I’m Not Dead Yet (See? I’m writing a blog.)

I found this little orange fruit growing on a tree nearby. (Not a great picture – my camera broke and I had to scan it. :-() I was convinced it was a tiny nectarine at first, but not enough to eat it and find out. Plus, I don’t think too many people grow nectarines in MN. After a lot of scouring the web, I began to suspect it was an apricot tree. Weird, since the little fruit was absolutely not fuzzy. But, it had an apricot-like pit, it smelled like an apricot, and, it tasted like a rather unripe one. Yes, I finally worked up the courage to try it. Hasn’t killed me yet. Probably not a super smart idea, though. Anyway, I’ll have to watch and see if they really do turn into real-looking apricots in a couple of weeks. On that note, I’m going to be heading to the east coast soon, so you probably won’t hear too much from me. But maybe when I return I can write a post on great white sharks. If they don’t eat me first.

Teeny Little Pink Butterflies

I have Candytuft flowers growing in my garden. I was looking at them yesterday, and I noticed how the petals on the flower all look like teeny little pink butterflies, bursting out of the stem (their bottom wings all point in). Seemed cute to me. Has anyone had candytuft in different colors? I thought they could be any color, but mine are all pink.

Gossamer

I found all of these cool, mostly-decayed leaves lying on the ground.  I don’t know if they were only in that spot, or if I’ve just never noticed them before, but they caught my eye and I thought they were really beautiful, like gossamer, even though they’re decomposing.  I’m pretty sure they’re created when leaves fall and start to decay, but since the leafy part decomposes faster than the veins, you get this cool leaf-skeleton. Voila!

Cornflower

A cornflower grew in my garden.

I love this poem about cornflowers by Cicely Mary Barker:

“‘Mid scarlet of poppies and gold of the corn,
In wide-spreading fields were the cornflowers born;
But now I look round me and what do I see?
That lilies and roses are neighbours to me!
There’s a beautiful lawn, there are borders and beds,
Where all kinds of flowers raise delicate heads;
For this is a garden, and here, a boy blue,
I live and am merry the whole summer through.
My blue is the blue that I always have worn,
And still I remember the poppies and corn.”

Hey!

This rather ugly critter was so weird-looking I wondered if it wasn’t some sort of duck-goose hybrid – an ugly guckling?

Looking up from a Metro station in Washington, D.C. 

The jellyfish at the National Zoo are amazing. You can actually see electricity coursing through them.

This orangutan made me sad. She looked right at me, and her eyes were so human – she doesn’t belong in a cage.

Coming out of Mammoth Caves. Located in Kentucky, it’s already the largest cave in the world, and only a tiny fraction of it has been discovered.

Magnolias

I’m Back, and better than ever!

This last month I was on vacation all over America. Here are a few pictures:

Flowers!

It’s been warm here for a couple months already, which has gotten the plants all confused. They’ve been sticking more to their usual schedule. So in the past several weeks, they’ve blossomed with beautiful flowers, although some of them have already shed their flowers for thick leaves. The lilacs smell wonderful, although in early spring there was a kind of magnolia that made the air smell like cinnamon. The apple trees are magnificent – they are covered in delicate flowers, and each tree has its own shade, from pinkish-white to magenta.

There are plenty of flowers on the ground, too. Dandelions (of course), bluets, violets and white violets. The tulips aren’t wild, but they are everywhere anyway, and they  come in every color imaginable.

apple blossom (left) and white violet

apple blossom (left) and white violet

Leaf Art

Oaks don’t turn any brighter in the fall. Just a dull brown.

The trees have dropped most of their leaves now, & it’s interesting to see all the shapes and colors nature comes up with.

The leaves end up in the most interesting shapes. I found these two stuck together.

 

Elms turn an orange/yellow color. They’re one of the most common trees.