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.)
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?
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:
|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|
Not included in my wildflower count, but still beautiful, are these flowers from my Very Small Garden:
|Irish Poet Tassel Flower|
|Irish Poet Tassel Flower, seen from above|
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:
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. :)
How's your week going?
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