Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

Past the Garden Gate…a few smalls I encountered today.   Leave a comment

I figured today might be a good day for spotting some details, or smalls as I call them, out in the natural world. We had had a bit of rain and things were moist and refreshed.  A light breeze carried the fragrance of the green grass and the dark earth of the nearby woods.  The boughs of the old trees danced occasionally with the leaping and scurrying of the squirrels who make their homes high above my head.

My first stop was over to a grouping of daylilies to see who might be inhabiting them. This is who I found. A very young, very small spider who had set up shop between two of the lily plants. He…or maybe she…was no  more than a quarter inch in body length, and a mere half inch in length if you added in her legs.  I am thinking that perhaps she is a Garden spider, although I have not researched it yet.  Garden spiders are brightly colored and can grow fairly large. They are extremely beneficial, ridding the garden or flower beds of all kinds of pests.  I’m glad to see her, and will take note of her progress and growth.  Here she is. I’ve decided that she will be a she.  After all, Charlotte was a she….right?

Next up were the blossoms of some flowers lining a walk. Looks like someone has been chewing on them a bit.

Water droplets suspended in a small web!

A Hosta leaf holds a  miniature pool of water, and a smaller leaf within.

A wildflower’s delicately slim petals..

A beautiful velvety capped mushroom, reclining in the grass. I wonder who knocked it over? A passing squirrel, deer or raccoon no doubt. It’s fairly large, about four inches in length.

I wanted so badly to touch it, but decided in the end to leave it undisturbed.

It can rest there quietly until it becomes food for animal or insect, and thus returns to the soil.

I hope you will enjoy spotting some “smalls” in your own world today.  They are always there if you take the time to look.

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Just a Few Woodland Smalls   Leave a comment

Today was just one of those lazy Sunday afternoons.  You know…..the kind of day where you don’t want to do what you’re supposed to do…you just want to do what you want to do.  Some would call it lack of motivation.  I call it the way a Sunday should be spent!

A light breeze and the rustle of the young leaf canopy above beckoned me to get outdoors to see what was happening in the flower beds and along the edge of the woods.  First, I checked on a couple of the shady flower beds that lie at the base of some of the larger trees in the yard.  Formerly, about a month ago, they were playing host to a menagerie of daffodils….now a prolific crop of Lily of the Valley, Trillium and a few white violets are happily taking the place of the spent daffodil stalks.

Lily of the Valley was one of my mother’s favorite flowers and whenever I see these, I think of her and how she watched for these to come up each year.

Delicate white bells hide behind curtains of lush green foliage.

And of course the scent is enchanting!

Next up, was a grouping of wild May Apples along the edge of the property.  Their large umbrella shaped leaves protect a flower about 2 inches in diameter.

Later in the month, the flower will produce a round yellow fruit, hence the “apple” part of its name.  But for now, we see only the flower.

One woodland flower that has fascinated me since childhood is the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I’m sure I caused the demise of more than a few of these on my childhood walks in the woods, merely due to the number of times I lifted the pulpit’s “flap” in order to inspect Jack!  But they are an eternally interesting plant, and one that I see less seldom these days. Perhaps their natural habitat has been reduced.  I’m glad they still seem to be happy on my property.

Did you know that there are both male and female Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants?  Yes indeed!  And did you know that the “Jack” and his “pulpit” is not actually the flower?  The actual flower is hidden inside the base of the pulpit, and is extremely small…small enough that you would need a hand lens in order to view it well.

Here’s a view of the pulpit from above.  This would have been w-a-a-ay too much temptation for me when I was a child!  Today, however, I just photographed it, and Jack was safe!

And guess who I found living among another bed of Lily of the Valley plants!

To round out my tour, was what I think is a form of Spring Beauty, another wildflower.

And last, but not least, a sweet wild white violet, beloved by both my mother and her mother.  Small and low-growing, they are easy to miss if you are not looking.

But they are definitely worth looking for.  In the language of flowers, a white violet is associated with candor and innocence, but also with the desire to take a chance on happiness.

Taking a chance on happiness….I like that!

We all need to be reminded to do that every so often.  Don’t we?

Of course if you are Tabby, our beloved but slightly spoiled 16 year old Himalayan cat, all this talk about walking in the woods leaves her rather nonplussed.  She takes her chances on happiness from the comfort of a soft pillow.

She hopes you are enjoying your day as much as she is enjoying hers!