Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mostly Flowers...

...with some random happenings thrown in.

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Not everything in my life has been pretty this week. There have been dental issues.

It seems to me that despite the advent of anaesthetics (for which I am deeply grateful), dentistry is still rather barbaric. All that grinding and scraping and wrenching, all the large and/or sharp pieces of metal involved. There's a reason novelists write so penetratingly and amusingly about dentists and dental visits: they're working out their pain on paper.

(These three works come immediately to mind, but I'm sure there are many more: "In the Teeth of the Evidence", a short story by Dorothy L. Sayers, "Village Centenary" by Miss Read [see the chapter entitled "May"], and "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" by Agatha Christie.)

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There seems to be a sort of Murphy's law that when I am busiest and most in need of extra time, it is vouchsafed to me with the unwelcome rider of either a) illness; b) a killer headache (or toothache); c) some other enervating or distracting problem that renders the extra time useless and unproductive. Why, Lord, why?

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Let's talk about flowers!

For those of you who have asked about my references to a wildflower count: I decided early this year to keep a list of every wildflower I see, and to try to take photos of any that were new to me. I hoped to see perhaps 50 varieties, but the list now stands at 125....

Here are some spotted (and Spotted) on a recent ride:

Spotted Jewelwed

Hearts-ease or Spotted Lady's Thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

And just to show you that I do still occasionally watch the sky....


Okay, back to the flowers!

Spiderwort gone to seed

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Not included in my wildflower count, but still beautiful, are these flowers from my Very Small Garden:

Cosmos

Sweet Alyssum

Irish Poet Tassel Flower

Irish Poet Tassel Flower, seen from above

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On my most recent ride, I see this rather gorgeous creature (who is presumably responsible for the holes in the leaf):


Research identifies it as a Japanese Beetle, a non-native, highly destructive critter. Wouldn't it make a beautiful bead?

The Goldenrod still flourishes, and will carry on until the first frost:

Goldenrod

A sunlit path between pines:


Boneset (Eupatoriam perfoliatum) is also flourishing right now, in large patches under and at the edge of the woods along this road:




Just up the road, a new-to-me aster:


I think it may be Arrow-Leaved Aster, White Arrow-leaf Aster, or possibly Drummond's Aster. (The Aster family is so large and many-branched - ha! wildflower pun - that it can be difficult to pin down an ID for some of its members.)

Whatever its name, this Aster is beautiful:


At the turnaround point of the ride, Tallulah and I decide to obey the sign and...


We're on a dead-end road, at the shore of the local lake. A little path runs behind the barrier, and we spend a few minutes exploring.

Miss T finds some Spotted Jewelweed:


I find a mini art installation on a wooden post:


Miss T admires the glittering sunpath on the water...


...while I notice all manner of wee shells in the sand, many of them smaller than my little fingernail:



It seems strange to see so many shells at the edge of a freshwater lake. I wonder what tiny creatures inhabited them....

On our way home, we stop for a photo of these Woodland Sunflowers (more members of the prolific Aster family), shining like stars against a dark background of trees:


We pass a patch of Horsemint, a rather alien-looking flower that is new to me this summer (many thanks to Betty, a kind reader, for identifying it in a previous post):


While taking the above photo, I realise that I've seen those three sets of prickly bits (must work on botanical terminology!) somewhere before. Last winter, in fact, at the side of a walking trail:


It's always satisfying when I can match up a dried winter flower to its full-colour summer version. :)

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How's your week going?

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