Tuesday, July 18, 2017

beauty underfoot

So this is what happens when you take the Nikon into the garden: you realize even the enslaved plants are...well... plants. Just like the wilder ones.  There are similarities. The corn, for instance, reminds me of grass. 

The same dangly bits. 

And I'm struck by a fractal: the little green and red...leafy bits enclosing the not-yet-exploded flowers (scales? sepals?) Whatever they're called, they're mini-me versions of the husks you strip off an ear of corn. The shape of the unopened flower is the same as that of the ultimate, eventual, ear. 

At this point, I am so clueless about corn that I'm not even sure what I'm looking at. It's a few flowers, I get that - although come to think of it, are the stamens inside these bell-shaped tubes? Are there male and female flowers...on the same plant? different plants? Dunno. Generally speaking, I think that's just a few eventual kernels I'm looking at (assuming they're fertilized), and that the whole long thing itself (most of it out of frame) is the whole ear of corn. I dunno. 

It feels kinda good to be clueless. It means there's some more discovering to do - always a good thing. 

Here's another one - ear? - it's on the same stalk as the more horizontally-oriented one from the picture above. Which makes me think it is, in fact, an ear. I DO know there are multiple ears on a stalk; I've seen that. This is so like plantain (a common lawn weed; where we park our cars is loaded with it) it makes me wonder how closely related they are.

Whoever first domesticated/bred plants really figured some shit out. 

Now here's something adorable, from the other end of the garden bed:

Wee baby peppers.

Lots of them.

Is that not the cutest? I'm kinda fascinated by the striations in the wall of the pepper; they kind of echo the veins in the (sepals?) (the hugging bits). More fractally stuff. I know they'll fade; I don't recall ever seeing a bell pepper with little speckled lines...

Meanwhile, Kevin planted a couple of echinaceas at my request, so's I could have ready access to hallucinogens. 

Oh yeah, baby.

Ah, not even opened up yet. Let's go backwards in time, shall we...

Maybe I should get out in the garden more often. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

in honor of eleven

Behold the Mighty Lumix, and its zoom lens. This eastern tiger swallowtail is at least 10 feet away from me. 

Incidentally, I never did find the monarch caterpillar again, after I first spotted it on July 2nd. By now it's probably several sizes bigger. 


Out on the road, musk mallow. 

Does this remind you of anything?

Maybe gray birch's fuchsia party hats

Random shrubbery. No clue. Didn't capture enough info to look it up later.

Hawkweed. Suck down the orange while it's still around.

Today is a special day. Sweetpea and I have been legally wed for eleven, count 'em eleven years.

In celebration, let's observe others celebrating togetherness.

First from one side, then from the other:

A little syrphid fly action for ya. Hubba hubba. Happy anniversary, love!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

a random sampling of roadside pleasures

July already? 

Gone are the days when I could while away the hours on a mere trip to the mailbox a quarter mile away, and get 200 shots in. For lo, I am gainfully employed and whatnot, and damn if it doesn't eat in to the esoteric pursuits. Translation: oh right, the Mighty Lumix! Let's go out into the world with it, shall we?

The milkweed is just starting to pop.

This summer, I've let a handful of milkweed get established in the lawn because, why not? We got mouths to feed. Specifically, this one:

I spotted this monarch caterpillar a couple of days ago but couldn't find him (her?) (it?) today. Must be around somewhere.

Grass is always good for a close-up. I don't know what kind. The tall kind. Sorta like timothy grass, but we have that, and it hasn't gotten this far along yet.

Purple-flowering raspberry. I'm just going to go on a binge here, don't mind me. We'll start with the beginning:

Some say beauty fades with youth, but I'm not so sure...the petals may be gone, but this is life unfolding before your very eyes...

Ah, wasn't that fun? Soon that'll ripen into the the sweetest little open-cupped raspberry you can imagine. Yum.

Here, have a fly.

And now, a final dose of purple, courtesy of the bittersweet nightshade flower...

OK, time to call it a night.