seeds

Goldenrod: Bird Seed

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in birds, seeds, Unmowed Blog, wildlife, winter | 0 comments

Goldenrod: Bird Seed

It’s been a long tough winter. And even though it feels a bit like spring–Daylight Savings, birds cautiously chirping–this is the worst part of all. The last gasp of winter is a tough time for wildlife. The sun is making efforts to warm us up at noon, but it’s still frigid at night. And there’s practically nothing left in terms of food for hungry birds. Good thing there’s still a bit of goldenrod in the back yard. Goldenrod, a native plant, still has a few seeds left on the winter...

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Dogwood: Lipstick Pink

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in birds, fall, seeds, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Dogwood: Lipstick Pink

Gray dogwood. One of many of the Cornus genus, a gaggle of rather dull little shrubs. It’s a nondescript bush most of the year, short, stubby, with gray twigs and floppy leaves. Nothing remarkable about it at all. Until fall, when it begins to flash the most garish shade of hot, sexy pink that you’ve ever seen on a make-up counter or nail polish bottle. The leaves turn a nice, decorous dark red, and the berries are just a bland grayish-beige–it’s the stems, of all unlikely things, that are so very pink. And like lipstick and nail polish, the bright color is meant to...

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Poison Ivy: Early Color

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in adaptations, birds, leaves, poison ivy, seeds, summer | 0 comments

Poison Ivy: Early Color

It’s summer, it’s warm and sunny and the leaves are all green and blowing in the warm breeze, and school is out and life is good and whoa! What’s that? A red leaf. It’s like seeing a “Back-to-School Sale!” sign in the mall. A sudden warning that the summer has once more fled away and fall is imminent. But it’s not a whole tree going gold or scarlet; that happens later, in fall, right? It’s not October yet. This is just a warning shot—a single leaf here, a branch there. A vine suddenly goes red as a traffic light, bringing you up short. Why, though? Why do some plants abruptly turn bright...

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Fern Seed

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in plant parts, seeds, summer, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Fern Seed

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had lost a foal, and so he went out on Midsummer’s Eve to search for it. He chanced to pass through a cluster of ferns, and some of the fern seed fell into his shoes. He found his missing animal, and went joyfully home, but when he walked in the door, neither his wife nor his children looked at him or paid any heed to him. When he said “I have found the foal!” they screamed and ran from the room in fear. At first the famer was bewildered. Then he remembered walking through the ferns, and realized what had happened. He took off his...

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Dandelion Seeds: Prickly Fluffballs

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in flowers, seeds, spring, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Dandelion Seeds: Prickly Fluffballs

Dandelion are a little like porcupines. Each dandelion seed is a dry, hard, brown speck an eighth of an inch long, known in botanical terms as an “achene.” They’re stuck into the puffy top of the dandelion flower head, like pins stuck into a pincushion, or quills that are loosely attached to a porcupine’s skin. Tiny barbs zig-zag along each edge of the seed. One puff of air, and the seed pulls loose from the plant and heads off into space. The wind blows the little fluffy parachutes for thousands of miles, over rivers and oceans and mountain ranges–or over the...

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Goldenrod: Fill Up the Feeders

Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in birds, seeds, Unmowed Blog, wildlife, winter | 0 comments

Goldenrod: Fill Up the Feeders

Big winter storm! For once the weather hysterics were right, and we got a lot of snow, even more than they threatened. A winter wonderland which is great for kids (tough luck it’s on a Sunday, guys, could have been a snow day…). Great for skiiers. Great, in fact, for all snow lovers, including mice, red squirrels and meadow voles who can tunnel safely beneath the drifts and avoid predators. But deep snow is tough on some types of wildlife. If the seeds are all hidden underneath a blanket of white, what’s a bird to do? Looks like it’s shaping up to be a long cold...

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