Monday, July 18, 2011

heat exhaustion…hypothermia…pick one.

Is it possible to experience heat exhaustion and hypothermia inside the same 48 hour period? Probably. This is something I contemplated late this morning as I huddled, shivering, in the basement’s tunnel entrance to my dad’s house, contemplating the light rain that was falling, and the pressing need to get the lawn mowed. Just yesterday morning, I somehow powered through a 13.5 mile run in 80+ degree humidity. My running guru, Jeff Galloway, advises that in 80+ temperatures, you can expect your per-mile pace to drop by two minutes. Mine sure did! In fact, yesterday’s run was intended to be 17 miles, which is part of my whole campaign to knock ten or fifteen minutes off my half-marathon time.
I’ve given up on that goal – at least for this particular event. The first several weeks of the training program, which involved complicated speed drills on alternate long-run weekends, went fabulously. I had no trouble keeping the target pace of 9:20. And then summer hit. Lordy. Plus, as I’ve already whined several times to my loved ones, this particular race starts at 9:00 am. Utter foolishness! By 9:00, we could easily already be over 80 degrees. By 9:00, we should be standing around feeling smug, eating bagels. Grumble grumble grumble! 
But you know what? I have zero regrets. This training has been terrific. I love training for half marathons! The nuisance of having told the world I’m signed up for an event has a bracing effect on my resolve on those mornings when I tempt myself to put off a long run. And knowing that however slow I may be, I can run 13+ miles, makes up for some of the minor indignities of being 43.
So the rain cleared up, and we got busy with the lawn. As usual, Kevin played on the tractor mower, and I hauled the push mower around. Want to see my blisters? You can admire my wedding ring while you’re at it.
At one point, I’d mowed everything that made sense for me to do with the push mower. Out came the camera! First up:
Our Friend, The Inch Worm. I discovered Inch Worm on my leg, which he’d gotten onto from a nearby grass stem. After a moment of flailing panic – even Nature Girl has instincts that dictate the inadvisability of personal contact with anything the least bit Buggy or Wormy – I remembered I’d brought the camera with me. I couldn’t get good shots until I encouraged him to come onto my finger.
I could feel his little feet as pin pricks. I coaxed him off when I noticed he was looking like he wanted to have a sample taste of me. Sorry, dude.

This oxeye daisy has dropped all of its petals.

The tiny white flowers might be wild madder. To be honest, I didn’t look closely enough. The green thing just white of center is a buttercup flower having gone completely to seed.

Timothy grass in full, epic flowering! What a mess! Yippee!

Cow vetch. This is a vine. Let’s look at its sneaky little tendrils.
I see stuff like this, and I have to laugh at the hubris of thinking we humans are the only clever ones.

Jewel weed! Jewel weed! Jewel weed! Let’s get the head-on view:
With respect to stamens/anthers (male parts) and pistils/stigma (female) parts, I’m not familiar enough with these to know why these two specimens are different – what’s what, what the process looks like, is one of these already fertilized, etc.. We have some somewhere around own house – I’ll have to study up.
Here’s a hosta flower…I must say, these are structured very similarly to day lilies…
Here’s a bee in transit from one hosta flower to another. This is called, “hold the camera upside down and hope you get a reasonable shot.”
And now for the day’s jaw droppers…black-eyed susans, either weirdo mutants, or this is what their petals look like when they’re brand-new.
It’s this shot in particular that makes me think that these petals are as the Universe intended – tubular. Too bad I won’t see this particular flower for another week or so!


And now for a different, slightly younger/less opened-up example:

Or how about this next one? “Noooo…that can’t be the alarm clock…I don’t want to get up yet…”

Today’s mystery flower – I can’t find it in Newcomb’s, or online – I suspect it’s some kind of mallow, but don’t quote me.
Yep, little larva flower bits. Fascinating…

1 comment:

  1. Don't sweat the age thing. Plenty of twenty-somethings don't have the energy to run long distances in ridiculous heat and then go out photographing and id'ing flowers and grasses, oh my. Maybe your mallow is Hibiscus moscheutos? Swamp rose mallow one of common names?