Thursday, June 6, 2013

mutant jack-in-the-pulpits and whatnot

So apparently there is something in the water down here in tropical Connecticut that makes for absolutely mutant plant growth. I should back up a bit. A few weeks ago, I went for a walk, cranky as can be, looking for a bit of grace and redemption. Nature was happy to oblige, as she generally is. Poison ivy positively infests the roadsides around here, and where I was walking was no exception.


Flowering poison ivy, dripping from a roadside maple tree.

So there I was, grumpy me, thinking nasty thoughts about all the poison ivy. I had my eyes trained on the side of the road, hoping to see something interesting. Suddenly, I spotted a 3-leaved plant that I knew was NOT poison ivy. It was a jack-in-the-pulpit. Jacks are comparatively rare on our Vermont property – last year, we had a handful of them, and I kept pretty close track of ‘em. None of them produced berries: they all got rained out in a single storm and were destroyed in mid-June. So I was psyched to see this:

photo (2)


Whereupon, I was seeing them EVERYWHERE. There must have been a hundred jacks inside a quarter mile. I’m not even kidding. This was on May 21st. The flowers are pretty much toast by now – they range from fading...

DSC_0423 kinda rotting-looking...

DSC_0386 magic green berries!


Those will eventually turn scarlet.



Each of these leaves is 10 inches long.

And they’re HUGE! The plants are HUGE! The wildflower guide says they get up to three feet high, and yeah, this appears to be the case. Our Vermont jacks were tiny compared to these monsters.

Also seen today...

Wild rose:



A neighbor’s collection of rhododendrons, maybe 12 feet high, practically vibrating with bees:



A possibly-syrphid-fly on jewelweed.



Solomon’s seal!


(“!” because I’ve seldom seen this on our place in Vermont – we had a single one along the shared driveway, and it got taken out in an Unfortunate Road Regrading Incident.)

...not to be confused with false solomon’s seal:


Here’s the same exact shot, focused differently.




  1. I love your "art", and the unusual angle on the rose. I really enjoy your blog, though I rarely comment.