Friday, April 23, 2010

Random Observations, a Matter of Perspective

Every time I walk though the garden I see things I've never noticed before. Each new day brings new perspective, and sometimes, brings things that never were before. I always learn something from Mother Nature if I just look.
Seedlings that look alike often seem to hide next to each other. This is bloodroot and wild ginger. Can you tell them apart?
The bloodroot leaves look slightly different in shape, a little thinner, and have a whitish back. But sometimes they look identical at first glance.

The tiniest flowers can have so much beauty if you look closely! These are orchid-like flowers of rosemary.

Look up! Way, way up! Wild cherry blooms 40' in the treetops!

This is why I grow Dutchman's pipe vine. Newly emerged pipevine swallowtail butterflies are so beautiful, and one good reason to watch the earth beneath your feet. They hatch out and rest on the gravel paths until they are ready to fly.

Hidden treasure under the leaves, morel mushrooms! So good, fried in butter.

Love them or hate them, dandelion seed puffs are gossamer spheres that catch the sun. Their seed dispersal system is a miracle of natural engineering.

Interesting little moth. I haven't looked to identify it yet but what a character! Very Stealth bomber styling!

Interesting markings this fly has. Such big red eyes!

This beautiful dwarf comfrey bloom has a curve like the Golden Spiral of the Nautilus seashell.

I thought for a second it was snowing todayI But it was only elm seeds drifting on the wind. They even fell in my coffee as I strolled the woods this morning. I can read the future like tea leaves in my cup; it means that in a few weeks I will be pulling elm seedlings out of every where!

Pretty foliage
Nasty attitude! Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). See the tiny barbs on the stem? They are also under the leaves. Ouch! Merely touching this plant leaves you stinging and burning like fire for a long while afterwards! Nettles have many pharmaceutical benefits, and can be cooked and eaten as greens after soaking in water to remove the chemical compounds which cause them to sting. They are also an important food for many species of butterflies.

Sometimes you get a whole different perspective if you get down on your knees. I love the layers of the forest; ginger below, phlox and mayapple flowers under a canopy of big mayapple umbrella leaves.

Looking things right in the eye has you noticing things in a different way. You probably think this might be the flower clusters of some kind of a bush--but no, it's candytuft (iberis), only about 5 inches tall!

How does such a rough and tumble looking guy
Get a sleek, sophisticated looking lady like this?

Here's lookin' at you!

"Heart free, hand free,
Blue above, brown under.
All the world to me
Is a place of wonder."
                                          --William Stanley Braithwaite


  1. What fun! I agree, it's all there, we only have to open our eyes.