We found the most beautiful flower on our walk today! It was right along a busy road, where we have been dozens of times, but we had never seen it before. It’s not very common here at all, so I feel solucky!
Veronica persica, Persian speedwell. The flowers are about four times as large as the common sort I found last week. Isn’t it the most gorgeous colorever? Like a little piece of sky that fell down into the grass. Hee hee hee! It’s almost enough to make me change my favorite color to blue.
I think I’ll celebrate the arrival of spring with a walk along the Neener Path by the big ugly apartments that sit where the neighborhood pond used to be! Loki is busy tinkering with some mischief and says he’s too busy today and that if both the humans go I’ll probably be safe, as long as I don’t try to cross the creek. I’ll miss his company, but I guess that means more flowers for me!
The bur-clover is such a cheerful yellow!
The wood-sorrel is exactly the same color. Isn’t that neat?
And look! Here’s some yellow growing out of a crack in a retaining wall. The human female says these are called straggler daisy.
More yellow! This is oriental false hawksbeard. It’s not native, but it’s cute.
It’s like little dandelions on stilts!
I just love real dandelions! They’re so soft and sunny!
Sometimes you just have to smoosh your face into a flower and give it a big hug!
There is plenty of purple around too. The little wild sweet peas are sort of reddish-purple.
And so is the henbit (which I always think looks like little hand-puppets!):
But what’s this little blue flower next to the henbit?
I think I remember these from last year… What was their name?
Oh! Now I remember! They’re one of the little speedwells! So tiny!!!
Shepherd’s purse has tiny flowers, too, but the plants are bigger.
Squee! The heart-shaped fruits are so cute!
It’s sort of a toss-up as to which are cuter, speedwell flowers or shepherd’s purse or bluets.
Sherardia is like bluets, only smaller and more purple-lavender and less blue.
I could be happy just lying around in them all day.
Ohmygoodness! Ohmygoodness! Look!!
WHITE Sherardia flowers!!! I didn’t know they came in white.
Veronica and bluets and sherardia and a lot of other things blooming now are so little that I can’t try them on. No floral millinery today!
The spring beauties would be more than big enough to wear as hats…
But there are only a few of them, so I will let them be and just enjoy their pink stripes.
What is this?
Oh, I see now! Not flowers, but moss with little spore capsules! Loki will be sorry not to have come. He likes to lie in moss as much as I like to lie in sherardia and bluets!
I miss Loki. Walks are always better with him. I know! I’ll take him a souvenir. There’s a very pretty leaf on the path here…
Ooops! Hee hee hee! It’s not a real leaf! It’s a fabric one off some fake houseplant. But it’s very colorful!
Red and green! My color and Loki’s! He’ll like it, and he’ll have a good laugh at how I thought it was real for a moment. But it’s awfully big. I’m not sure I can carry it all the way home. If I asked the human female nicely, do you think she would put it in her jacket pocket?
I’m so excited!! The parish that the humans and I belong to has been wanting to build a new church forever, and it’s finally happening! They poured the concrete last year, the steel framing is nearly done, and today the dome goes on!! They built it on the ground and are going to put it on with a ginormous crane. Someone says it weighs 42,000 pounds. I hope it’s a very strong crane!
You can’t see it, but there’s a pretty good-sized crowd waiting and watching. (They’re all behind me because I’m in front–I’m so short I couldn’t see otherwise!)
Oh! Oh! It’s going up!!!
Now they’re starting to swing it around…
Oh, I hope it fits! Wouldn’t it be awful if it didn’t?
Whew! It’s going to fit fine! They just have to even some spots out and weld it on.
Hooray!!! That little open space in the side is in case someone has to go inside for anything.
I’m so glad I got up early–you don’t see something like this every day. I can’t wait til it’s all finished!!
P.S. by Loki: I was specifically NOT invited to today’s events. In fact, I have been told in no uncertain words by everyone from the bishop on down that if I meddle with the construction of this edifice there will be Consequences. However, no one said anything about mischief involving other aspects of the new church. That is why the dome went up today without the statue that is supposed to go on top. When the statue of the lady and the tot arrived and was inspected, it was discovered to be made of much thinner material than promised, rather flimsy and cheap. There were actual holes in it. The pastor opined that he was fearful it might explode if struck by lightning. It was supposed to have been made in this country, but it turned out to have been manufactured in China, and (ehehehe!) the figures had been molded with distinctly Asian features. I’m told it was returned for a refund and that a new statue has been ordered from a firm here in Texas. We shall see what that one looks like when it comes, shan’t we?
More pretty stamps have come in the mail today! Stamp days are the best days, because all of these envelopes from far-away places come stuffed with the most beautiful flowers. And in February, when it’s cold, we need all the flowers we can get, right?
Sometimes the stamps on the envelopes are as nice as the ones inside.
My friend doesn’t collect mushrooms, but this is a lovely one anyway. I love the color! I’m not sure how it made it through the post without being cancelled! Wasn’t that lucky?
I couldn’t tell what these stamps were…
…until I realized they were upside down snow-cat vehicles and not little cottages with very smokey chimneys. But since they’re for Antarctica, it’s appropriate that they’re upside down! Hee hee hee!
This envelope came all the way from Serbia. And the sender put yellow flowers on!
And also purple ones!
We can soak those off and put them in the album. Bonus!
“Loki, come look at the other stamps on this envelope! They’re gorgeous! They look like little icons!“
“Religious icons or computer screen icons?”
“Church ones, but they’re sooo pretty!”
“No thanks. You know that sort of thing gives me hives. But you go ahead and enjoy them.”
Loki is missing some great art!
I think maybe they are from Christmas and Easter.
All in all, a very special envelope!
Ово је најлепша коверта икад послата поштом!
But what’s inside the envelope?
Loki has no problem with the contents, but I’m afraid he’s not as big a fan of vegetable stamps as I am.
Aren’t these just the most beautiful stamps ever?
Red berries! Fruit! APPLES!!!!!
I know that I’m supposed to be very careful around stamps and not handle them except with tongs, but it’s all I can do not to hug all of these!!!
We’ve had to walk a long way to find so many colorful leaves. But it’s a lovely day, and it feels so good to be outdoors that no one minds. (Well, maybe Loki has been complaining a little bit. The human female says that’s how she knows he’s still breathing. Rude, but a teeny bit true…)
Most of the flowers are long past flowering. This Goldenrod is wearing its furry winter underwear now.
One gust of wind or one good sneeze and we could have acres sown with seed! Acres of yellow next fall! Wouldn’t that be fun!
A few Black-eyed Susans are still out.
I hope the pollinators have noticed they’re here, or they will be lonely. : (
The Bitterweed is actually fairly common right now.
It flowers so prolifically that it’s hard to find a month when it’s not in bloom.
Not all the flowers are yellow.
The Blue Mistflower is easy to spot. There’s nothing else quite that color, especially this time of year!
Loki, look! What is that over there? It’s not blooming, but it looks…different.
Wow! The human female says this is a Grape Fern and that they’re not at all common out here. The leaves at the base are sterile, she says, and the sticky-uppy part is a fertile frond with little round balls of spore-producing tissue. Hence the “grape” part of the name. Hee hee hee! Loki licked it before she explained that…
Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness!
Buttercups! It’s entirely the wrong time of year for these, but aren’t they pretty? Loki, did you have something to do with messing up their timing?
We have almost finished our loop trail and are walking back along the Great Desolation (the water treatment plant right-of-way). Oh! We are stopping to look at this plant.
The random red and maroon leaves first attracted our attention, but now we are all scratching our heads trying to figure out what it is. It has pointy leaves and is very, very flat, with roots at every node. Whatever it is, there is a quite a bit of it. Since this is a disturbed area, it could be anything, from just about anywhere! I mean, this is where we found the white-flowered Bidens, the first record for this county. We’ve made a note to come and look at it in the spring to see if we can identify it.
There’s always something fun to look at in this park. I hope we can come again soon!
I’m so excited!!! We are going on another walk around the neighborhood. There has been more rain than usual recently, and all the little desert wildflowers are blooming! Loki says they’re just “weeds”, but look!
This is caltrop. I really like this plant!
Ferny, fluffy leaves and sunny yellow flowers that draw loads of butterflies! What more could you want?
“I like that the fruits are spiny and stick in people’s shoes.”
This little Sida is yellow, too, and also has five petals, but the leaves are very different.
It and this globemallow belong to the cotton family. Isn’t that neat?
Nothing else is quite that color. The flowers can fade to purplish.
“I like plants with flowers that start out the color they mean to go on, like this nightshade. And it’s spiny. Bonus!”
I think there might be two kinds of bindweed here! One has white flowers
And one has pink.
That might just be natural variation, though. Either way, they’re good for dangling!
Loki thinks this dodder is a better vine.
“It’s parasitic, and therefore inherently cool.”
There are plenty of yellow composites out today. This paper flower is really striking! The petals turn pale and dry up–just like paper!
We’re not sure what this one is–but it’s fun to lounge around in!
Loki says he knows what this plant is:
“It’s a chili pequin. These little fruits are going to be hotter than Muspelheim. Let’s take some home and put them in the human female’s lunch…”
That’s not very nice! But we could look to see if any of these prickly pear fruit are ripe and take those. You can eat them fresh or make candy or jelly out of them, if you take the prickles off.
Oooh! What is this fun little plant?!
The flowers look like they are made out of crepe paper!
Hee hee hee! Our resident expert says it’s Heliotropiumconvolvulaceum. What a big name for such a dainty plant!
Oh, now here are some really pretty and unusual ones! They’re in the Nyctaginaceae or four o’clock family.
What looks like one flower is actually a cluster of several, and what look like petals are actually sepals!
Here’s another kind, with tiny flowers and grayish leaves:
We don’t have a key to the Chihuahuan desert plants with us on this trip, but they might be a sort of Allionia. Sometimes it’s fun not to know all the names and just appreciate the plants because they’re pretty!
Who knew the desert could be so bloomy!
*With occasional interjections by your favorite diminutive Frost Giant
One of the best parts about going to church is the singing. I love to sing! They took the touched-by-everyone hymnals out of the pews when the pandemic hit, but they’re nice enough to make song sheets every Sunday, which is very sweet of them.
If you know the tune, it’s very easy to sing along.
Oh, goody! The closing hymn today is number 7 on the songsheet, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling“. I like that one!
Number 7 is actually “On and On“…?
(flip, flip) Oh, here it is!
Hee hee hee! It’s number 7 too! It looks like someone got a little confused numbering the songs. Bless their heart!
What is number 4 doing up above one of the number 7’s?
The whole handout is wonky!
The front has 1, 2, and 3, which is fine, but, inside, the numbers go 6, 5, 4, and 7, with the other 7 and 8 on the back!
“Loki! Did you do this?!”
“We had an agreement! I don’t try to convert you, and you don’t mess with things in my church! What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I gave the human female a compulsive earworm, and now whenever she gets to this part, she has to sing ‘grapefruit‘ instead. It’s really funny.”