allium

I Don’t See Mint *OR* A Spring, Part II: Some Viney Things, Some Goopy Things, and … Stuff

There aren’t just little sand-lovers here.  There are some good vines for climbing and swinging.

The Alabama supplejack (who names this stuff?!  Whoever it is has been imbibing/sniffing/snorting something!)  has smooth bark and pretty leaves.

berchemia

It’s also called “rattan vine,” which is profoundly misleading, since it has absolutely nothing to do with splintery patio furniture.   The little green flowers on this vine aren’t very showy.

No, for showy, you need this one–coral honeysuckle:

nativehoneysuckle

Three guesses why Sigyn likes it so much.  We have met this plant before, when Sigyn proved conclusively that sometimes the red flowers are orange inside.  Today she seems content just to dangle.  I don’t blame her.  It is spring, after all.

Coral honeysuckle is native, well-behaved, and attractive to hummingbirds.  (Sigyn would like to pet a hummingbird.  I keep trying to tell her they’re vicious, stabby little beggars, but she doesn’t believe me.)

I, on the other hand, prefer the exotic Japanese honeysuckle.

japhoneysuckle

It has weird one-sided flowers that open out of crooked buds.  It’s highly aggressive, choking out anything that crosses its path.  The human female is allergic to its nectar, and she once spent all night barfing after sampling just a few flowers’ worth.

I plan to plant a dozen or so in her backyard.

Sigyn, what have you got over there?

Idunn’s little green apples, what on earth are those?

milkweed

Let’s see:  five sepals, five weird green petals, five purple

Five purple what?  And what is that tall bit in the center of each blossom?  And what’s with the goopy, milky sap?  Sigyn, I think you should get down from there–I’m not sure this one is actually from this planet.  There’s no telling where it’s been!

Or what who it might have for dinner.

Whew!  I’m sure this plant is much safer.  Sigyn, let the human female boost you up so that you can smell the flowers.  What’s that?  Sweet, but a little onion-y?  I wonder why?

onion

Sigyn’s not really interested in digging one up to see if they really are onions.  She just likes the way they come in every shade from white to purple.

Ooo!  Be careful of this next one!  It has spiky, spiny foliage and the enormous flower head is crawling with bees!

thistle

Upon closer observation, however, I can see that those aren’t bees but big, bumbling beetles just gorging themselves on pollen!

Speaking of gorging, I do believe it is dinner time!  Let’s head for home and see what we can rustle up.  We can always come back another day.

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A Dash to the Outcrop, Part I: Old Friends (Sigyn speaks)

The humans are on their way to the Big City to the South.  Fortunately, the outcrop that the human female and I love so much is on the way, more or less.  We are making a quick stop to see the effects of last year’s controlled burn.

The last time we saw this place, it was on fire.

outcrop

It looks very good!  There is a lot of new vegetation coming up, including this ground plum (which the human female says is not a plum at all.  Common names will get you into trouble every time.)  It is a true prairie plant, and the fact that it’s here and happy is a good sign.  She says she only sees it in good years.  It will make a big, round legume fruit.

astragalus1

The bluebonnets are back!   This is a different kind than the sort on the roadsides.  This one likes sand rather than clay.

bluebonnets

The big yellow flowers and round fruit in this photo belong to bladderpod. The trifoliolate leaves belong to bur clover.

lesquerella

Some botanists say that the bladderpod should be Physaria rather than Lesquerella.  “Lesquerella” is more fun to say!

Loki likes the spiderwort.  Usually, they are blue, but the ones here are more purple.

trad

Wild onions!  They are everywhere!  And do you see the little green bug?

allium

Really, it is hard to walk without stepping on something in flower.  It is a very good year!

: )