Yesterday we looked at plants we’d already seen recently. Nice, but a bit BORING. Where are the new things? I checked the calendar. It is FALL now. Show me fall things!! I demand fall things!
Ah. This is better. False foxglove. Shows up like clockwork the third week of September.
Sigyn and I have a fondness for this plant. Well, one of it’s relatives, anyway—the rare one that grows on that outcrop to the east of us. I wonder if we’ll get to visit the outcrop again this year?
What does one call that color, anyway? Pink? Purple? Pirpkle? Whatever it is, it seems to be a theme. (Trust Texas to have non-traditional fall color!)
The Beautyberry is quite conspicuous in the understory.
Gaudy, but great for dangling. (The one at the house does not have any fruit this year, on account of I let the tree-removers drop a big oak tree on it earlier this year and it is in the process of recovering.)
The Beggar-ticks has flowers the same color, only a few shades paler.
It has typical bean-family flowers and makes interesting little legumes (one of which is visible at the left end of the stem). They’re scalloped and break up into single-seeded bits that are just covered with microscopic hooked hairs, which makes them perfect for being dispersed by furry animals or clothing. I will keep an eye on this extensive patch, come back in a few weeks when they’re good and ripe, gather up a pound or so of them, and do a little experiment to see what happens when you dump them in the washer with a load that includes socks, sweatpants, and towels. (I’m all about the science.)
Looks like the Woolly Croton is doing well this year.
It has separate male and female flowers and is very, very furry.
Hey, I have an idea! Let’s see how well the Beggar-ticks stick to the Croton! A wildflower cage-match. It’ll be brilliant! I can sell tickets. . .
Whatever else Sigyn does on a nature walk, if she gets a chance to sit in a holly, she calls it a perfect day. The fruit on this Possumhaw are about half-ripe.
A little further along the path we have yellow rather than pirpkle. Unless I’m mistaken (which I rarely am), we are looking at Camphorweed.
That’s the flower head in the photo, but the wispy foliage to the left belongs to Horseweed, and the leaves to the right to another something else. (Sigyn, are you going to play ‘He loves me; he loves me not’ with the flower? Because I can tell you, if the ‘He’ is me; he definitely, definitely DOES!)
The something else those leaves belong to is, I think, Climbing Hempvine. The human female says, “it’s our only local viney member of the sunflower family or Asteraceae.”
She also says it’s related to the Mistflower. I can see that. Both have the same fluffy flower heads. There is certainly a lot of it here, sprawling over shrubs and climbing trees. It likes wet feet, so I imagine it is very happy here in the ditch by the path.
(That’s it, human female… Lean out over the wet ditch just a little bit more for the photo and it will be my perfect day… A little bit more… One good shove…)
Odin’s eyepatch! I hate it when she catches me plotting and removes herself to safety. I really, really wanted to see her sopping wet and muddy today! Oh, well. Maybe I will have another chance for mischief on the way home…
Hmm. There’s more water next to the sidewalk on the way home, a big floody area by the part of the wetland they didn’t build Large, Ugly Apartments on. I could push her down the slope into the Bagpod bushes…
Nah. She likes the clusters of red–orange–yellow flowers so much and enjoys popping the seeds out of the inflated legumes enough that she’d probably just sit happily in the water enjoying the plant.
She wouldn’t like being pushed into the Horsenettles though. They have lovely flowers, but they’re very prickly.
In fact–ouch!–this member of the Nightshade genus–ah!— is– ow!—very unpleasant to sit in! I think I shall vacate! Besides, the sun has risen enough that it has cleared the surrounding trees and buildings, and it’s making me all squinty.
I don’t like squinty.