Muhlenbergia capillaris

A Most Blustery Fall Ramble

It is definitely autumn in this part of Midgard now.  It’s about time!   After six months of unrelenting summer, we can all use a break, even if the stupid trees won’t change color until next month, of at all.

The days are alternating mild and sunny with cold and windy.  The local botany nerds have chosen one of the cold and windy ones for their annual training of the new nerds.   The human female is going to lead the field trip, and she is bundled up in so many layers (turtleneck sweater, wool sweater, wood military uniform shirt, puffy coat, hat, gloves) that she resembles nothing so much as a cross between a walking laundry basket and a well-fed tick.  This is all fine with me, as the more layers between the human female and my having to look at her, the better.

I, of course, am immune to cold and have put a protection spell around my beloved so that she is comfortably toasty no matter how the wind blows.

So here we are at the local wilderness park, site of many former adventures.  Sigyn is admiring the fluffy pink muhly grass in front of the visitors’ center.

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I think pink is a stupid color for grasses.

It is much too windy to try to get good photos of plants.

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Hold.  Still. You. Irritating.  Little.  Shrub.   Grr.  Enjoy your blurry St. Andrew’s cross, mortals.

This beautyberry has much lighter fruit than all of its cousins.  More pink!  Since when is pink a fall color?

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It is only in focus because the human female is holding it still.  Huh. I guess she’s good for something after all.

Sigyn has discovered that breezy days make for the best dangling.

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She says this willow oak is better than anything at an amusement park.  Watching her go uuuuup and dooooown, uuuup and doooown is making me a little queasy.  Hold tight, my love!  I would not want you to tumble from your precarious perch!

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Back to the Park! (Sigyn Speaks)

The human female and I were talking the other day, about how it’s been so long since we went out to the park in the woods.  So today we’re going!

We have a little time before the tour group she’s leading shows up.  Come on, Loki, let’s look at the flowers around the Nature Center.  I can see from the parking lot that there are a lot of colorful things blooming!

This is the butterfly garden.

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I really like this fluffy blue stuff.

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I don’t think Loki is as impressed with it as I am.

Wow!  All the pink behind me is a native grass, Pink Muhly.  Isn’t it wonderful?

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The human female planted some in our front flower bed.  Sadly, Loki got to it, and it isn’t nearly this pretty.

Most people think Wooly Croton is a weed,

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but it’s fuzzy, and actually a nice place to sit.

This plant is its relative–an they’re both relatives of Poinsettias!

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If you mentally color some of these leaves bright red, you can see the resemblance.

Now these Pentas are good and red!  They’re not native, so I sort of wish the city hadn’t planted them, but the butterflies do like them.

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And, oh!  I wish you could smell this one!  It’s Mexican marigold and it smells like sweet licorice!

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Even if we don’t find many wildflowers in the woods today, just seeing all of this near the Center has been a real treat!

: )

Hide and Seek in the Garden (Sigyn Speaks)

Every now and then I can get Loki to play a game with me.  Today is a very pretty day, so we are out in the garden playing hide and seek.  It’s my turn to hide.

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The color’s not a bad match, but I feel a little exposed.

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Likewise these teeny oak leaves.  They’re a good match for my favorite outfit, but I still feel really visible.

I could hide under a lyre-leaf sage leaf.  They have pretty burgundy markings.

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But I get distracted by their pretty flowers.

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If I hang about admiring them, Loki is sure to find me!  I could hide in the vetch, but the blue-purple clashes rather dreadfully with my clothes.

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Oh, I know!  I’ll scrunch down here in the wood sorrel.

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Well, phoo.  Loki found me right away!  I bet he’s using magic, which is not exactly fair.  All right, Loki, you hide and I’ll find you.  One, two, three, four, five, six…

He’s not under the boxwood, or hiding in the oak leaf mulch.  Wait. What is that in the ornamental grass the human female planted?

Found you!

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Don’t pout, Loki.  It was a good thought.  Give this a couple of months to fill out, and it’ll be a wonderful hiding place.

: )

A January Afternoon Walk, Part I: It’s Far Too Green

Sigyn and the human female are feeling a little house-bound, so I’ve donned my old clothes so that we can all go for a walk in the woods.  (Or, rather, they’re walking and I’m being dragged.)

Wait–what month is this?  January, correct?  And Midgard hasn’t toppled over to put us in the Southern Hemisphere, has it?  No?  Then why is everything so green?

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It has been a most atypical year, weather-wise.  All of this clover and grass is comfy and good to sit in, but much more appropriate for late February or March!  And can we move on?  The sun is right in my eyes.

Sigyn has found some flowers.  Are they early too?

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Nope.  This is bitterweed.  It is supposed to flower in the fall, but in the past couple of years there have been stragglers blooming all through the winter and random individuals all spring and summer as well.  Hogun’s topknot, it is sunny today!

Ah, shade!  And this yaupon holly looks about right for the time of year.  It stays green all year, and the human female said once that the berries will stay on until the migrating birds in the spring swoop in and gobble them all up.

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You’ll pardon me if I don’t try one.  I know better.

This deciduous holly is a little more blatant in offering up its fruity goodness.  No leaves to get in the way.

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(Augh!  The low sun is right my face again.  Curse these winter afternoons!)

We are also seeing remnants of last autumn’s flora.  This verbena is just hairy enough to have a halo when back-lit.

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And the pink muhly grass still has a little color.

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Whew!  We’ve walked over half the park.  Let’s rest a bit and then continue…

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