Friday, August 5, 2011

time-lapse of bittersweet nightshade, magnolia monstrosity, and a beetle orgy

Hello! Happy Friday. To kick things off, let’s admire the ripening berries of the bittersweet nightshade flower.
This was flower cluster #2 on a plant that had four flower clusters.
bittersweet nightshade

#1, closest to the stalk, started the earliest: all but one of the berries have gone red:
Cluster #2 are the rainbow berries I started with – all stages of ripeness are represented. Farther out toward the end of the stalk, cluster #3’s berries are still green, and at the very end of the stalk we have cluster #4, still flowering:
Who invents this stuff?

Day lily stamens. I’m reminded for some reason of Beaker

Tiny orange whale? Or a jewel weed flower still wet with placental goo?
I am a bit preoccupied with various things, among them the debatable wisdom of running a half marathon tomorrow when I clearly have plantar fasciitis. It’s not that bad, overall, but it still hurts at times. I have been doing various stretching exercises – toe dips and raises off stairs, pulling my foot back to get at the back of my heel, rolling my foot over a frozen bottle of water (thanks, Katie!), and others it would be easier to demonstrate than try to describe. I’m experimenting with naproxen sodium (generic Aleve) instead of ibuprofen, just for the hell of it. The upside is, one pill lasts 8 or 12 hours. The downside is, it seems to take 1.5 hours to kick in. And, finally, I have an appointment with a podiatrist the week after next.
Who am I kidding. After training all summer, I’m not going to NOT run tomorrow.
Today’s other discoveries include:
A mystery plant I first saw out by the mailboxes a week or so ago turns out to be making inroads into our lawn. Once again, I tout the virtues of not mowing the lawn.
Here I am peering up under the little flower capsules. Each little green capsule is about 1/8” across, maybe? So those creamy-colored not-yet-open flowers thingys are truly teensy.
It was good that I spotted it in the lawn, because the stash that was down by the mailboxes has been destroyed. The town came through and mowed about five feet on either side of the entrance to our private drive – they’re entitled to and all, since they stash a couple of fire engines at the substation there – but boy, what a shame. Utter devastation. For anyone else, “oh, it’s just weeds”. But these plants are my buddies – the St Johnswort and fringed loosestrife, the Queen Anne’s Lace, all the not-quite-identified-yet grasses, wild rose, goldenrod, pineapple weed…fortunately, the cattails were spared. And there’s still plenty of stuff left. Still though…sigh.
A new flower sprung up in the side yard – a kind of phlox.
Cheerful little guys, no?
From the side, they’re trumpets:

The magnolia tree is growing an alien:
You can’t tell me that’s normal.
Here’s that milkweed pod that used to be the size of my pinky’s nail – it’s nearly two inches long now, and what are those white blobs? At first I thought, “it’s leaking whatever that stuff is that’s in milkweed!” but then I looked at this picture all blown up on the laptop and…
…is that a momma bug next to the egg sacs?

I tried and failed to get a picture of the tadpoles out in the ditch.
This was my consolation prize.

And now for the orgy. Avert your eyes if you’re sensitive to these things…
Once again, who am I kidding. This blog is all about the naughty bits. Bugs, flowers, it’s all good.

1 comment:

  1. Hey sarah..I also took a picture of those berries just the other day...they are so clear like jellybeans right? Then I ripped the whole plant out by the roots. (Was working a job in someone else's yard and that nightshade is a monster.) Flowers and bugs. Yay. Right up my alley. I'm an alleve gal myself. Felt like some kind of ibuprofin junkie for the amounts I had to take. Feel better, heal well, and happy exploring.