Friday, May 6, 2011

the big picture and the small picture

I had a marathon conversation with my best friend today – I call her my wife, which gets confusing, since this blog is named “musings from dave” and there’s no Dave in sight and I’m a girl married to a guy named Kevin. (New here? Here’s who Dave is.) ANYHOW. Long conversation. With the camera in hand. This is what happened while we were having ourselves a good soul spring cleaning.
“I’m in jail!”
Oh, no I’m not.
(Actually, this is part of what we were talking about. How to get the screen out of the way. The human dilemma: we get to choose our own perceptions, which means, rats, we’re responsible for ourselves. You know, you can be the bug, you can be the windshield, something like that.)
Let’s be naughty and go out on the roof.
You get a lovely view from the point of no return. Or so Terry Pratchett says.
Ho hum. Back to ground level we go…
For the record: On May 7, 2010, the last of the magnolia blossoms was about to drop. This year, they’re just starting to open, still, after a couple of days hanging out like this:
I guess they’re savoring the sun. I should start a betting pool on when we get x (say, 50?) percent of them wide open. Any takers?
The aliens lilac flowers are coming along nicely. They appreciate the sun – it was rainy for two days before today.
OK, we’re entering the Woodland Mystery now.
‘Tis guarded by the venerable yellow birch, here seen with some of its retinue of admirers. Seriously, there’s a whole pile of wildflowers at the base of this tree, most of which appear on this blog somewhere or other.
The butternut (white walnut, Juglans cinerea) that skulks at the side of that birch. Is it just me, or do you see the main leaf in the middle having a conversation with the leaf on the right? “Well, I never!” Oh wow – see how much this has opened up just since yesterday?
Also in the retinue a the base of the yellow birch: I used to think this was a sessile-leaf bellwort before it it big enough for me to see the wee little buds forming in the axils with the leaves. Whoops! This makes it look like Solomon Seal (actual, not false), but it’s so tiny… (maybe three inches tall.) I guess a big plant has to start off tiny at some point, right? I guess I’m having a learning experience here.
Into the leaf litter and sea of vinca we go. I tried HARD to get a shot of a spent birch catkin that shows that the little bits are arranged in a spiral down the length of the catkin, but I just couldn’t capture it. So you’ll just have to believe me. It’s something I didn’t notice until I started playing with one that had fallen. It makes sense from a design point of view – it’s like a tightly coiled spring, a way to get a lot of materiel organized for rapid deployment.
Pretty sure this is starflower, so…where’s the flower? (There “should” be a stalk coming out of the center where the leaves meet…) (Maybe they’re like Canada mayflower and take two years to come to full throttle?)
Pachysandra, making inroads from its headquarters at the base of the magnolia, into the vinca-dominated woodland mystery. I almost didn’t take this picture, but I’m glad I did, because you can see the bases of the flower bits swelling up, compared to when I first saw them.
A shy vinca.
Charlie comes along for the ride. That bright green to the far right is the pachysandra’s base of operations.
In the meantime, on the west side of the house, the snail ferns plot their next move. Another spiral. Nature’s awfully sneaky.
We have a sea of vinca over there, as well. Hooray!
This is how a beech responds when you cut it down. A hell of stump sprouts. This will take several years of disciplined cutting back to starve out, I think. I know that sounds mean! But this tree was too close to the addition’s footprint – its branches would have overhung the roof. So down it came.
Oh hey, that’s where I stopped. Hope you’re having a lovely day, wherever you are!

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