minter springs

A Cure For Cabin Fever, Part I: Signs, Flowers, and Meeting Up With Kinfolks

The humans are still supposed to be self-isolating so that if they’re sick, they don’t make anyone else sick.

Oh, now the human female has declared that she IS sick, that she has a “horrible, horrible case of CABIN FEVER” and she misses the daily walks and if she doesn’t get out of the house she will go crazy and start snapping at people and saying whatever she’s thinking and she can’t be held responsible for her behavior with sharp objects and….oh, wait.

That’s me.

So the human female put on her thinking cap (the one that looks like a cactus; long story) and come up with a place where we can all go walk without meeting anyone.

And here we are!  It’s Minty Springs! We’ve been here before, more than once, though I’m not sure we’ve been here in the summer.  Let’s see what kinds of mischief I can get up to.

Well, for starters, I’m on the wrong side of the fence!

trespasser

Neener neener neener.

Sigh.  Sigyn says we need to stay on the *right* side of the fence.  Very well, my love.  I applaud your efforts to make me a better man, though I’m not sure it will “stick.”

Great Frigga’s hairpins!  Look at all the enchanter’s nightshade!

minter1

This really is a gorgeous plant.  I don’t know why everyone doesn’t just fill up their pastures and lawns and gardens with this and call it done.

nightshade

It’s prolific and prickly and poisonous.  What’s not to love?

Sigyn is very enthused about this “nifty” legume.  It has “poofy” clusters of little white flowers and “teeny” little leaflets.

dalea

The human female, whose language tends to be a little more scientific, says it’s something called roundhead prairie clover, a “locally uncommon, taprooted perennial with gland-dotted foliage and a short, globose to oblong inflorescence, shorter than that of white prairie clover.”

Or that’s what she would tell you she said, anyway.  I can’t verify.  When she starts rattling botany, I mostly just hear, “whhhhhhsssssshhhhh.”  My personal antenna just is not tuned to whatever frequency she’s broadcasting on, and all I get is static.

Apparently this is another unusual find.   The human female likes the way it sets all of its flower buds and then blooms backwards down the stem.  Sigyn likes the purple color.

liatrissq

I approve of the spiky leaves and floral bracts.  Careful, my sweet!  I wouldn’t want you to poke an eye out.

Odin’s eyepatch!  What is that awful screeching-creaking-whistling noise?!

Oh.

hee haw

Human female, you didn’t tell me we were visiting your relatives today.  You be sure to stay at least six feet away from your cousin, do you hear?  Sigyn and I will stay farther away–I saw some big teeth when it hollered, and it seems like a perfect time to practice some antisocial distancing. 

Hmm.  I think perhaps Cousin Jack is not the only hoofed thing out here.

deerprints

I think some undercooked venison came this way…

To be continued…

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At Last, At Last, At Last…, Part III: Let’s Move

Aaaand… Now we’re back to the bright flowers.  This vine is one of Sigyn’s absolute favorites.  I believe she is physically incapable of passing it without stopping for a dangle.

lonicera

The labels on it in the nurseries always say, “Gorgeous native plant!  Attracts hummingbirds!”  They need to add, “Attracts humming Sigyns, too!”

The eyes have it!  This blue-eyed grass is a delicate thing (though it still towers over my beloved), not really purple and not really blue.  The human female says it is a member of the iris family.  Since I don’t care enough about plants to study taxonomy, I can neither prove nor disprove this statement.  Sigyn hasn’t squeaked in outrage, so it may be right.

sisyrinchium

It is time to go.  Sigyn is reluctant, but I hear lunch calling me, so I am fine with leaving.

Odin’s eyepatch!  What now?  The human female has stopped the car and is standing on the side of the road, gazing longingly.  What has caught her scattered fancy this time?

Ah.  Just enjoying the view.

sadlynotforsale

It doesn’t properly show in the photo, but the large front yard is a mass of bluehats and something yellow.  It is a lovely house and has a “For Sale” sign.

Sigyn and the human female haven’t stopped exclaiming about the flowers and sniffing the air and mentally clearing out the current house, putting it up for sale, and moving to this one. While they ponder where and how they could come up with the money— and figure out that the sign is for the lot next door and not the house— I will snoop around a bit.

Hmm.  Right next to the human female…

pokeants

Poke, poke, poke.  Hello, my fiery little minions!  When was the last time you had a tasty human to bite?  There is a nice plump one right over here…

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At Last, At Last, At Last…, Part I: Colors!

Today is the day Sigyn has been waiting for all year.  The breeze is warm, the sun is playing hide-and-seek, and the wildflowers are FINALLY putting on their spring show.  The human female has taken us out for a drive to Minty Springs (that place where there is no mint and no springs) south of town, where the flowers really like the sandy soil.

Sigyn, of course, has made an itty-bitty beeline for the bright red paintbuckets.

castilleja

She’d lie back and gaze up at them all day if we’d let her.  But last year’s dry grass is itchy.

The human female says it’s a good year  for the bluehats.  I hate to admit it, but she’s right.  That is a very fine shade of blue.

lupinus

Sigyn is greeting them like old friends.

lupin2

Sigyn, do you usually climb your old friends?

I think all the really bright flowers are out today.  These bibulous, oenophilic cup-shaped ones are a particularly vivid shade of…

callirhoe

…I don’t even know what you call it. I’ve certainly never seen wine that color.

And this flock of little stars can only be described as pinky-purple-fading-to-bluish.

phlox

And each one has a purple eye in the middle.

Sigyn has the right of it:  If you put all of these colors together in a shirt or a painting, folks would call it garish and be repulsed, but out here, it doesn’t look half bad.

But that does give me a good idea for a spell to put on the human female’s wardrobe…

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Again With The No Mint And No Spring

The human female is doing another drive-by, quick-in-and-out visit to Minter Springs—you recall, the typically-stupidly-Midgardian-named place with no mint and no spring.

Oh, wait… I may have spoken too soon.  Sigyn has found something that smells vaguely mintish.  Is it just me, or do the flowers look like hand-puppets?

monarda

Oh, and evidently that is a small one, because she’s found a BIGGER one to climb on.

monarda2

How bizarre—it carries its flowers in pom-poms.  I shall call this… poodle mint.

I wonder what else is here?

Well, this looks familiar. Sigyn gets excited about this plant every time she sees it.  I can’t ever remember the name.  Scarlet pumperknuckle, or something like that.

pimpernel

I think we’ve seen this one before, too.  One does not readily forget such an obnoxious shade of pink.  It’s not a tall plant, but it still towers over my sweetie.

sabatia

Even these tiny doll’s daisies tower over her (if she lies on her back.)

chaetopappa

Isn’t there anything new here?  I’m bored.

Oh.  Well, I suppose this is different.  Little pea flowers.  The human female says this is called “pencil flower” because the beans it makes are long and skinny.

I thought it was because the flowers are the color of number two pencils…

stylosanthes

I’m really not comfortable, sitting here with the sun in my eyes.  However, the human female is being bitten to pieces by mosquitoes every second we are here, so it’s all good.

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