Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Glory be to the universe…

…the Siberian irises are opening. For that which we are about to receive, may we be made truly thankful.
I’ve been puzzling over the phenomenon of fern tips seemingly entangled with one another.
Observe the cluster**** above. But, I have seen the error of my ways. Maybe.
Some of them had no trouble opening up. But others are neatly tied up in a knot, several leaves from the tip. The tips are fine, but a handful of leaves down are just…all wrapped up in a ball. It’s not that they are entangled with each other – they are entangled with themselves.
A close-up. That veiny-thing, shaped like a “Y”, those are a small handful of leaves that have been twisted around into an impenetrable mess. I was unwilling to dissect it. There were several of these, in the same circular family of ferns.  I think an insect or other being has hijacked this real estate and has constructed a safehouse of sorts. I have no idea. This is amateur naturalism, folks. If you were looking to Learn a Fact, you have come to the wrong place. This is the place you come to if you want to watch me muddle through life and puzzle it out. SCIENCE!  Love it!
But I digress. Another new flower:
Dame’s Violet or Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis). It’s in the mustard family.
I believe…this is milkweed (Asclepius something-something). Which would be awesome. We have a bunch more this year than last year. Anything to help our buddies, the monarchs.
Attempting to catch the spider…

That’s more like it.
The alleged red baneberry has gone from ants in the pants to incipient whatever (presumably, if I’m correct about the baneberry part, bright red berries).
White baneberry and Canada mayflower have similar issues: they throw up stalks that will later need to support a cluster of berries, so lately their flowers stalks have lengthened to make way for babies.
Here’s the Canada mayflower. This one is, regrettably a little blurry; on my recent runs, I’ve gone past whole huge stands of these in the woods. But I never have my camera with me then.
The crowfoot has lost its petals and is starting to fire up the oven.
May 19th.
Today (sorry for blurriness. I thought it was worth it anyway.)
The Solomon’s Seal flowers look like hell. But they also look like something good is happening in there – berries – so I won’t worry about it…
I really need to learn my ferns.
Best blue cohosh berry shot I’ve had in a while. They usually tremble just enough to be consistently blurry. Are the two green ones the only viable ones, or just the first? Stay tuned.
The False Solomon Seal is ridiculous. The stem of the plant is actually defying gravity and pointing up. So much for my worry that their flowers were just weird green bumpies!
A new flower to report
Tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris).
The white baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) has dropped all the petals and the berry production line is in full swing.
Although it actually looks more like a spider condo.
Golden Alexander still going strong. The petals are starting to curve over the innards.
A BIRD! Maybe a song sparrow? (I’m just going by the pattern of face stripes). I was just thrilled to be allowed to get his picture before he took off.
Finally, if you will recall my epic fantasy series starring the dandelion, I have a few great examples of successful puffball formation, where you can see the remnant falling off. (The remnant is my name for the crap of leftover petal and sepal tips, which needs to completely fall off for a successful puffball to form.)
A remnant that needs to be falling off…
…and one that has fallen off. I honestly don’t know how it’s still attached. Should have looked.
C’mon, one more buttercup…
What’s up with all that hairy stuff?!

And, another new flower!
This one’s the anemone (Anemone canadensis). This spot is where the wood turtle was hanging out for an afternoon / overnight last week.

There, that should hold us all for another day or so.

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