Posts made in September, 2012

Mat Grass: Lay Out the Welcome Mat

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

It’s amazing how homey and comforting a cheap motel in New Jersey can be. Five hours on the Jersey turnpike, packed with traffic. The sun goes down, the traffic thickens. Eyelids heavy. Finally, I give in. Taking exit number two million and three, I follow a series of tiny signs directing me to “Lodging.” Finally rewarded by the lovely sight of the Jersey Town House motel. Ah. They have a vacancy. They have a soft mattress, free breakfast, hot shower, and highspeed internet, too. And best of all, there’s a green welcome mat right in front of my door. This is one of the plants that has more...

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Lady’s-Thumb: Gloucester Marine Railway

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

You never can tell what you’ll find in a parking lot. I think I’ll just park my boat here for a minute while I run into the store… Gloucester, Massachusetts. My beloved home town. It’s a scenic spot on the rocky coast of Cape Ann, just north of Boston–lighthouses, fishing boats, etc. But I’ve always loved that it’s not a tourist trap, it’s a working fishing town, since 1623. Back in colonial days, the fish were so abundant the colonists just had to lean over the side of the boat and scoop them out of the water in baskets. Nowadays,...

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Common Plantain: Wayfarers All

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in native American, plant parts, summer, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Common Plantain: Wayfarers All

Cruising down the Massachusetts Turnpike on a nice fall day. I’ve travelled this way so often I can recite the stops on the toll card from memory. The New England town names have a pleasing sort of rhythm to them: Framingham, Natick, Ludlow, Palmer, Weston, Newton… Eventually I stop, as all travellers do, at one of the rest areas. Impossible to tell them apart, they all look alike. Not very restful places, really. Not much here for an enterprising botanist. Lots of green, all of it mowed close as a crew cut. Weed whackers have whacked every weed into submission. The shrubs are all planted at...

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Wild Thyme: Time On My Hands

Posted by on Sep 22, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 3 comments

September 13, Election Day? Well, it’s not the BIG election day coming up, only the Democratic primary for state senator, but I was at the polls, yes I was. I was there all day. Ten solid hours. No, I’m not a really slow voter, I’m a poll inspector. For a (very) small wage, I put up signs like Vote Here and No Smoking, check that voters are registered, and generally make sure our local elections run smoothly. Not a hard task at this particular election. My colleagues and I (4 inspectors total, 2 Democrat, 2 Republican) sat and sat and sat and sat, killing time and waiting for customers....

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Life and Death in the Parking Lot

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Look! There. Lurking in the corner of the restaurant parking lot. Half-hidden among the foliage. A tall, gangly, strange-looking character. About six feet tall. Skinny. Big floppy leaves. And long clusters of deep-colored berries, like dangling chains of rubies. I’ve seen this odd-looking plant before, not many times, though. Although it’s a native plant, it’s not too common around here. Pokeweed. I love that name. Sounds so slow and friendly. When I got home, I googled around on the web to find out more about the parking lot weed. Wow, google pokeweed, get 434,000 possibilities. All kinds...

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