Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another hot one...

We were supposed to have a cool wave, but it doesn't seem to have come through yet. Anyhow.

Thistles are blooming on the roadsides and in lower-quality prairies. Thistles are a weed* I hate to love, and love to hate. Their flowers are quite pretty, big (in this case) purple orbs that actually look fuzzy. They are a beautiful color. But if you've ever been involved in a thistle removal project -- as I was a few years ago -- you quickly learn how... let's just say, well-adapted they are. Thorns are painful and plentiful, roots are deep. They're tall so your whole body gets scratched up when you try to remove them. And before too long you start to dislike them despite their beauty. Or even feel violently anti-thistle. I wrote an essay about that a few years back, which I thought about including here... but I can't find it. Oh, well.

*I say weeds, but it should be noted that there are some native thistles. You just don't see them too often. Only in really high-quality prairies, actually. And their colors are more muted.

Our false sunflowers are starting to bloom. The picture on the left shows one almost open... and the picture on the right shows what seems to be happening to the fully open ones! I'm not sure what's up. Last year we did have an issue with some neighbor kids picking these flowers as they bloomed, since they're right by the mailbox/street. But if you pick it, you at least get to, you know, have it. Why someone would just snap the head and leave it hanging is beyond me. So perhaps it was a bird? Either way, I'm hoping it was bad luck and not a trend that will occur as each flower blooms. If it does, I'm going to install a flower cam to solve the mystery.

Milkweeds beginning to bloom. Shown here are purple milkweed (left) and possibly poke milkweed(? or some white, slightly narrow milkweed. The latter picture was taken on Tuesday, so there are undoubtedly more flowers open now. Common milkweed is at the same point as purple milkweed... mostly not flowering but a few blooms on selected plants are opening up.

By the way... 20 quarts of strawberries yielded:
  • 1 pie
  • 16 quarts of delicious and hard-earned jam, some of which jelled great and others of which stayed slightly liquidy, but all of which will be a welcome treat in the middle of winter!
  • a tiny bit of temporary insanity.

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