Plant of the Day: Jacob’s Ladder

purple bell-shaped flowers

There are at least two species of Jacob’s ladder: Polemonium reptans and Polemonium caeruleum. The first is native to the northeastern United States, while the latter is from Eurasia and should be limited to gardens in North America. I’m not great at telling the difference, but since this specimen is part of a native plant restoration at a local park, I’ll guess it’s Polemonium reptans.

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More spring ephemeral microphotography

I found some photos I forgot to post on Saturday. Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) aren’t actually from Siberia, but to the southwest of it in Russia, the Caucuses, and Turkey. I wonder what kind of squill we’d have today if the Dutch had gone wild for squill in the sixteenth century instead of tulips. Virgina bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are from Virginia—along with … Read more

Spring ephemerals are here

I had fun lying on the ground and taking pictures of the mayapples and bloodroot today.       Some of the bloodroot flowers are already open, but I didn’t think to take clear pictures of them. Too fascinated by the way they come up with the leaves wrapped in tight little bundles but fully formed along with the flower … Read more

Third Day of Spring: Ducks! (or as we say around here, "Duck-ays!")

On the third day of spring, we saw another redtail hawk. And I had the camera with me this time! I maxed out the zoom and the photo was still blurry. I’d say I should get camera with a higher zoom, but then I’ll start maxing out that zoom and want one that’s even better. It’s a Sisyphean quest. It was … Read more

Vernal Equinox: First Flower, First Shoveler, and a Hawk

It’s the first day of spring according to the solar calendar, but I didn’t expect the outdoors to show anything different. Was I wrong. First, this greeted me when I stepped outside. The first crocus of the season! Then, I saw a hawk. Hawks are around all winter, but I don’t usually get to see them this close. Alas, I … Read more

Dinosaurs in my neighborhood

After seeing the sandhill cranes yesterday, I decided it would be a good idea to take my camera on my afternoon walk. Usually, that would make all the birds go into hiding, but I found a heron hiding out behind the shore grass. Herons don’t sound like dinosaurs, but they sure look like them. I stalked it as it stalked … Read more