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July 22, 2008 - Creeky Morning

Me and Hap got out early this morning, he is still suffering lingering semi-shell shock from 4th of July fireworks and the latent cracks and pops. He is still so over-sensitized that a truck shifting it's load gets his tail cranked up tight over his gonads and his head down with him grappling on all fours for the shortest way home. It's sad to see, and getting very unnerving when you want to take a relaxed walk along the waterway.
So morning seems to be the best time for him, because as we all know things get spooky when the night comes on. We got him a pheromone collar, and have tried to make light of any loud noises and calm him down as best we can, but he has a difficult time seeing past the anxiety. If only I spoke dog I could share all my therapy sessions and save him a ton of cash.
Came across this beautiful bouquet of Verbena hastata (swamp verbena) this morning growing out of the dew-soaked tallgrass. Took a shower getting over there but it's one of my favorite weeds. Had to look it up to be sure as there are probably at least a score of verbana species, not including the cultivars. It's the coney one.
Our Minnehaha Creek, low on water, high on trees. Still looks good glistening in the morning sun.


Anonymous said...

"WEED"? Did you really write that? I gotta put my glasses on to see if that's really what it says. Hmmmm... yes, you wrote "weed". To the best of my knowledge, there are only two vervain species in this part of Minnesota and those are Blue and Hoary, both of which are lovely NATIVE plants (though some people may refer to them as weeds). Let's see... a quick look at my field guide tells me that Verbena hastata is Blue Vervain. Not sure where you got Swamp, as I've never heard of that before, but my guide says that some of the other common names for this species are Common Vervain, False Vervain, and Wild Hyssop. That's weird. Anyhoo, that's a lovely picture and nice to come upon at the beginning of my work day.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, maybe "naturalized" is a better term. Here's the poop from the USDA:

Verbena hastata L.

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Lamiales
Family Verbenaceae – Verbena family
Genus Verbena L. – vervain
Species Verbena hastata L. – swamp verbena

U.S. Weed Information:
Verbena hastata L.

blue vervain
swamp verbena

This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below. This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S.

Anonymous said...

I guess what they are saying is that in some places in the west it's a weed:

I think.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so it was the USDA that was misguiding you, now I understand. I suppose vervain might be a weed in the west, but if so it sure is a good looking weed.