Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tangled Bank 58

Photograph by G. Tingey -- see below.

Dear Reader, welcome to Salto sobrius and the 58th Tangled Bank blog carnival. For first-time visitors, let me mention that Salto sobrius is a blog about archaeology, skepticism and sundry musings kept by an archaeologist based in Stockholm, Sweden. Depending on what direction you're looking from, archaeology is a subject in the humanities or the social sciences, heavily dependent on methods from the natural sciences. But science isn't defined by what you look at, but by the way you look. So I'm proud to have had a number of entries on Tangled Bank over the past six months, and even more proud to host the carnival now. Lots of very good stuff here!

I've ordered the entries thematically and sorted them from the most recent thing to arise in the world on down to the earliest. That's how I'm used to working in the field: first de-turf, then move down through the deposits documenting and classifying stuff until you hit unaltered geology or come out in China. Enjoy!

Culture & Tech
Zoology & human physiology
Cellular biology
Molecular biology
Greg Tingey took the picture of tangled greenery above in his London garden and kindly allowed me to publish it here. Says Greg,
I deliberately try to get a high species count, as it encourages the wildlife, up to and including foxes. And down through the frogs, newts, dragonflies and damselflies to frog-food etc.

The white flowers are a native wild species, Common Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea). The very green leaves coming up are Angelica, grasses various, the leaves of a potted (you can't see the pot) Melaleuca drooping down on the left, and a couple of leaves of Buddliea lindleyana showing. You can also see a dwarfed (I prune it) Betula pendula and a potted/bonsai Carpinus japonica.

The pieces of log are also Silver Birch - deliberately brought from a wood about 20 km away, in the hope that the mycorrizia from various Boletus species will grow - I've spead over-ripe caps there as well, and it all makes a good home for the beetles.

What you can't see is the Pinus taiwanensis over the top, which hosts a fine crop of ladybirds in the first warmer Spring days - nine species (so far) this year.
That's all for this time. The next Tangled Bank will open on 2 August at Science and Reason. Don't miss it!

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