Category Archives: Moon Challenge

New Moon Challenge: Tree Twig Moon Recap

On Saturday, I completed my Tree Twig Moon with pencil sketches and photographs of 17 species. How many do you recognize in the following photo gallery?  Check your guesses by matching the photo numbers with the species list below. Note that I've included two photos of some species. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

  1. Ash-leaved Maple (Acer negundo)
  2. Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
  3. Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
  4. Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
  5. Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
  6. Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)
  7. Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)
  8. American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
  9. White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
  10. Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
  11. Quaking Poplar (Populus tremuloides)
  12. Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
  13. Eastern White Oak (Quercus alba)
  14. Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
  15. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  16. American Linden (Tilia americana)
  17. American Elm (Ulmus americana)

New Moon Challenge: Tree Twig Moon

Photo of Black Cherry twig

Today's new moon marks the start of my first moon challenge of 2017. Between now and the next new moon, I'll photograph and sketch the twigs of at least 15 tree species. (Last year, I did a similar Shrub Twig Moon.)

I'll consult a variety of resources to verify my twig identifications, including The Tree Identification Book (1958) by George W. Symonds, Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Trees (1988) by George Petrides, and The Sibley Guide to Trees (2009) by David Allen Sibley. For up-to-date scientific names and preferred common names, I'll consult Go Botany.

Photo caption: Do you recognize this winter twig? Click here to check your guess.

New Moon Challenge: Shrub Twig Moon

Photo of Purple Chokeberry (Aronia floribunda)

My current moon challenge has been to find, photograph, and sketch the twigs of at least 15 shrubs. While I was already familiar with the 17 species I ended up choosing, there were a few I couldn't confidently identify in their winter form at the start of the challenge. Studying them closely in order to sketch their white season features has resulted in stronger field identification skills. I think next winter I'll repeat the challenge with 15 different shrub species.

Here's a list and below is a gallery of photos of the shrubs I got to know better this moon, 14 of whom I've featured on this blog:

American Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta)
Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Gray Dogwood (Swida racemosa)
Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)
Maleberry (Lyonia ligustrina)
Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)
Purple Chokeberry (Aronia floribunda)
Rhodora (Rhododendron canadense)
Sheep American-laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)
Silky Dogwood (Swida amomum)
Small Bayberry (Morella caroliniensis)
Smooth Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum)
Speckled Alder (Alnus incana)
Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina)
Sweetgale (Myrica gale)
Withe-rod (Viburnum nudum)

If you embark on a shrub challenge of your own, whether during the white or green season, I recommend consulting The Shrub Identification Book (1963) by George W. Symonds and the Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs (1973) by George Petrides. These and other helpful titles can be accessed through many public libraries. For updated scientific names, I recommend Go Botany. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

New Moon Challenge: Bark Moon

Today is the new moon and thus the end of my Bark Moon Challenge. Nearly every day since the last new moon, I observed and photographed the bark of various trees. In the following bark gallery, most species are represented by two or three photos to show differences in younger vs. older trees. Somewhere in the mix, see if you can find Asian Bittersweet, a yellow fire hydrant, and an upside-down heart. If you were a tree, what kind of bark would you have? (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

New Moon Challenge: Mushroom Moon Recap

Photo of <em>Fomes fomentarius</em> (Tinder Conk)

Today marks the end of my Mushroom Moon Challenge which began on September 14th. I observed well over 30 species of fungi including many species I've previously profiled:

Craterellus cornucopioides (Black Trumpet)
Fomes fomentarius (Tinder Conk)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artist's Conk, pictured above)
Ganoderma tsugae (Hemlock Reishi)
Hydnum repandum (Hedgehog Mushroom)
Inonotus obliquus (Chaga)
Piptoporus betulinus (Birch Polypore)
Suillus americanus (White Pine Bolete)

I got to know a dozen or so new-to-me ground-dwelling species and took a closer look at many familiar-to-me wood-eating species. Below is a gallery of some of the fruiting bodies I observed during my moon-long challenge. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)