Friday, September 9, 2011

Use these in a sentence: ragweed, question mark, bathtub

All my life, I’ve heard about ragweed. Haven’t you? If you grew up with someone with allergies, as I did; if you grew up hearing the whole house resonate with the sound of explosive sneezes all summer, as I did; if you married a guy allergic to everything that produces pollen, as I did, then you’ve heard of ragweed.
Do you have any idea what ragweed looks like?
Neither did I, until today. Welcome to common ragweed: Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Isn’t that a beautiful name? My otherwise enchanting flower guide – Newcomb’s – describes this as an “unattractive weed”.
Excuse me?
This fruit fly begs to differ. I’m cheating a little here – this photo is from late July, when I first discovered this plant growing out by the mailboxes.  Here’s a whole mass of ‘em from back then:

Some of them were flowering at the time:

By now, they’ve gone to seed:
Mystery solved!
Here is one of the last flower on a purple-flowering raspberry we’re likely to see this season. Soak it up while you can.

The False Solomon’s Seal berries are seriously turning red by now.

And the lily-of-the-valley berries aren’t far behind. I can’t remember if they go all the way to red or not. I guess I’ll find out.

When the brook jumped its banks and flooded the meadow, thanks to That Bitch Irene, it brought a lot of the unpaved shared driveway with it (to wit, all that gravel).

See all the branches it dumped along the edge of the un-mowed part of the meadow?

Here’s something else the floodwaters carried:
The bathtub. What a bathtub was doing in the burn pile, I don’t know.
Onwards. A single cattail has decided to sing Allelujah.

My first question mark. No, really, this is a kind of butterfly, called a question mark – Polygonia interrogationis .

And, to wrap up, a late-blooming black-eyed susan, with its requisite tiny white spider, as yet unidentified.

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