It is Autumn here in the northern part of Midgard–or at least, that’s what the calendar says. I’ve been tinkering with the weather, alternating hot and cold days so that everyone has the sniffles and no one knows what to wear or what to serve for dinner. Woolly hat or shorts and flip-flops? Cool salad or hearty stew! Ehehehehe! The mortals are all cOnFUseD and there’s no end to the see-sawing in sight.
But, by the calendar, the rare plant that the human female discovered, and which she keeps an eye on, ought to be blooming. She’s grabbed her boots and sunscreen and insect repellent and is heading for the outcrop in the next county over where the plant is to be found— if it’s up. It is one of my warm days, and I could certainly do without being cooped up in the car with the human female for twenty minutes each way, but Sigyn really, really likes “botanizing,” so she is going. And if Sigyn is going, I am going, because I don’t trust the human female in the field one tiny little bit. With me along, there’s a much better chance that my sweetie comes home in one smiling piece.
And here we are at what the human female calls, “an outcropping of calcareous Oligocene sandstone of the Oakville formation” and what I call, “a tilty chunk of inconvenient climbiness.”
The first plant to greet us is the very conspicuous, electric blue dayflower. It’s fairly common in this part of Midgard. There are even some back at the house.
They look better out here than coming up around the compost heap, though.
The human female is checking to see if the “usual suspect” plants are up where they normally are. The redwhisker clammy-weed is right where it is every year. The bright sun is washing out the pale pink of the petals and the bright red of the stamens.
It really is very sticky to the touch. Sigyn, be careful as you go—I don’t know how well the sticky comes out of red velvet.
Ugh. It really is uncomfortably warm and bright today.
Here is a plant I don’t recall seeing out here before. Look at the fat, funny leaves! The human female says it’s a cousin of the moss roses that people grow in pots.
Step into the voluminous shade the human female is casting, and let us see if we can get a better photo.
Those really are tiny flowers! Sadly, too small for Sigyn to try on as a hat.
Great Frigga’s hairpins! If you thought that was a tiny flower, dearest, come look at this one!
“Heliotropium tenellum.” It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
This one’s not much bigger. It’s one of the broomweeds, the human female says, either Gutierrezia texana or Amphichyris dracunculoides.
I’m of the opinion that if she’s going to call herself a botanist, she should KNOW which one it is. She’s making noises about tiny “pappus” this and “receptacle” that and saying that she needs to look at various bits under a microscope. Flimsy excuses, woman, and if you need a microscope, you bring it on your various traipse-alongs, because I am not going to tote it for you. Nor will I waste my magic summoning something you should have thought of in the first place. Besides, I think you make up all those slanty, sciency names anyhow.
Time for some climbing! Autumn is definitely the season for yellow daisy-family things, and here is another. If you can believe the human female, it is part of the whole golden aster mish-mash, and it goes by the improbable name of Heterotheca subaxillaris. The common name, camphorweed, is much less of a mouthful.
Sigyn, after sniffing its gland-dotted foliage, confirms that it does, in fact, smell a little granny’s-closety.
Stand over there next to that pale purple one, my love.
Look at that! The flowers are more than a Sigyn long! If it didn’t have just the one blossom, I would pick it for you and make you the pointiest hat ever!
Norns’ nighties! Are we really only halfway up? This hill goes on forever.