Posts made in October, 2012

Art in the Weeds

Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

The parking lot of Dunkin Donuts, and fifteen minutes to kill. This is bad. Try to resist going inside. Try to resist eating three glazed doughnuts with a large coffee. Take a brisk stroll around the parking lot instead. In my usual quest for odd and unloved plants, I poke around the edges of the lot, potter in the corners, mosey through the knee-deep weeds that fringe the cars. Finally I happen to glance at a spot where no one ever looks—behind the dumpster. No one, that is, except an artist searching for a canvas.     This was painted on the back of the dumpster wall. Unsigned. It makes me...

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Lichens: Fresh-Air Fiends

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Lichens: Fresh-Air Fiends

Another graveyard, if you don’t mind. After all, ’tis the season–the Halloween season. This one is the Old Burying Ground in Rockport, Massachusetts. I feel like I’m on a first-name basis with some of the folk resting here, because I made them into characters in my novel The Invasion of Sandy Bay.     The burying ground is right near the sea. You could literally throw a rock into the water from here. The salt air is fresh and cold. It’s fresh air, all right, as testified by the presence of one of the world’s weirdest organisms—lichens. What are lichens anyway? They’re...

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Dinnertime: Guest Photographer Zach Baldwin

Posted by on Oct 21, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Thanks to Zach Baldwin for this photograph! My resident birder tells me it’s most likely a ruby crowned kinglet, and I can tell from the bright pink stems and the clusters of berries that the bird is sitting on a pokeweed stem. Ruby crowned kinglets are acrobatic feeders, climbing around plants, hanging upside down and even hovering to glean small insects from the foliage. They love insect and spider eggs that are often attached to the undersides of leaves. In winter, they’ll occasionally feed on berries. The more I look for the hot-pink stems of pokeweed, the more I notice them. There seems...

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Mouse-Eared Chickweed: Furry Ears

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 1 comment

An unlikely habitat for plants, this metal guardrail stuck into concrete embedded in blacktop. But where there’s a crack, there’s a leaf.         Hm. Small, dainty leaves, arranged opposite each other in pairs. Looks like Chickweed. But which one? There are dozens of types of Chickweed. Further research reveals it to be Mouse-Eared Chickweed. An apt name—the furry little leaves look exactly like mouse ears. And like a resourceful mouse, it can find a hole or a crack anywhere, and exploit it to its own advantage. When the plant flowers, it has tiny white heart-shaped petals, very pretty. A...

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Starry Night: Guest Photographer Wells Horton

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Thanks to Wells Horton for this amazing shot. It summarizes why I love the season of Halloween so much: the beauty of the dying year, the darkness that flows out from under the trees. Too often, Halloween is a time of chainsaw massacre movies and fake blood. I like Halloween to be a little scary, sure. But not so frightening that people (kids) are terrified to go out at night lest a ghoul in a hockey mask eat them. “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” –Sarah Williams Check out more of Wells Horton’s photos on http://wells-horton.smugmug.com/ and...

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