nature

Pretty…Pretty…Also Pretty (But Sigyn is Prettiest)

This is the time of year when the yard yields many wonders.  It is also not too warm yet, so come, Sigyn, let us explore!  (Read:  Let us sneak out of the house before the human female asks us to do chores.  Her being home all day is getting to be quite annoying.)

Well, will you look at that!

sweet william

The sweet william that the human female planted last year has made a reappearance.  What a ghastly color!

Ah, this one is not quite so garish.  Lyre leaf sage can have flowers in any shade from white to true purple. There’s a lot of it about.  This is the nicest one.

yard sage

They do say that purple is the color for Midgardian royalty.  Pffft!  What’s wrong with green and gold and black, I ask you?

Ah.  The grape hyacinth is back, too.

yard-muscari

It may say it’s grape, Sigyn, but do not trust it!  I licked it one year, and it definitely does not taste grape.  Bleargh.

You might have better luck tasting these wild onions.

yard onions

The human female planted a few bulbs one year and now there are dozens.  It’s how you know it’s spring.

And here’s the other way you know…

yard pink

The pinkening of the lawn has begun…

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In Which Sigyn and I Escape

Sigyn and I have realized that WE don’t need to be cooped up with the human female, so we are having a stroll around the yard to see if Spring has wrought any changes.

The toothache tree has shiny new leaves and some tiny flower buds.

springyard1

It’s very prickly, though, so one must dangle carefully.

The oxalis by the compost heap has been blooming for a while.

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Speaking of compost heap, it looks like the All Hallows pumpkin started caving in and has been relegated to a place of ignominy.

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You can look, Sigyn, but don’t touch.  It is six kinds of scary in there.

What Sigyn likes to call the “cupcake bush” is showing a few blossoms.

springyard4

If you stand there, though, my sweet, the hummingbirds may not come.

The mint is back with a vengeance.  As a botanist, the human female should have known better than to plant it.  It has quite taken over the side yard.

springyard7

Now the whole neighborhood smells like chewing gum every time she mows.

The tropical milkweed has started flowering in earnest.  It’s Sigyn’s favorite because of its coloring.

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It is drawing some monarch butterflies and—Great Frigga’s hairpins, Sigyn!  DON’T MOVE!!  There is something long-legged and beaky on the wall behind you and I don’t know what it is!

Phew!  That was close.  I rescued Sigyn and sent her back inside to make sure the human female is actually working.

I am checking out the irises.  They usually bloom the first week in April.

springyard6

Look, you stupid things, I know it’s been too warm recently, but try to stick with the program, all right?

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A Rather Smelly Dangle

Five or so years ago, the human female dragged Sigyn and me all over campus, showing us the all of the flowering trees and shrubs.  Sigyn and I did not exactly agree about the merits of the various floral entities.  Take this one, for example:

febcampus1

First of all, it has a stupid name.  It doesn’t grow only in Texas, we are nowhere near the mountains, it is not a laurel—or even a mountain laurel.

The second part of its slanty name, “secundiflora” is supposed to indicate flowers that are all on one side of the branch.

febcampus2

Even before Sigyn started climbing around in this flower cluster, it certainly wasn’t one-sided.

And then there’s the smell.  Sigyn thinks it’s “heavenly.”  Five years ago, I thought it smelled like fake grape Kool-aid.

febcampus3

Now I think it smells like spoiled fake grape Kool-aid.  Bleargh.

It’s blooming a month or so early, too, so it could get started ruining my spring sooner.

Enjoy your rancid air-freshener, Sigyn, I’m going to go see what else is in flower.  Unless the campus has started planting skunk cabbage, I’m sure I can find something.

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I Don’t Care What the Calendar Says! (Sigyn Speaks)

I don’t care what the calendar says.  We may be a month and more from the first day of spring, but I went out in the yard today and flowers are happening!  I’m so excited!  I just love looking for the first few blossoms, don’t you?

There is a lot of this vetch in the front lawn.

spring yard4

Most people would think it’s a weed, but I think it’s lovely.  The flowers start out in two shades of red purple, but they fade to blue-purple–and then they make teeny little bean pods that are so cute!  I like how it wraps around other plants–sort of like it’s giving them a great, bit hug.

The jonquils are blooming too.  I climbed up to smell them (their fragrance is really strong!) . . .

spring yard1

…and the whole flower cluster swayed to the ground.  Hee hee hee!  I guess I ate a few too many cookies over the holidays!

The patch of snowdrops under the bedroom window is blooming right on schedule!

spring yard2

This is a southern sort of snowdrop that doesn’t need a very cold winter.  The other kind, the one with the three hangy-downy petals, doesn’t do well here, more’s the pity.

spring yard3

But ours still make wonderful hats!

: )

 

A Brief Winter Walk

It’s been foggy a lot in this part of Midgard lately. The humans have ventured out on a rare sunny day to see what’s going on in the local woods.

By Idunn’s little apples!  There is a ubiquitous abundance of holly berries this year!

hollydangle

¡ǝlƃuɐp pooƃ ɐ ɹoɟ ʇods ʇɔǝɟɹǝd puɐ ʎɐp ʇɔǝɟɹǝd ɐ s,ʇᴉ ʇɐɥʇ sʞuᴉɥʇ uʎƃᴉS

It’s not just hollies that can be dangled in.

heterothecadangle

Camphorweed does just as well.  Sigyn is beyond excited–we’ve been here scarcely a quarter of an hour and she’s had the chance to dangle in plants with both her favorite colors!

(poke, poke, poke.)  Not all plants are large enough to climb in, though.  This one is growing right in the middle of the trail, and it’s very, very teeny.

tinyplant

Sigyn has fallen in love with it.   Don’t hug it, Sweetie.  The human female says it can have spiny fruit.

Oooo!   We have found A Mysterious Hole in this creek bank!

a hole

I wouldn’t go in, if I were you…  But, human female–you feel free to stick a finger in and tell us if there’s a snake or sharp-toothed rodent or something in there, all right?

We’ve been walking and poking at things for a while now.  Time for a rest.

mysleepnumberis moss

My sleep number is “moss.”

Clever Sigyn has found a different moss.

moremoss

Sigyn doesn’t know if this one’s a moss or a liverwort.

liverwort

All this green stuff looks alike to me.  Possibly one of the human female’s plant-nerd friends could sort them out, but I really don’t care.

We’re headed to the Sedge Meadow.  I like the Sedge Meadow.  It’s all green and dapply.

pathview

Sweet Glittering Bifrost!  What’s this?

trail closed

I had heard the City was Doing Something, but I wasn’t sure what…

But, since I’m a god, barricades and notices don’t apply to me.  Come along, Sigyn.  Leave the puny mortals here obeying all the signs like good little sheep and let’s you and I keep going.

Have fun staring at the signage!  We’re going to go pet sedges.

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What Sigyn Did With All the Colored Leaves

Sigyn came home from our walk yesterday with a double armful of colored leaves.  She and the human female have shut themselves up in the craft room and are Doing Something with them.   I’ve been instructed not to look until it’s all finished, and I can hear the occasional giggle from behind the closed door.

I’m patient.  I can wait.

It’s finished? I can look now?

loki sigyn collage

Sigyn!  That is really beautiful!

What happens if we turn the lightbox on?

collage2

Really, really lovely.  In this season of giving thanks, I am SO thankful for you, my dear.

And now let’s have some leftover pie!

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A Very Colorful Fall Walk

The recent local weather (hot cold hot cold rainy sunny cold hot again), while making wardrobe deliberations a maddening ordeal with at best a 50-50 percent chance of success, have had an unexpected effect.  The local flora, famous for not giving a fig for seasonal expectations and remaining green until January, has decided, for once, to oblige Sigyn’s longing for a colored autumn.

We have therefore embarked upon a tour of the yard, the surrounding neighborhood, and the park at the end of the street, in order to take in all the offerings on this bright and sunny afternoon.

crapemyrtle

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cedar elm

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pecan

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woolly bucket or gum bumelia (both ludicrous names)

fallcolor4

upland swamp privet (an oxymoron if I ever heard one)

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yaupon holly

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post oak

fallcolor7

aster

fallcolor7-aster

winged elm

fall-color8-elm

farkleberry

fall-color-9-vaccinium

bitterweed

fall-color10-helenium

more asters

fall color-aster2

more yaupon

fallcolor11-holly

ditto (can you tell Sigyn really likes holly?)

fall-color12-holly

greenbriar

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a whole galaxy of asters  (Time for a little rest.  Dangling is hard work)

fall-color-14-aster

white mulberry

fall-color-mulberry

miniature dragon

fall-walk-lizard

poison ivy  (Go on, human female, pat the pretty plant!)

fall-color-poison-ivy

more mulberry

fall-color-mulberry2

copperleaf (Aptly named, I’d say.)

fall-color-acalypha

More elmage

fall-color-elm2

honey locust

fall-color-honeylocust

bald cypress

fall-color-bald-cypress

yet more elms

fall-color-more elm

many shot of a truly splendid farkleberry

fall-color-vacciniumfall color-vaccinium2fall-color-more vaccinium

blackjack oak

fall-blackjack oakfall-color blackjack oak2fall-color-blackjack3

They say some medieval craftsman invented stained glass.  I’m not so sure.

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