Cleaning the Awning — and Wildflowers

Wild Carrots (Queen Anne's Lace) with one flower head birdsnesting (folding up to ripen the seeds)

Wild Carrots (Queen Anne’s Lace) with one flower head birdsnesting (folding up to ripen the seeds)

Underneath a wild carrot flower

Underneath a wild carrot flower

Today Ron and I scrubbed the mildew (all we could get) off the Casita’s awning.  I applied mildew remover, rolled up the awning and let it set for a while, opened the awning, sprayed some more, scrubbed, then hosed it off.  And then did it again.  There are some stains I couldn’t remove entirely.  Maybe I’ll buy the kind of mildew cleaner that foams the next time and see if it will get it all.

I got sidetracked from packing for the trip when I caught a glimpse of wild carrots by the road.  And then I took off on rabbit trails chasing more photos.  I’ll get back to the packing this evening. 🙂

Closeup of the birdsnest.  It will eventually be bullet shaped.

Closeup of the birdsnest. It will eventually be bullet shaped.

Another shot

Another shot

Baby bracken leaves

Baby bracken leaves

Baby white oak leaves (I think)

Baby white oak leaves (I think)

This is the first time I have seen this type of gall on dandelion leaves.  I think it's caused by a midge or a mite.

This is the first time I have seen this type of gall on dandelion leaves. I think it’s caused by a midge or a mite.

I adore dandelion flowers!

I adore dandelion flowers!

Aren't they gorgeous?  :)

Aren’t they gorgeous? 🙂

Greenbrier shoot

Greenbrier shoot

We've had lots of rain lately.

We’ve had lots of rain lately.

New rose leaves

New rose leaves

New rosebud

New rosebud

Oxeye daisies

Oxeye daisies

This tiny little pipsissewa plant only had one flower

This tiny little pipsissewa plant only had one flower

I'm sad to see these poisonous mushrooms sprouting up around the yard

I’m sad to see these poisonous mushrooms sprouting up around the yard

Yellow clover

Yellow clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Country Road & Beaver Dam

Down my rural lane

My country road

Late yesterday afternoon Ron and I took a walk to check out the beaver pond about 3/4 mile from our house.

Wild carrots grow all along the road.  They fascinate me.  Such intricate clustered white flowers — each one with one tiny purple flower in the very center.  I used to enjoy dipping the flowers in batter and frying them for an unusual treat.  But since I’m trying to eat wiser, I just admired the flowers this time.

wild carrot flower

Wild carrot flower

But even more interesting than the flowers is the birds-nest form the flowers take on as they go to seed.  At first, it looks just like a cupped birds nest, but they progress into a completely closed cage-like formation.

Funny…. when I was younger I thought studying plants was the most boring thing on earth.  Now I find it endlessly fascinating.

The wild daylilies blooming season is past.  I found one single flower remaining.  The rest of them look like straggly bunches of grass now.  I used to thoroughly enjoy fully exploiting the edible parts… corms, shoots and flowers.  But it has been so hot this year, I haven’t had much desire to go digging in the dusty clay or bushwhacking through tall weeds to get to them.

wild carrot flower birds nest

Wild carrot birdsnest fully closed

I think, too, once you have learned a plant and its uses, that simply taking photographs can be as rewarding as eating them.

When we got to the beaver pond, we were disappointed and saddened.  The water is WAY down.  And it looks like someone sabotaged the dam.  There were large rocks on top of it that someone must have put there.  And the dam had fallen into disrepair.  I am afraid that something happened to the beavers.

beaver dam

Due to the low water level, grasses and weeds are growing, and the dam appears to be abandoned and in disrepair.

We did get a good bit of rain last night, so the water level might be up a little.  I’ll check the dam again soon and see if it has been repaired.

On our way down to the pond, one of the neighbors’ aggressive dogs ran out and accosted us.   I am not usually afraid of dogs, but this time I was really frightened.  One of the owners’ kids came out, gathered up the dogs, and assured me, “They won’t bite you.”  Yeah, right.

They are supposed to be fenced or chained, but no one enforces the laws out here.  On our way back, again the dogs came out at us, but the kids rounded them up again.

daylily flower

The one remaining daylily bloom

I used to enjoy taking long walks, but I am feeling less and less safe.  The only place I really enjoy walking anymore are the trails when we go camping.  It’s so sad, because I do live in a beautiful area with so much to take in on long, leisurely walks.

Whew!  This post is getting long!  I’ll quit talking now and just share some of the photos I took.

[Note 8/8/2010:  The beaver dam is in complete disrepair.  Apparently someone killed the beavers.]

erosion and tree roots

This eroded tree root by the side of the road looks like something out of "The Hobbit"

groundnuts

Groundnuts plant

wild quinine

Wild quinine

wild carrots by beaver pond

Wild carrots by the beaver pond

red clover

Red clover looking a little heat stressed

buttonbush

Not a great picture, but I included it because it is the first time I have seen buttonbush flowers growing here.