Saturday, July 9, 2011

I blame the waiter.

Yesterday afternoon I was in serious need of grounding. I snarfed up over 200 photos in a delirious binge of flower-appreciation in which I ranged a full half-mile farther than I normally go, but had no time to post about it. Why? Because it was our fifth wedding anniversary, hooray!
This called for going out. The original plan was to just go out to dinner together, but as it turns out, Our Whole Crowd was feeling festive, and we wound up meeting for drinks first and then all going to dinner together. We took up the biggest table available in our favorite place and wound up making so much noise that the waiter came over and asked us to simmer down. Apparently they don’t like it when you stand up at the table, hold hands, and sing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”. The other patrons liked it – they joined in. Good thing for the waiter that the gratuity was included in the check, that’s all I have to say.
I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting more flower pictures, am I right? Here goes:
Some anemones have their act together.
Some don’t.
After a whole lot of this…
…it looks like we’re finally getting another wave of spiderwort.
The wild raspberries – well, technically, the “purple-flowering” raspberries – are finally looking presentable as fruit. Actually, we’ve had some along the shared drive for several days now, and I’m happy to report, they’re quite edible.
These are along our own individual driveway. Their history up til now was chronicled here.
The innards of Indian hemp are coming along. These flowers are tiny – maybe a 1/4” across, tops.
This is a plant that when it was in wee-little-shoot stage, looked JUST like milkweed shoots to my untutored eye. They’re both tall – four feet or so – and both have opposite leaves. You can break a stem and see if the juice is milky (in which case – I’ll give you one guess as to what that one is…), but I’m rather polite to my neighbors – I don’t like to fold, spindle, or mutilate them if I can help it. Eventually I was able to sort it out.
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Indian hemp. Flowers much sooner; dark green leaves with very light veins; leaves are <=2” wide. Also, tends to have big branches of equal size to the main one, and thus more than one bunch of flowers per plant. Milkweed. leaves are lighter, veins are pinker; leaves are also wider. Just one big shoot, no branching, thus, just the one bunch of flowers. There are boatloads of milkweed species and I don’t know anything more than what I’ve got growing right here. (That was a disclaimer. Could you tell?)
Plus there’s the dogbane, which is just like the Indian hemp only blah blah blah, I’ll tell you more about that some other day.
Now here’s something interesting. The oxeye daisies are bulging up. To wit:
I found several new-to-me species yesterday. Ladies and gents, welcome to agrimony. I don’t have a good feeling about agrimony. Maybe because the word is so similar to acrimony.
Here’s the big picture view. A stalk with little yellow flowers and pinnately compound leaves, with lots of little extra leaflets thrown in for good measure.
Here’s where I geek out and say that this reminds me of the Mandelbrot set.
And here are agrimony’s flowers. I’m not 100% sure which species of agrimony this is, but let’s go with Plain Old Agrimony for now: Agrimonia gryposepala.
The bittersweet nightshade – still a top vote-getter for coolest flower around here – is starting to go to seed. What flowers remain are looking tired…
…and some are closing up shop.
In some cases, we have lovely pearly green berries
…which will eventually go red.
One of the grasses I’ve been watching has also been…flowering? is it all done already? Time for compare and contrast.
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June 28 July 8
Other grasses are going golden as well. This gives a whole new feeling to the enterprise – like summer, deep summer, is right around the corner.
We have some purple loosestrife here and there in the neighborhood, which isn’t particularly good news. (It’s an invasive.)
Another new species: wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
Warning: do not touch. Well, OK, touch it, but don’t disturb it and get any juices on you from broken stems. It’s poisonous – UV radiation will cause a phytochemical burn. I’ve never actually suffered this, mind you, but I’ve heard about it.
And another new one – I’m telling you, banner day yesterday.
Tall bellflower (Campanula americana)
And another, another new one:
butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris). Prize for most awesome name. Is there a bacon-and-egg flower?
Apropos of poisonous things by which I mean, the wild parsnip, as bacon and eggs are NOT poisonous in my book, I’ve noticed that the roadsides this year are positively swimming in poison ivy.
What the hell? That’s no fair. I blame the waiter.

1 comment:

  1. The anemone comparison photos (and your captions on them) made me laugh out loud. And I completely agree about poison ivy - the stuff is definitely unfair. And everywhere. Sometimes its big hairy vines give me the Heebie jeebies if I really look at them and contemplate what it would do to me if I climbed it. Seems I can't ever quite keep my mind from going there.