Oddities on a college campus

I’ll start this by saying that I haven’t seen a marijuana plant for over twenty years. So, I could be completely wrong on this one. Walking past the ISU Memorial Union this morning, I saw a patch of weeds. Being the curious plant nerd that I am, I looked a little closer, only to find um, actual weed.

While I was taking the photos off of my iPhone, I found this photo. During this terrible winter where temperatures were often 10 below 0 Fahrenheit, a solitary juvenile sandhill crane appeared near Lake LaVerne on campus. These large birds spend their summers in Canada and are supposed to migrate to Mexico for the winter, so I have no idea how this poor guy got lost or how he survived. I saw him many times, including after some harsh storms, so I think he made it. Then, he just disappeared, hopefully to find his flock! I could never get close enough to get a good shot with the camera, so all I have for proof is this:

I just love his little knoby knees and the way he’s trying to hang out with the Canadian geese. The other residents of Lake LaVerne are Lancelot and Elaine, the cheeky swans. I’ve seen them walk up to and harass students before. Here, they say “no parking!”

Ok, that’s enough of my silliness (can you tell that I’m glad it’s Friday?). Back to your regularly scheduled science blogging.


  1. A friend told me that this plant is actually sumac, but the pictures of sumac I’ve found online do not look like this. Another friend said it was called ditch weed, which (according to various sources on the net) is a feral hemp found across the midwest.

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