's well thought out plans).
(Juvenile Red-belly woodpecker.)
Atmospheric factors affecting transpiration:
The amount of water that plants transpire varies greatly geographically and over time.
There are a number of factors that determine transpiration rates:
Temperature: Transpiration rates go up as the temperature goes up, especially during the growing season, when the air is warmer due to stronger sunlight and warmer air masses.
Higher temperatures cause the plant cells which control the openings (stoma) where water is released to the atmosphere to open, whereas colder temperatures cause the openings to close.
Relative humidity: As the relative humidity of the air surrounding the plant rises the transpiration rate falls.
It is easier for water to evaporate into dryer air than into more saturated air.
Wind and air movement: Increased movement of the air around a plant will result in a higher transpiration rate.
This is somewhat related to the relative humidity of the air, in that as water transpires from a leaf, the water saturates the air surrounding the leaf.
If there is no wind, the air around the leaf may not move very much, raising the humidity of the air around the leaf.
Wind will move the air around, with the result that the more saturated air close to the leaf is replaced by drier air.
Soil-moisture availability: When moisture is lacking, plants can begin to senesce (premature aging, which can result in leaf loss) and transpire less water.
Type of plant: Plants transpire water at different rates.
Some plants which grow in arid regions, such as cacti and succulents, conserve precious water by transpiring less water than other plants.
Pines and spruce needles have a waxy coating on them that help to conserve moisture so these trees can grow in cooler, hotter and drier conditions then most deciduous trees.
When things o to warm, the stoma on the leaves will close to slow down the loss of moisture.
Transpiration and ground water:
In many places, the top layer of the soil where plant roots are located is above the water table and thus is often wet to some extent, but is not totally saturated, as is soil below the water table.
The soil above the water table gets wet when it rains as water infiltrates into it from the surface, but, it will dry out without additional precipitation.
Since the water table is usually below the depth of the plant roots, the plants are dependent on water supplied by precipitation.
The atmosphere can hold only so much water and not a drop more.
When the atmosphere reaches a saturation point or certain conditions are favorable, we get rain, snow, ice etc.
This moisture must fall some where.
Most of the time, atmospheric conditions and geography will dictate our weather, but the are cases and situations we play a big roll.
Stripping rain forests affects their local weather and reaches beyond.
The infamous dust bowl was due to stripping and tilling to much land at one time.
Where there are no plants to transpire, there is little moisture in the air and this often creates dessert like weather conditions.Atmospheric conditions can give us dry years, or years of excessive rain which causes flooding.
There is no set weather pattern.
I can't go into depth in a newsletter, however, you should get the idea by now.
Plants, and lots of them may be more important than you ever realized.
Remember, 75% of a rain forest's rain is recycled, and I read some where that 50% to 75% of our rain can come from transpiration as well when conditions are favorable.
So when you complain about the air you can wear, thank the forests, corn fields, bean fields and the masses of greenery surrounding you or nearby regions.
One more thought................
Earth and its atmosphere contains a certain amount of water/moisture.
No more and no less.
We aren't loosing water as many experts want you to believe (where would it go).
Our water gets polluted and displaced, but we still have the same amount of water on earth as we ever had.
Lake levels rise and fall.
Some years you may have a rainy season, while others it is lacking.
Think about that, before you start screaming and calling me crazy.
Our plants and life as a whole depend on it.
Well, it's time to fly.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
"He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger".
Love even your enemies, leave revenge to the Lord.
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord".
"Treat the earth well:
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."
Ancient Indian Proverb.
Your friend indeed,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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