Posts made in October, 2012

New England Aster: Energy Drink

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Running on empty! Pull into Stewart’s Quik-Stop—gotta refuel. Gas up, and go inside for a fast coffee and doughnut or candy bar—anything sweet. Energy for the long trip. Got a lot of miles to go. At least I don’t have to make it all the way to Mexico. We’ve all heard the story of the Incredible Journey—the migration of the monarch butterflies, more than 2,000 miles to their overwintering spot in Mexico. It’s easy to say—2,000 miles—but when you’re talking about a wingspan of about four inches, it’s just really unbelievable. How many wing-flaps is it to Mexico? And of course what fuels all...

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Norway Spruce: The Melancholy Trees

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

The road to the Chuctanunda Rural Cemetery, in the town of Florida, NY. It’s a lovely country road, and is—I’m sorry but it’s true—a dead end. There’s something about old graveyards that I love, especially around Halloween. The tilted tombstones, the autumn light, the quiet rustle of the leaves behind you…it’s all pleasantly spooky without being terrifying. But most of all I love the trees. Trees in graveyards have personality, I find. Planted singly, they don’t have to compete with other trees for sunlight, so they can spread out their arms, grow wide and impressive. This cemetery is one of...

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Dandelions: A Number of Reasons to Love Them

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Parking lots are fertile fields for the weed-loving botanist. You wouldn’t think that anything could grow without soil, without water, in a big pile of rocks–in fact, the reason the rocks were put there was so that weeds wouldn’t move in. But once again, the wily dandelions have outsmarted the humans. Reason #23896 that I love dandelions: they can grow just about anywhere. I never cease to be amazed at the spots where they can thrive. Reason #23897 that I love dandelions: their diversity. Dandelions are like snowflakes: no two alike. Look at these plants, all dandelions, and the...

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Virginia Creeper: Stop Sign

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

It’s the very first sign of fall. A sudden spatter of bright red leaves, red as a stop sign. A red warning, mingled with the green leaves. Pulls me up short every time. It’s the Virginia creeper. A slightly ominous sounding name, like an old folktale—beware the Virginia creeper, my son. The plant does have a bad reputation, because many people confuse it with poison ivy, which often grows in the same places. But Virginia creeper is harmless. Well, almost. The leaves are certainly harmless—they have five leaflets, not three, and aren’t related in any way to PI. Virginia creeper’s a...

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The Mystery of the Singing Pumpkins

Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

The Mystery of the Singing Pumpkins

Okay, maybe I’ve been reading too many Sherlock Holmes stories. Or watching too many episodes of Sherlock. But I swear this really happened. Last spring, I planted a total of six pumpkin seeds, in the little patch of garden just by the kitchen door. And something about this year’s odd weather– the early heat, the mid-summer drought, the late summer rain–made the pumpkins go absolutely berserk. The vines crawled along the side of the house, devoured the walkway, tripped up unsuspecting passersby, and even made repeated attempts to climb in the window. And they produced some nice...

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