Buckwheat is in the polygonum family, which includes such things as knotweeds and a bunch of others with the three sided seeds, which seems a very distinctive trait. I noticed the USDA Plants database also had a bunch of Eriogonum species called buckwheat, so I wonder what the difference is. The American beech, interestingly, is not in this family.
I find the internet an amazing source of information, and when you look around in the right places, friends just seem to almost pop out at you. Many lament the impersonal nature of it all, and I certainly wish I lived close enough to visit with these people I have come to know, but I have met so many wonderful people that I would not have otherwise. So, I enjoy trading pictures and stories, and look forward to continued friendship with people I have never met, and would not have met were it not for the internet.
And for all those reading and wondering how to get acquainted with someone you don't know, first pick a friendly site (gardeners are almost always gregarious) like this one, and just write to them. If you have a lot in common, keep on writing. I am looking forward to keeping up with my new friends just like Sharon, whom I met right here.
What a very nice thing to say, Lance, and so true. I've met some of the nicest folks on DG, and through my articles. You are right, for us here, it's the love of plants, and the curiosity we have concerning them. So we ask questions and share tidbits of information and soon we find we are looking forward to hearing from them again. And so it goes.
Speaking of friends, I truly enjoyed the contrast between the photos of your snowy back yard and your trip to the balmy beach almost in the same breath! You are an amazing photographer.