Tag Archives: word prompt

Deciduous – Friday’s Word of the Day

Happy Autumn! Today’s very timely Word of the Day at Dictionary.com is Deciduous. It is defined as: shedding the leaves annually, as certain trees and shrubs; falling off or shed at a particular  season, stage of growth, etc., as leaves, horns, or teeth; not permanent; transitory.

Dictionary.com gives a nice history of the word:
The English adjective deciduous is straight from Latin, dēciduus  “falling off or down,  tending to fall off or down,”  formed from  the  preposition  (and prefix “down,  from”) and the verb, cadere (combining form –cidere “to fall”).  In Latin dēciduus is used for leaves  (dēcidua folia), (baby) teeth (dēciduτ dentēs), descending testicles ( testēs dēciduτ), and, charmingly, for shooting stars or falling stars (dēcidua sidera). Deciduous entered English in the 17th century.

My google search led me to the fascinating world of desiduous trees. In the process I learned a few new words and a bit more about the seasonal process of abscission (the dropping of leaves).

In fact, some of those the brilliant fall colors are dormant in the leaves. It is the surge of chlorophyll in the warmth of summer or the wetness of rainy seasons that give leaves their green color. As the days cool and the sun wanes, or when the trees are drought-stressed, less chlorophyll is produced allowing the leaf’s other colors to be revealed. Yellows, oranges and browns are called carotenoids. The reds and purples, are produced by Anthocyanin pigments and are the result of sugars produced and trapped in the leaves later in the summer after the abscission process begins.

An abscission layer is formed in the spring that allows the leaf to eventually fall away from the stem. It is held together by a hormone produced by the leaf called auxin. Auxin production is also sensitive to climate changes and dry seasons, and eventually slows in production allowing the abscission layer to elongate and the leaf to fall away. Amazingly it also forms a seal, so the tree does not lose sap.

Deciduous trees lose their foliage to conserve water and better survive the harshness of winter. There are some trees that are partially deciduous. Meaning they do not lose all their leaves. This is called marcsescence. There are several benefits to retaining dead leaves. One may be to deter large animals like deer and elk from eating their limbs and twigs where springs buds lie dormant. It may also help certain trees with water retention and protection against the elements.

Eventually even marcescent leaves fall, making way for the blooming buds of spring. But not the leaves. Not yet. There is a very good reason for this. The absence of leaves allows insects to see the blooms more easily, which assists with pollination. It also allows seeds and pollen to flow more freely on the warm spring breezes. And the cycle continues!

Isn’t that amazing?! I never knew these details. If not for today’s word of the day, I might never have known how intricately planned out the life of a tree is. I hope I didn’t bore you with my rambling. I just love learning new things!

I guess I better get to my little Haiku then. Have a great weekend. Go hug a tree! ❤️🌳❤️🌳

poor marcescent tree
partially deciduous
clinging is futile

~kat


Land Haiku

Photo by Pexels at Pixabay.com

we tend to forget
the land was here before us
long after we’re gone

Photo by Kasman on Pixabay.com

on the old landing
hoping to land a big fish
landed in the drink

For Haiku Horizons weekly Challenge, prompt word, Land.


Southern Pleasantries

the-ostrich-1658267_1280

Photo by ivabalk at Pixabay.com

“Come see us sometime…”
I promise to stay in touch.
They’ll never miss me.

~kat

For Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge, prompt Words: Touch & Miss.


Ostensible – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day fro the Free Dictionary is Ostensible. It entered the English language in the Mid 18th century: from French, from medieval Latin ostensibilis from Latin ostens- ‘stretched out to view’, from the verb ostendere, from ob- ‘in view of’ + tendere ‘to stretch’. It means “Stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so.”

When I looked for examples of this word used in a sentence, I was inundated with a many references to politics, religion and conflicts touted to be something they were not. These examples certainly prove one thing: that human nature and how we accomplish what motivates us through deception hasn’t changed much. Here are a few quotes to show you what I mean from Your Dictionary.com:

‘It was a simple matter to manipulate these so as to throw the effective power into the hands of the propertied classes without ostensibly The depriving any one of the vote.’

‘The Federal government now attempted to enlist recruits, ostensibly to protect the western frontier from the Indians, but actually for the suppression of the insurrection; but the plan failed from lack of funds, and the insurgents continued to interrupt the procedure of the courts.’

‘In any case the countess profited by the cardinal’s conviction to borrow from him sums of money destined ostensibly for the queen’s works of charity.’

‘A serious outbreak took place at Adrianople in 1804, where 20,000 of the new troops had been sent, ostensibly to put down the revolt in Servia, but really to try to bring about the reform of the European provinces.’

‘In June 1770 Frederick surrounded those of the Polish provinces he coveted with a military cordon, ostensibly to keep out the cattle plague.’

‘It is a striking example of the way in which such legends grow, that it is only the latest of these authorities, Hsiian Tsang, who says that, though ostensibly approaching the Buddha with a view to reconciliation, Devadatta had concealed poison in his nail with the object of murdering the Buddha.’

See what I mean? Power, politics, and faux piety are fertile ground for application of this word. Very timely indeed! Here are a few Haiku.

Have a great weekend!

WMD’s
Ostensibly caused the war
But it was revenge

motives are revealed
ostensibly kind acts
become self-serving

ostensible posts
impress anonymously
online mugs deceive

~kat


Castle Keep

tower oriel

offering but a glimpse inside

captive souls her keep

~kat

For TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge, prompt words, window (oriel) and heart (soul), inspired by TJ’s photo above.


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