sherardia arvensis

Flowers For My Birthday

As I noted yesterday.  It was my birthday a few days ago.  I’m now in the Post-Birthday Slump. Sigh.  Another year older and no closer to ruling Midgard.  The human female’s nasty acetone threat was hurtful too.  I am in desperate need of cheering up.

And since a happy Sigyn never fails to make me smile, we are doing what my beloved likes best, walking and looking for flowers.  No place fancy, just around the block between chilly showers.  It’s not too early for winter annuals.

See?  There’s the smile I needed!  Sherardia is an old friend.

sherardia

And the burr clover is in bloom too.  What fun!

medicago

Of course, it’ll be more fun when it gets around to making burrs.  Watching the human female pick them out of her shoelaces and socks is one of my favorite spring traditions.

Sigyn has found one she really likes.  It’s called “cowboy satchel”—or something like that.

capsella

Tiny, delicate white flowers, heart-shaped fruit, sturdy enough to climb—What’s not to love?

From her high perch, she has a good, close-up look at the fuzzy purple henbit blossoms.

lamium1

I will admit to liking this one as well.  Purple is a most fitting color for royalty, they say.

lamium2

As well, the flowers look like little sock puppets, all proclaiming, “Hail, Loki!  Ruler-to-be of all Midgard!”

And, since I have magic at my disposal, I can actually make them do it.

What have you found now, my love?

dandelion

“It’s a dandelion!  You can make wishes on them!”

Really?  How quaint!  And what are you going to wish for?

“That you have a wonderful year ahead!”

I tell you, mortals, this woman is too good for me.

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Flowers, Fords, and Flights, Part I: The Flowers

If humans who like hot food are chili-heads and those who like cars are gear-heads, then the human male, the female, and their friend are AIR-HEADS.  Ehehehehe.   It’s funny because it’s true.

They’ve heard through the grapevine that there is a unique aircraft due to be at the local private airstrip today and tomorrow.  They want to drop everything and go ogle.  I want to go and laugh.  Midgardian technology is sooooo primitive and backward.

Sigyn wants to go because the sun is out and it’s spring and there might be flowers around the airstrip.

So here we are.  There is an assortment of small planes, but I gather that none of these is what we came to see.

airfield1

Can you see better from up there, Sigyn?

I suppose we can look around for your flowers while we wait.  They’ve mowed, but a lot of the early flowers are very short, so you might be in luck.  We’ll just have to crouch right down in the grass.

Found something already? Good eyes!  That is one tiny flower.  Even though it is bright lilac, it would be easy to overlook it.

sherardia

You found some even smaller, pale ones.  Do you like those better?

bluets

Sigyn, come look at this one! Stripes!

IMG_5757

Oh.  When the human female said, “Spring Beauty,” I thought she was talking about you.  So that’s what it’s called?

Sigyn seems to be focussd in on pink today.  This little wild geranium looks nothing like the houseplant kind.

geranium

Uh, oh. The lawnmower has done a number on this one.  The human female says it’s supposed to be a foot tall, with heart-shaped fruit.

shepherdspurse

Though why that means it’s called “Shepherd’s purse” is beyond me.

You’ve got something else over here?  I don’t see anyth— Oh.  There it is.  By Idunn’s Itty Bitty Green Apples, that is a small flower.

veronica

Nice shade of blue, though.  The human female says it’s called “speedwell.”

More speedwell over here.  Sigyn is in love.

veronicamedicago

Maybe we should rub some on that plane, because it is taking FOREVER to get here.

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A Most Delightfully Insidious Plant

Most of the time, when I accompany Sigyn and the human female on their little botanical forays, I’m just there to make sure that nothing happens to my beloved and to enjoy her delight in all things chlorophyllous and/or floriferous.  If it makes her happy, I will traipse among the posies on a daily basis.  But for myself–meh.

Occasionally, however, I find a plant after my own heart.  Take today, for instance.  A close inspection of the “lawn” outside the big metal building where the human female spends a lot of her time has revealed some tiny treasures blooming in the blue to violet end of the spectrum.

orobanche1

The human female says that there are Sherardia behind me, Veronica just beneath Gungnir’s tip, and Orobanche ramosa to Sigyn’s right.  Those first two are so puny they’re hardly worth my notice, but the Orobanche is intriguing.  Sigyn, can we see if there’s one blooming in the shade, please?  (I do worry about your fair complexion.)

orobanche2

That’s much better.  These flowers are quite interesting–purple and fuzzy and looking like little angiospermous hand puppets.  What’s that, Sigyn?  Good gracious–you’re right.  The plant has no leaves!  No green parts at all.  I wonder why that is?

Ah.  Now the human female has hauled out her portable soapbox and is going on (and on, and on) about this pretty little thing.  Oh, ho ho!  It is a most marvelous, malicious member of the Orobanchaceae, a family consisting of parasitic plants!  This demure-but-pernicious species parasitizes a wide range of host plants.  Amazing! That would explain why the surrounding plants look a mite peaked.  Apparently, it is a worldwide problem, causing millions of dollars of crop losses in parts of Midgard.  Its seeds are like dust, tiny and capable of clinging to animals, shoes, machinery, and vehicles. And they can lie dormant in the soil for decades.  Best part?  Herbicide doesn’t kill them!  If the plant is mature enough to flower, it has enough stored, stolen food to flower and set seed even if its host is killed.  It was inadvertently brought to this part of the realm in 1997 and has encroached upon dozens and dozens of counties, with no hope of eradication.

orobanche 3

Sigyn is horrified, but I can see all sorts of uses for this.  First, I gather bushels of seeds.  Next, I make sure that every beet field on Midgard gets inoculated.  Then it’s the human female’s garden.  Then I hold the rest of the planet hostage.  Submit, or be sprinkled!

I take back every unkind syllable I have ever uttered about “boring plants.”  This little purple miracle may be the key to conquest!

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