Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ask, and ye shall receive

Have you ever noticed that you tend to notice what you expect to notice? ‘Tis true. Let’s not get too metaphysical about it, though – let’s just have a look at the wildflowers I spotted today. I went out along the driveway thinking, “I’m gonna nab me a jack-in-the-pulpit”. And yep, once I’d programmed my brain accordingly, they just started showing up.


First, some context. This is the shared driveway. The bit that turns right at the end of this photo goes up to our house. The drive continues on to our neighbors. See the tree in the center? That tree is like a flower nursery. Here’s what lives directly under it:


A big pile of blue cohosh. The flowers are done already. At some point, and you can be sure to read all about it here, they will produce blue berries.

Here are some of the other delights occurring right around here:


Some kind of mint – Yellow Giant Hyssop, as near as I can tell. The leaves are obviously variegated, which my flower guide doesn’t mention, so I’m suspicious. It’s definitely in the mint family, though – opposite leaves, a kind of squared stalk.


My apologies for this crappy picture. There were three different things all tangled together, and I had to pull them apart to get pictures. This one already flowered – see that white bunch at the top? I’m having trouble keying it out, but I’m thinking it might be the baneberry I found last summer – if so, it will end up with these white berries with black dots on them that look really kinda…eerie.


Solomon’s Seal! There are a few kinds, I don’t know which one this is. This plant was all tangled up with the one just above – I nearly missed it. And I finally remembered the difference between this guy, and False Salomon’s Seal. The one above, has its flowers along the stem, here and there. These flowers haven’t opened up yet. False Solomon’s Seal looks very similar, but has all its flowers in a spray at the end. I saw a bunch of both today on my run.

Okay, on to the subject of the post: it took me a good four or five minutes to find the jack-in-the-pulpit that I remembered having seen the other day. And as noted, once I found it, I suddenly saw them everywhere. I won’t post pictures of ALL of them, don’t worry.

100_1606There are two in this picture. The one on the top has a flower – the one on the bottom does not. These are like trillium – three leaves – but I’m noticing that a) the leaves are narrower and b) they tend to stand up like windmills.


100_1614 Here’s another one where you can see Jack better in his pulpit.


100_1619And finally, la piece de resistance, this plant is way more than a foot tall. That answered my question, do these guys overwinter somehow or do they start themselves from scratch each and every year. Holy Moly! This one is right under our phone pole at the base of our driveway, so it should be easy to find and check up on.

I first evaluated the truth of the concept of “you will find what you expect to see” when I got into collecting heart-shaped rocks several years ago. My favorite two examples of finding such rocks: First, when my friend Arianna got engaged, I gave her and her fiance Frank an entire mason jar of heart-shaped rocks, that I found within a week or so of deciding that’s what I would give them. (Kevin and I had used mason jars for our flower arrangements at our wedding, so that added a layer of “I love you” to the present.)

100_1621And my second favorite example is, our very own ginormous boulder. This is a heart lying on its side, with the point to the right. It probably weighs more than my Honda.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, thanks for sharing this. Love the pics. The heart rocks you gave us are in the fairy rock garden;)
    Love, Arianna