yaupon

A Walk a Long Time Coming, Part I: Actual Real Live Nature

The human female’s stupid bum foot (not to mention her super-lazy bum) have conspired to keep her largely out of the woods and byways in the last year.  Today, however, she has traded her air-cast for a lace-up brace and jammed her pitiful trotters into her hiking boots.  The local chapter of Texas Master Nature Nerds has asked her to lead a field trip in her beloved Lick Creek Park, and she daren’t miss that.

We’ve had the first real cold front of the season and it’s a crisp, sunny morning.  Here and there, there are a few trees that have made a half-hearted attempt at fall color.

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A few have even been successful.

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Unfortunately, we are sitting in a cedar elm, and the leaves are scratchy as heck.

Sigyn, true to form, has found a holly to sit in.  Whatever she sits in, she seems to like hollies best.  The leaves are definitely smoother.

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Fruit’s not quite ripe yet, but that’s all right.  We’re not planning on eating it.

The fruit on this one is edible, but it’s a summer thing, so there isn’t any now.

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The human says it’s called gum bumelia or woolly-bucket.  Sigyn likes it because the leaves are fuzzy underneath.  Careful, dearest!  Fuzzy is not always friendly, and this one sometimes has thorns that can extremely poke-y.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… The human female has been walking and talking for THREE HOURS NOW.  Isn’t there any way to make her shut up?  Great Frigga’s corset!  Now she’s pointing and squealing.  What on earth could be worth such a fuss?

Ah.  That explains it.  Sigyn, get someone to boost you up—we’ll want to get a photo of you with this one.

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Nodding ladies’ tresses, a dainty little terrestrial orchid that comes up in the woods in the fall.  It has a close cousin that is even rarer, and it’s out here too, but we haven’t found any today.

Still, it’s been good to get out of the house, hasn’t it?  The human female is sure to be stiff and balky tomorrow, but we could leave her home and come out again by ourselves.

Yes? It’s a date!

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A Fall Field Trip, Part II: Can We Actually Look at Some Plants?

Yes, that’s me asking that. Circle the day on the calendar–Loki is asking to look at plants!  I’m hoping that if we can look at some plants the human female will stop whingeing about signs and gates and asphalt and nature centers.

Look! There’s a plant over there.  Let’s go see. Do you know?  I seem to remember hanging about in this one before. 

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Sigyn seems to be just as happy upside down as well as right-side up.  I think the fun of  the pinky-purple berries just goes to her head.  (All the blood certainly does.)

Oh, but look at this one!

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Great Laufey’s ghost!  White berries!  Looks like Mother Nature didn’t read the washing instructions on this one.  She’s no better at sorting the laundry than I am!

Ehehehehe!  The human female is having an argument with one of the field trippers.  She says the fruit on these plants isn’t edible. He says it is. He has been saying that about every plant we’ve seen.  We can settle this. You’re a scientist, woman–I think you should eat a handful and test your hypothesis.  If you end up puking in the underbrush, you will be vindicated!

Sigyn’s eye has been caught by another bush in fruit.  Wait–is that a holly?

yellowyaupon

Sigyn just adores hollies, mostly because they have bright red fruit.  This one seems not to have got the message.  But since it’s Sigyn’s second most favorite color, it suits her just fine.

Even the human female is smiling.

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