We took the camera on walkies today. Forsaking the less weedy residential streets of our daily quest for a slimmer waist and a fatter pocketbook, we concentrated on the lower end of Marginal, where abandoned parking lots and neglected, perfunctory "ornamental" plantings in front of industrial concerns provide the perfect setting for plants -- i.e., weeds -- who like to do their own gardening. Like Goethe's "frozen music," the balletic branching structure of the young Ailanthus (above) as it spirals heavenward is a physical expression of the dynamics of plant growth, as formulated in The Fibonacci Series. Click here for an elegant video explaining The Fibonacci Series.
The bud cluster of a Sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa) had aroused the interest of a foraging ladybug. While we were focussing on her, an unidentified long-legged insect (lower left) made its way into the camera's field of vision, unbeknownst to us until we got the image up on the computer screen in Photoshop back in the studio. Unlike other members of Onagraceae -- the Evening Primrose family -- whose flowers open at twilight, Sundrops open during the day. They bloom all summer and are propagated by nurserymen for home gardens. Image = x 2.5.
Bug's-eye view of a Sundrops bud cluster reveals four-eyed pod people schooling through the ether. Red "eyes" are actually the sepals, which "will peel back and curl downward as the flower spreads out its petals."
Ripe fruits (x 4) of native woody vine Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) suggest miniature Concord Grapes, as might be expected from a fellow member of the Grape family, Vitaceae. 'Wonder what kind of a wine you could make of 'em?
During its first year biennial Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) -- a member of the Figwort (Schrophulariaceae) family -- produces a rosette of thick, velvety basal leaves. With plants like this, who needs teddy bears?
Its time come, the ripened pod (lower left) of a Black Swallowwort vine (Cynanchum nigrum) had burst forth with new life, each seed launched on a puffy parachute of silk. Not surprisingly, the Swallowwort is a member of the Milkweed subfamily, Asclepiadaceae. Classification update: Black or Louis’ Swallow-wort (Cynanchum louisea, previously Vincetoxicum nigrum and Cynanchum nigrum). Some spell it with, some without the hyphen between swallow and wort. AKA Dog-Strangling Vine, it is listed in the "Invasive Plant Atlas of New England."
A close relative of the Funnel Web Spiders in our own backyard had set up housekeeping among a cluster of milkweed pods in the verge along Marginal Street. The doctor was in.
Update: Pajamas Media links.
Update II: TigerHawk links and touches our heart with a sweet and sentimental notion: