May 23rd, 2008

The ornamentals at the Longfellow Gardens are stepping into rare form these days, even more vivid with night flash, in my opinion.
Don't know what this is, some kind of hanging lantern froofie thing. I had better ask Teresa the Gardener at the Longfellow. [Ed. Note: My Sis tells me that this plant is a "Dicentra" (Dicentra spectabilis) also known as a "Bleeding Heart" and that our neighbors grew them when we were growing up in Ashland, WI. (I knew I saw them somewhere before.) They are also known as Venus's car (oddly enough), Dutchman's trousers (not breeches), or lyre flower. They are perennials native to eastern Asia from Siberia to Japan. The flowers are shaped much like hearts, or "pendulous," and are produced along a strand called a "raceme." Cool. Thanks Bethy!]
Black tulips are always nice, kind of Goth in a naturey way. Except they remind me of that birthday party I had to clean up at the Nature Center where the cake had black frosting. Gah. I don't know how anyone could eat that much food coloring and survive. It wouldn't come off the tables, chairs, and floors, I can't imagine it does much better in your colon. Yarch.
And then there's our old fiend again, Buckthorn. It looks pretty innocuous when it's blooming, with it's white flowers and deep greens. But "Rhamnus cathartica" is aptly named, as a cathartic is something that gives you the fast-acting laxative effect. Birds eat the berries, especially in fall when there isn't much else available, and can barely get over to the next bunch of trees before they have to poop them out, making a handy and efficient seed/fertilizer mixture to keep the Buckthorn Dynasty rolling. You've got to admire the audacious procreativity to maintain the species, even if it's not needed in it's current environment.

May 21st, 2008

The pink Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) are going gangbusters at the Adams trail. Nice plant, short-lived spring bloomer.
I finally got time to take a couple pictures on the Adams School Nature trail when the teacher took the kids on an extended hike after my program. I got to wander back to school alone and really look at things for a change. It is amazing how different the forest looks when you aren't in the middle of a pack of 30 kids. And Silence is Golden... Gol-den...
Muhu haha. Ha.On the flip side, and at the top of the bulletin board at the Ecological Post Office here's Public Enemy #1 (or so.) Sweet-faced, but rightfully demonized, Garlic Mustard (Aliaria petiolata), the Evil Invader. Remember The Blob with Steve McQueen? It's coming soon to a neighborhood near you, without the schlurpy sucking sounds. Pull it before it flowers. Make pesto. Do your native plants a favor. Save yourself!

May 20th, 2008

The evening sunlight adds a Victorian glow to Longfellow Manor.
Here's something you don't see every day. A woodchuck climbing trees and munching away like a Koala bear. Doody doody doo. If the wood won't come to you, you must go to the wood.
Woops, these branches are a little narrower than I first thought. Ahh, hmmm...
Mayday! Mayday! Look out Martha!