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A Good Sign

Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in photos, summer, Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

A Good Sign

My sentiments...

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Lily Pad Lifestyle

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in adaptations, flowers, leaves, plant parts, summer, Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Lily Pad Lifestyle

Floating along without a care in the world. Such effortless beauty. No wonder Monet couldn’t stop painting them. At the New York Botanical Garden, my favorite place is the the water lily pool. Its giant surface is covered with lily pads and fringed by  tall lotus blossoms with leaves the size of bicycle tires. Reflections of the sky and the white conservatory buildings mingle with the lilies and the lotuses–it’s sort of a cross between between Paris and the Nile. The thing about a shallow, still pool like this is that you can’t see all the way to the bottom. Water lilies,...

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Staghorn Sumac: Painting With Trees

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in birds, edible, seeds, summer, Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog, wildlife | 0 comments

Staghorn Sumac: Painting With Trees

Staghorn sumac. (Rhus typhina.) These dainty little trees are a common sight along roadsides. They seem to spring up everywhere, near dumps or malls or in weedy backyards. They’re the kind of tree no one notices. Except birds, of course, who love the sweet fuzzy berries, high in vitamin C and energy. But four hundred years ago, sumac seeds were almost literally worth their weight in gold. English botanists explored the New World in the early 1600s and were thrilled to discover a host of exotic species: exciting plants (which are ho-hum to us today) like goldenrod, sugar maples, white pines,...

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Day Lily: Summer Schedule

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in edible, flowers, plant parts, summer, Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Day Lily: Summer Schedule

Day lily. Hemerocallis, which comes from ancient Greek words meaning beautiful day. Day lilies are suddenly all over the place in early July. They start to line the roadsides as though waiting for the Fourth of July parades. The orange bursts of petals among the green are a kind of botanical fireworks. Why the name day lily? If you look on any day lily stalk, you’ll see half-a-dozen buds, each one slightly bigger than the next. With a punctuality that’s pretty amazing, they will open precisely 24 hours apart. So that on one stalk you have, so to speak, the entire schedule for the week. Today...

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Morning Glory: Pick Your Own

Posted by on Jun 28, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Morning Glory: Pick Your Own

A pick-your-own berry farm in West Virginia. The strawberries were too ripe, and the raspberries weren’t ripe enough, but the blueberries were just right. I got there early, before it got too hot—at least that was the plan, but the West Virginia sun was fierce by 9am. Woven in and out among the blueberry bushes was a glorious tangle of morning glory vines. All the flowers were open wide, delicate pink blossoms that open like parasols and then twist themselves closed not long past noon.  The flowers are so delicate they seem to be made out of tissue paper–but this dainty little plant...

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Rain, Rain!

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in spring, Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Rain, Rain!

Long ago, I used to work with a gentleman some of you may remember–a very gentle man, named Ray Falconer. He was a meteorologist, the weather guru on public radio, and he used to give the most amazingly detailed and enthusiastic weather reports I’ve ever heard. Rain, sun, cloudy, mild, hurricane, fog, hail, whatever–the guy just loved weather. If you bumped into him and casually remarked “Nice day,” you had to be prepared to listen to a twenty-minute dissertation on high pressure and warm fronts. Anyway, he once told me that in the course of his research he had looked over the statistics for...

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