Posts Tagged 'plants'

Skunk Cabbage Again

Symplocarpus foetidusThe spathes of Symplocarpus foetidus surround a spadix, which produces first female and then male flowers.Symplocarpus foetidusI’m afraid a fence keeps me from getting closer, but a portion of a grenade-like spadix can be seen here. It’s this that produces the heat, through rapid respiration (burning carbohydrates via oxidation), that give this plant its early spring, snow-defeating power.Symplocarpus foetidusOnce the colorful spathes, which help to insulate the spadix, begin to wither, the cabbagey leaves of the plant begin to uncurl.

Skunk Heaven

Symplocarpus foetidusHear ye, hear ye! The Skunk Cabbage is up at the Native Flora Garden at Ye Brooklyn Wedding Venue! Symplocarpus foetidusSymplocarpus foetidus favors wetlands, as this plant demonstrates from mid-gurgle of the stream.Symplocarpus foetidusOf course, this earliest of spring plants was up already down south weeks ago, but Brooklyn is where I am, so I celebrate it’s emergence here. The colors! The freaky strategy of creating its own snow-melting warmth! The fleshy forms in the chill murky rot of old leaves!Symplocarpus foetidusThe wheels of nature go ’round and ’round. That’s why some of us like it here on Earth (others, tragically, impose their death-driven desire to destroy and devour upon us). Also, I’ve written about Skunk Cabbage before, so there’s no sense in repeating myself.

Signs and Meanings

SalixHamamelisEranthis hyemalisSturnus vulgaris“‘You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.'” ~ A.C. Doyle.

Common Reed

Phragmites australisIt’s certainly photogenic, if nothing else. You don’t find much life in a patch of Phragmites, although Downy Woodpeckers and, as here, a Black-capped Chickadee in winter extremis, peck and poke among the dry stalks for evidence of invertebrates.Poecile atricapillus

Winter Milkweed

Asclepias syriaca

Pods and Seeds

Asclepias tuberosaButterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa).Asclepias incarnataSwamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).Asclepias syriacaCommon Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).Asclepias syriacaThe seeds of the above.Asclepias syriacaAnother Common, with Milkweed aphids (Aphis nerii) and Variegated Ladybugs (Hippodamia variegata).

Pollen Bumble Rumble

bombusFlying between these absurdly large flowers of hybrid rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), this bumblebee was practically glowing yellow from all the pollen.bombusBut note how the wings remain mostly clean. Bees are hairy, the hairs statically charged to help pollen stick to them. Of course, you wouldn’t want your wings to be laden with pollen or anything else when you fly.


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