Making connections

Ryan Williams

Throughout this class I have become incredibly less plant blind compared to when I started just a couple months ago. The fact that I know what the term plant blindness means now tells me that I am less plant blind that I was before. Also, through going out and seeing trees, making connections from the classroom to the forest, and doing blogs, I know I can recognize plants better and tell others about plants. Now I also have the ability to explain to others the importance of plants and everything they do. Although people know plants are all around us, they do not understand the role that plants play for humans. They are involved in every person’s life whether they realize it or not. During a blog I discussed how plants can even affect a real estate agent because property’s prices will go up or down because of location and location can depend on the view it has. This is like my family’s house in Maine. Everyone there loves to go up there in the fall and look at how breathtaking the foliage is. Yes, I feel that I learned a lot about tree, their bark, leaf type, and many other things that I had no clue about plants before I started this class. Yes, this class was very enjoyable because we would learn inside and then experience and learn more outside. No, I would change nothing about this class. My favorite part of this class was learning inside and outside of the classroom.


Current Events

Ryan Williams

For my current events, I decided to talk about chocolate, something that mostly everyone loves. I spent most of my 6th grade year learning about chocolate due to an obsession by my teacher. Although learning about chocolate in 6th grade seems like something that is insignificant, but I still remember many of the things that we learned about. Such as, the actual seed that is made from the tree is called cacao and then that is ground into cocoa. Also, the growing range for cacao trees is within 20 degrees north and south of the equator, making Hawai’i the only US state that can grow cacao. Finally, white chocolate contains 0% cacao and is really not chocolate at all. I also still am always interested in conversations and articles about chocolate. That interest in chocolate combined with my interest in last week’s discussion on global warming made me search about how global warming has affected chocolate and cacao plants. To my surprise, the rise in temperatures are not the real issue for cacao. This is because there are places that grow cacao that have warmer temperatures. The real problem that global warming has on cacao is the fact that the warm temperatures are drying out the soil and the air. The humidity is being affected and that is what is truly hurting these plants. However, farmers know this and due to technology and early action, cacao plants can be saved in several many ways, meaning we will not lose chocolate just yet.

Honeysuckle response

Ryan Williams

         This experience did not change my view of invasive species at all. I knew going into the activity what invasive species were and what they did to environments. However, I had never seen one in person. That was the experience that I will remember. The lady told us to look across the street at the forest and then look at their side and compare them and it was so incredible to see the differences in the look just because they had knocked out 7 out of the 9 miles worth of honeysuckle.

        My view on community service has not changed. That was very grueling work and a applaud anyone who goes out and helps out those people who head up the project. I even applaud the two people that were there helping us out even more because they are there so often, looking over everything, making sure everything is going smoothly, and so many more things. And they do not many money off of this. They give up their time in order to do this as a service for others and it’s amazing. They pathway that they want to create is an incredible idea for the surrounding communities. There are many different ways people will now be able to enjoy the forests in oxford.

         I did not gain any valuable learning experiences from this sadly. It was definitely very interesting to see all of the honeysuckle and how it made the forests look so different, but other than seeing that, my scientific knowledge on honeysuckle and invasive species did not increase because we were more doing manual labor that showed us the honeysuckle instead of teaching about it. I do not really have any suggestions of what to do in order to improve this activity for future classes. Personally, I did not thing the experience taught me much about honeysuckle but it was interesting to see it in person.

Plant Blindness Reflection

  1. Plant Blindness is about humans inability to recognize plants compared to animals for many different reasons. The botanists said that plants didn’t get this appreciation because animals move and act in so many different ways that attract the human eye much more. To me, Plant Blindness is people’s lack of attention to and appreciation of plants due to getting overshadowed by animals due to animals ability to act in so many diverse ways.
  2. Yes. I believe that I had Plant Blindness before I started this class. Animals have always been so interesting to me compared to plants because they are so diverse and can do so many more things than plants that it causes me to focus almost solely on animals. Watching an animal in its environment has always been much more interesting than watching a plant lay stationary.
  3. A cause of Plant Blindness that was described in the paper was #4. It talked about how since plants are mostly nonthreatening to humans, they can ignore them with little to no consequences . It also talked about how humans also scan over plants much faster in order to process the surrounding area easier (Wandersee). This cause is definitely one of the reasons for my Plant Blindness. There is very usually something else that captures my attention when plants are present. Other items in the environment cause me to scan over plants. Plants are really just never the most interesting thing to look at for most people because of their lack of movement.
  4. Yes. This paper is still applicable today. When you look on Netflix, there are shows such as Planet Earth that film a heavy percentage of their shots on animals over plants. The animals offer much more different types of footage to film compared to plants. However, they do a great job on the appreciation of plants in their videos.
  5. I accept that I have plant blindness and many of the people living today do too. However, I do not have the knowledge to compare it to the outlook that the population in 1998 had on Plant Blindness.
  6. Before this class, the only thing that I can vividly remember about plants is learning about pollination between bees and plants. However, I can remember much more about animals and doing projects on different animals when I was younger. We spent much more time talking about animals and my classmates were always more interested to learn about them compared to plants.
  7. This class will hopefully bring me to appreciate plants in a new way that many people do not take the time to do. They are important for the environment, world, humans, and all life so we should know more about them.