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.
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.
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!
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.”
I’m Back, and better than ever!
This last month I was on vacation all over America. Here are a few pictures:
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.
The trees have dropped most of their leaves now, & it’s interesting to see all the shapes and colors nature comes up with.
It’s been pretty gray & gloomy here this week, but the dark weather was made nicer by some bright colors. Some goldfinches flew in from somewhere (where?) to feed on/perch in the blooming bundles of goldenrod. I don’t have a finch feeder, so I don’t see these bright little birds often, but it’s a nice treat when they come around. The male goldfinches are a vibrant yellow with black bars on their wings, but the females are a greenish-gray, and can be hard to pick out when they’re in a crowd with sparrows, juncos, & chickadees. They like to eat thistle/nyjer seed, like most finches. Goldfinches are more common further south, but they show up now & then to add some color to the brown/gray residents that live here all year.
It’s easy to think of autumn plants as dying, brown, or gone. But when all the showy bright flowers of summer stop blooming, a whole new variety of beautiful plants comes to life. These are often smaller flowers, usually in pale or duller colors, like the autumn joy Sedum, which is a dusty pink. I recently noticed a new autumn-blooming plant that has become very common – the large-leaved aster. These tiny lavender flowers look like a miniature daisy, with a yellow center that turns red-brown as it matures. Some of them are planted in gardens, but most are just growing wherever they haven’t been weeded out. There are over 20 types of asters in MN.
As summer gets hotter & hotter, more plants begin to come to life. One of the most noticeable and beautiful of these is the lily. Lilies bloom along every alley & in most yards. These large plants spread quite a lot, & don’t die easily. Most of them are tiger lilies, all black & orange, but a few are purple. Bees and other insects love them, not to mention people.
After a long winter, seeing little plants sprout up in the garden is the nicest thing! The rhubarb has just started growing, & at first it’s a very funny looking plant, as the leaves are all shriveled up. It’s one of the earliest plants to start growing, & it grows very fast. In just 3 or 4 days it’s gone from being barely the size of my thumb, to about 4 – 5 inches tall. Some of the other newly sprouting plants are dandelions, lots of bluets, & even a few tulips. In just a few weeks, the ground has lost its dull brown hue, & become splashed with every bright color in the rainbow!
The crocuses are finally poking through the ground. They are usually the very first flowers to come up here, & although the other plants are barely alive, these bright blossoms are already in full bloom. Most of them are a light violet color, but a few of them are a cheerful yellow. It’s so nice to finally see those flowers!