Thursday, June 28, 2012

superheroes in pink capes, purple grass, etc.

I will be out of town next week – hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with an old friend – and I’m working like a crazed bunny to get everything I can wrapped up at work before I go. This afternoon, I staggered away from my desk, my head and body seemingly disconnected from one another, my spirit nowhere to be found. The perfect remedy: break out the hiking boots (gotta remind my feet about the hiking boots!), grab the point-and-shoot, and go for a four mile jaunt down dirt roads.
I found plenty of entertainment. It is just amazing how many more species there are to admire, just a half mile to two miles from the house. But I started with the locals. Remember those sleepy pink moths? They’re still around.
“Don’t worry, little lady.”
“I’ll save you.”
‘The aptly named primrose moth,’ I am informed. (Schinia Florida)
By the pole barn, where we store firewood, grass that has yet to encounter the lawn mower is in bloom.
Timothy grass, as yet not quite in bloom, with a visitor.
Later on, a mile away, the timothy grass was in full bloom. 
quack grass.
OK, now we’re venturing out away from my typical haunts of late.
Bittersweet nightshade, many of them already in full-on berry mode. These berries will turn yellow, then orange, then red. A veritable rainbow – as if the flower itself weren’t gorgeous ENOUGH.
Herb robert (yes, that’s its name) – I thought the sparkly velvet flowers were done for the season, but I’m pleased to see I was wrong.

Some kind of mutant, gargantuan dandelion-style flower. Sadly, they had ALL already closed up shop, so I don’t know what color the petals (well, rays, technically) are – still, though, I ought to be able to ID it. So far, no luck.
These seed clusters were the size of my fist.

Here’s a new one for me: bladder campion (Silene cucubalus). Later on this summer, I’ll show its cousin, white campion. It grows right next to our mailbox.

Common st. johnswort – which also tends to grow near our mailbox, but I haven’t seen it yet this year.

barberpole sedge. Bonus: see the spider? I didn’t when I took the picture!
Partridgeberry – a ground cover, with red berries in the fall. I laughed when I saw how the insides are fuzzy. Kevin said maybe it’s naturally-occurring velcro.
trillium seed. joy!

red baneberry is possessed of a certain in-your-face charm, no?

this is common comfrey.

a whole hillside of day lilies.
brand-new to me: motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca).
The hiking boots feel good. That’s a relief.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

don’t mind me, says the spider.

We’ll begin with a warm-up: it’s going to get very yellow-and-orange here, so let’s ease our way in with a buttercup.
Black-eyed susans frequently have little white spiders living on them. Not til yesterday did I finally see one on our big girl.
This afternoon, the spider had a visitor.
At first I thought this Other Thing was caught in a tiny web, but I could see its tiny proboscis extended, testing out the flowers.
I wonder if the spider is holding out its legs to mimic its visitor’s body language. “Don’t mind me” it hums, under its breath, waiting for the perfect moment to take a bite. The nice folks at will probably sort me out in no time.
This bug-free susan offers excellent squinty-eyed close-ups. 
ahhhhh…clearly I’m obsessed.
Nearby, on a common evening primrose, I noticed these pink moths.
What the…? No idea what they’re doing. I think they’re napping.
One of them was still buried in there today. The other one was on leaf nearby.
Some ant on milkweed action.
Forget-me-nots going to seed.
The obligatory hawkweed!

Monday, June 25, 2012

from orange supernova to silver fireworks

Here’s a sort of time-lapse sequence of a hawkweed flower closing up shop and going to seed. This is from a cluster of flowers near our front door – all pictures taken within a few seconds of one another, of separate flowers. But you can pretend you’re watching the same flower, over a few days. I won’t stop you.

0. Prelude: in case you forgot which one is hawkweed.

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It’s this fiesta.

1. the petals (technically ‘rays’) close over the whole pistil/stamen apparatus.

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2. the sepals (hairy green bits) tighten up. the rays start drying up.

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2. …and drying up…

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3. …and drying up, until they start to separate from the rest of the plant.

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4. ideally, they fall off.

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5. magic ensues.

6. one day, POOF, it all explodes open and we have a fireworks display.

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…and here’s where that dried-up bit didn’t fall off all the way – you can see it, a bit out of focus, at the lower right.

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In other news, it was a big day for little sis – the second-in-line in the cluster of black-eyed susans I’ve been visiting every day.


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Sunday, June 24, 2012

a) words are overrated b) except pie-hole. that’s a good word.

Today’s mostly about the pictures.

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This is our old stand-by – the flowers continue to emerge, from the outside in.

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dreamy, dreamy, dreamy…


The surface of a single queen anne’s lace.



wild rose.

ahhh, and now for tall anemone, aka thimbleweed.


flower #1



flower #2, a tiny bit further along. can you tell? stamens are drying up.


flower #3 – even further along.


flower #3 from a different perspective. These guys don’t invest much in color, do they.



false solomon’s seal berries are ripening.


this little bugger appears to be a kind of bedstraw. those flowers are what, 1/16” across, tops?


moneywort. interesting name.

today’s mysteries: white stuff, and then some pink stuff that looks like it might be related.




still researching these guys.

next up, butter-and-eggs:



and flowering quack grass…



last but not least, the ever-present purple-flowering raspberry.


I only saw there was a bug in here once I got the picture up on my laptop. (I was playing with the point-and-shoot today, which doesn’t have a view finder – it’s a great little camera for shoving in weird places and then being surprised at the results.)

question of the day: is there such a thing as too much strawberry rhubarb pie? your thoughts, please.