leaves

What Does Poison Ivy Look Like in Spring?

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in leaves, plant parts, spring, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

What Does Poison Ivy Look Like in Spring?

What does poison ivy look like in spring? A little like a traffic light—red and shiny. Poison ivy’s first leaflets are garnet red, which slowly fades to green.

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Birch Forest: The Lungs of the Earth

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in environment, leaves, Sweden, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Birch Forest: The Lungs of the Earth

The sub-alpine birch forest, in Abisko National Park in the northernmost part of Sweden, above the Arctic Circle. Last fall, I happened to visit at a rare time of sunshine, and in the low rays of the autumn light the leaves were pure gold.

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Seeing Brown: November Leaves

Posted by on Nov 29, 2015 in fall, leaves, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Seeing Brown: November Leaves

In November, the red and yellow leaves are gone, but there’s still a wealth of color. In nature, there are way more than fifty shades of brown.

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Red Oaks: On Fire

Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in fall, insects, leaves, Unmowed Blog, wildlife | 0 comments

Red Oaks: On Fire

Red oak. Really lives up to its name in fall. Late in the season, the red oaks are on fire. The oaks are important trees for wildlife, of course. Everyone knows squirrels eat acorns, but acorns are high-protein food for an astonishing number of animal species: blue jays, wild turkeys, black bears, wood ducks, opossums, woodpeckers, red and gray foxes, rabbits, white-tailed deer, and many more. But a close look at oak leaves shows their other, more subtle, contribution–to the insects. All those thousands and thousands–millions!–of little bumps, nibbles, gnawings, holes....

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Catnip: Cats Behaving Badly

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in leaves, summer, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Catnip: Cats Behaving Badly

Cataria nepeta. That’s some strong stuff, man. You don’t want to let your cat drive or operate power tools for several hours after a hit of this stuff. Catnip is a member of the mint family, bland and unobtrusive in the garden, with dull gray-purple flowers. Humans rarely notice it. But for some reason, giving a sprig of catnip to a cat is like handing a human an uncorked bottle of Jack Daniels. It seems to affect individual cats differently. Some cats are rowdy drunks, reeling around the house yowling and swinging from the chandelier. Others quietly collapse in a heap and sleep...

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Can You Eat Poison Ivy?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in edible, leaves, poison ivy, Unmowed Blog | 25 comments

Can You Eat Poison Ivy?

In my poison ivy research I keep running into the old belief that eating a leaf of poison ivy every day in the spring will make you immune to the itch.

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