Sunday, May 16, 2021

Catkin-caterpillars


Catkins, like larvae, 
Mimicking caterpillars
Dangling from branches ...



 





Saturday, May 15, 2021

This is the Life

Perspectives from a hammock - the bugs (blackflies) and I, enjoying the view:





And, the blackflies' perspectives of a hammock: BAIT








Friday, May 14, 2021

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves

The soft delicate hairs on freshly emerged beech leaves (Fagus grandifolia) remind me of the waxy vernix that humans are born with ... well, similar concept, I guess. The furry-looking covering looks so soft, and ... touchable! No wonder the species name is grandifolia - meaning large leaf in Latin, but I prefer my take: grandiose foliage.




And then, there are these delightfully wrinkled convolutions on the beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) leaves, that have a little brown streaking on them. I've identified a little grove of these shrubby plants in an opening in my woods, and now that I know what they are, I'm seeing them everywhere.




The fresh green leaves shine luminously like chartreuse gems amidst the drab browns of sticks, branches and last year's decaying leaves on the forest floor in the spring sun, bright and vivid with life.






Thursday, May 13, 2021

Debbie Shops Again ...

 

Oh dear! Am I becoming a shopaholic? I came home from yet another visit to the grocery store, feeling giddy and bubbling over with stories to share! Is this the new highlight of my life? A COVID side-effect? Collateral damage from quarantining?

Hannaford has been refurbishing the interior look of their stores over the past year, and changing things around (making it very confusing). The bakery section looks quite welcoming - this is the Standish store, where I used a $10 off coupon I got in the mail, to encourage people to come in and see the new layout and décor. It worked!



I felt so relaxed and confident about buying and handling groceries, that I EVEN brought my own shopping bags that I allowed other people to touch! It felt so good to get back into the swing of what had been my normal, and to go back to using net and string bags instead of plastic for my produce.

The flower display was quite lovely:


I was impressed to see an employee going back and forth through each aisle with sanitizer and cloth, systematically wiping down any handles and surfaces that customers would handle or touch. The elderly gentleman whose sole task it was to keep the store sanitized, made the best of his time in each aisle by having playful interactions with each and every customer. He was friendly and delightfully cheerful each time I encountered him in a different aisle.

And then when I got home, there was no sanitizing procedure to be done either. That's behind me now, thank goodness.



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Natives Rule!

 

What an exquisite leaf arrangement and coloration! It doesn't get more gorgeous than this - Swida alternifolia, the pagoda dogwood (or more boringly, the alternate-leaved dogwood), another native I discovered as an understory shrub in my woods some time ago. The green color is stunning, the reddish-brown contrast superb, the form beautiful and the leaf tiers elegant. And this is even without the flowers!



Magnifique!

Don Stokes, of Stokes Field Guides, ranks dogwoods as “fifth among all woody plants in North America for their food value to wildlife” in The Natural History of Wild Shrubs and Vines, so plant some!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sensitive Sunset

The last of the day's light catching the fronds of sensitive fern, in my paradise



Onoclea sensibilis

 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Windflowers

Low to the ground and tiny, this little beauty can easily be passed over. But when it covers the forest floor in a mass of green and white fragility, it's eye-catching. I have some growing naturally on a bank beside my cove - they're wood anemones or also called windflowers. Their white blooms bob playfully  in gentle breezes, making it seem as if the forest floor is moving. Quite amazing.




Anemone quinquefolia


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Fun in the Bog!

The Saco Heath Preserve is one of my favorite spots to visit. It was closed during COVID-19 since there is no way to really step aside and keep 6 feet away from other people. If you step off the boardwalk, you're in the bog!



The paucity of trees (pines and tamaracks dot the landscape) gives blueberries, rhodora, sheep laurel and leatherleaf a chance to thrive in huge quantities in the wet, acidic bog.




It almost looks barren where there are no trees!




The mosses are plentiful, exquisite and radiant in the sun.





Resting spots are available in a few places, even though this walk is not at all strenuous or long. Nevertheless, the boardwalk meister had to test out the seating:




If you want to visit, here's the info: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/saco-heath-preserve/

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Mise en Place

Mise en place for another custom pizza, chez Arrowhead



Black olives, mushrooms, bacon, broccoli, chicken breast, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and wine


Friday, May 7, 2021

Learning New Plants ...

Whilst enjoying the raindrops on my honeysuckle, I noticed these small, white flowers on a shrub near my elbow for the first time. Most of the time it just looks like a twiggy, nondescript and unidentifiable bush to me.



But when I saw these opened flowers, the name Amelanchier came to me. I looked it up in my 'go to' book of native northeastern shrubs, and yes, it appeared to be a serviceberry (also called shadbush), a good food source for wildlife.




Somehow, my brain had subconsciously absorbed the name and gist of this plant whilst paging through the volume. I had not identified it previously. The tools we have in our minds, and our capacity for learning new things, is amazing to me! And, I've just discovered, I'm still not too old to learn!



Thursday, May 6, 2021

Raindrops (not on Roses)




This is our native honeysuckle, Lonicera canadensis, after a spring shower. The petals look so papery and fragile.


 These are the bold, paired fruits they turn into















Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Trillium erectum


Stinking Benjamin,

Wake-robin, red trillium -

Which name would you choose?





Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Gorgeous Greens







The greening and unfurling of tall meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum) is a spectacular sight. It starts like this ... part rose, part artichoke!












 













... and then looks like this for a while



















... to eventually become a tall, nodding, fern-like plant, beautiful in all its greenness, with sprays of white flowers. What an amazing transformation it is!










Monday, May 3, 2021

Sunny Flower


My marsh marigold
A buttery yellow bloom
Golden as the sun



 
And a few days later,  there were about 8 opened blooms, and a caterpillar




Sunday, May 2, 2021

Shopping is King!

 💖

I had the BEST shopping experience this week - at a grocery store! It was the most relaxed I've felt out in public in 413 days! Since I've completed my vaccination schedule, life has felt so much more comfortable, and other people are way less threatening, even nice to talk to!

I wore a mask the entire time, obviously, but I noticed how people took more time to dally and have 'conversations' with random strangers, such as checkout cashiers. In fact, I came home filled with anecdotes and interactions to share. It was so much fun! Who knew? Someone, get me to a doctor ...


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Woodsy Woods

The structural deterioration of trees in the woods is a beautiful thing to behold - unique and interesting. Some are lacy-edged and others angular and blocky, but either way, exquisite.










Friday, April 30, 2021

Beautiful Devil

Invasive milfoil fragments have been washing up into our cove ever since the ice thawed, some with straggly roots that are viable starter plants! Eek! I've been busy scooping them out religiously, even though it's probably futile. My goal though, is simply to prevent it from invading and choking my personal cove, and that seems to be working, and is a manageable task.

We've had two fishing tournaments on our lake already this spring, so milfoil-chopping machinery has been super-active! My job of fishing them out is never-ending, but satisfying. I stopped to take a pic of a beautiful fragment floating by, and was taken in by the intricate beauty of the whorls and feathery leaflets of this intrepid and resilient invasive.




Thursday, April 29, 2021

Aerial Highways


Squirrels scamper on 

Branches interlaced above -

Aerial highways.















Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Perks & Forfeits

 

Oh boy, spring is such an amazing time, but also a mixed bag of perks and forfeits: beautiful, crisp sunshine, unfurling blooms and glowing green moss.

 

But also, tree pollen floating in the air. And ticks. I recently found one tickling me as it crawled up my leg in bed! Ugh.

Sparrows flip leaves noisily in bunches of five or more, and the white-throated sparrow repeats its signature call.


Northern flickers have been displaying and parading for each other on various branches, hoping to win the mate-jackpot. 


Black flies have made their appearance, but not yet in swarming hordes.  


The winds have been ferocious on some days - lovely for getting my laundry dry, provided I peg things down securely enough!


Also, loons!








Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Vanishing Deer



Deer stand still and stare

Till they're not discernible -

Their legs "become" twigs.

 



,Flicking of white tails

,Like snow dropping off branches

!Distracts, and conceals

 


Monday, April 26, 2021

Communing with Clubmoss

Lycopodium obscurum


I love this beautiful plant we commonly call a clubmoss, or ground pine. You might also know it as princess pine. As an understory plant, they don't get much bigger than this (6 inches).

 

The needle-like leaves and fertile projections with spores on them look almost identical in their structural arrangement, but differ in color. 


They are primitive, slow growing plants, taking about 20 years to mature and reproduce, so please don't harvest them for Christmas decorations.

I'm so pleased to have some growing happily in my yard 😀 that I can lie down next to and enjoy close up.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Morning Stars

My haircap moss glowing boldly in the morning sun, as it sprawls over an old tree stump. They're like mini starbursts; showy for a moss, and beautiful in a rock or stump garden where soils are thin.




Saturday, April 24, 2021

Coiling Curls or Curling Coils?

 

The way birch bark peels off and coils up is fascinating to me. I love seeing the different ways it presents.