Sunday, May 9, 2010

No More Water

The first few flowers have opened on the Virginia waterleaf, although, as I noted in illegible handwriting, the watermarks for which they are named have disappeared by this time in the year. A month ago, they were prominent and noticeable, but today it is the flowers -- what few are open -- that catch the eye. While guidebooks and websites don't seem to mention the tendency for the waterspot markings to fade, I have found a few references to it. Not shown in the picture -- every little sepal, and every leaf, is edged in delicate white hairs.

When I was a kid, I thought these flowers resembled little white crowns. The way the stamen rose up, for some reason, made me think of a 5-pointed fairy-tale crown, with jewels on each tip (thus the drawing). In fact, the way the flowers grow in clusters, I used to imagine something like the many-headed mouse king from the Nutcracker (but benign). Looking at it now, I suppose they more closely resemble a jester caps than princess head wear, but still, I think of crowns.

In other news, we may have had our last frost last night... after a windy, cold, rain-spitting day, weather stations were predicting widespread frost in the Chicago region after 1 am. I was up late and didn't wake as early as usual, but by the time I looked, I didn't see evidence of said frost. But it was sunny and warming, and the frost may have occurred earlier. Either way, today is a world different from yesterday -- calm, bright, sunny, not hot but pleasant...

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