squirrel or fox?

squirrel or fox?

now that my son it out of school for the summer, i often do not know the day or date. so, i missed wishing you all a happy summer solstice. as many of you know, i love the equinoxes and solstices. living on the 45th parallel as i do, makes these days just a little more special, i feel. in the twin cities, we get 16 hours from sun-up to sun-set on the solstice. if you add in twilight on both ends, it’s over 17 hours of light!  i love it.

on a completely unrelated note, these grasses gracing our roadsides right now always capture my attention–their long silken hairs shimmering in the sun. i have seen them called both foxtail and squirrel-tail grass. i think foxtail may be a catch-all for many types of bushy grasses. so i am choosing to call these particular grasses squirrel-tails. what do you see? fox or squirrel?

squirrel-tail grass (Hordeum jubatum)

  • Ginny says:

    Either works for me, but in both cases they’d be much bushier! Happy summer solstice!

    reply

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a simple patch of daisies

a simple patch of daisies

making this photo of a patch of roadside daisies was tricky. you could say it has taken me ten years of STILL to make this deceptively simple photo. first of all, photographing white flowers on a white background is hard. it requires a little backlighting in order to not loose the whites of the petals, but not too much that the photo looks unrealistic. secondly, wildflowers start to wilt the instant you cut them. so, it has taken me several years to learn the very obvious trick of photographing them hanging upside down so gravity is assisting me rather than fighting me. duh, right? i don’t know why it took me years to learn that trick. this not-so-simple photo of a patch of roadsides daisies is hard won.

roadside daisies

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contradictory truths

contradictory truths

our roadsides are mounds of pink vetch at the moment. at first i thought it was clover, but when i pulled over to grab a handful for STILL today, i quickly realized my mistake. (yes, it’s time for bifocals.) so a little wiki research, and i find out that crownvetch is considered a toxic invasive species in the midwest. hmm. i am not sure what to do with that info. because i love vetch. i love its symmetrical compound leaves, its delicate pea-family vine-and-tendril tips, and it’s abundance of pink blossoms. another case of having to hold two contradictory truths simultaneously: crownvetch stabilizes and beautifies our roadsides, and is a toxic invasive that tends to crown out native plants. life’s a bitch.

crownvetch (Securigera varia)

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wowza

wowza

dang,…i am having a hard time keeping up this year as we slide into summer solstice. a late start, lots of rain, and now high heat. all the natural world is responding with abundance and fertility.

wild blue flag iris

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an ugly name for a beautiful plant

an ugly name for a beautiful plant

most mornings i go visit my mom. she’s 86 years old, and lives about three miles from me. i can take one of three different routes to her house. i choose the route that skirts along snail lake because it’s the prettiest. yesterday, at snail lake park, i noticed the very first sign of cow vetch blooming on the roadside–just a handful of purple blossoms. today there were thousands. after ten years of STILL this kind of synchronized abundance shouldn’t surprise me. but it still does. i’m sure you will see more vetch in the coming days…but, as with the locust, it’s the leaves that make me smile most.

cow vetch leaves

 

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