Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spring is stirring!

Yes indeed, Spring is stirring. The crocuses and daffodils and other narcissi have been up for a while, but now other stuff is starting to appear. That on the left there is called Mountain Sandwort. They're tiny little flowers, probably not even 1/16th of an inch, just a little white dot to the naked eye. I took this with a 250D macro lens. Right now the "greenery" of the plant appears red, but as the plants mature they'll turn green. They grow in the dirt that accumulates in cracks and deep depressions in rock. This one is growing in the rock on the overlook in Ballard Park where I like to sit and meditate and keep an eye out for hawks and turkey vultures. The picture to the right is a different, wider crop from the same master picture that served as the source for the shot on the left. You can get a better idea of the red of the stems and leaves, and you can see an unopened bloom in the background.

This to the left is a single bloom on a Ground Ivy plant. This one was part of a big patch growing on the dike around the Big Pond (officially named Easton's Pond for those of you inclined to look at a map of Newport, RI). It's in the Mint family (but don't eat the leaves!), and it usually grows in grassy, lawn-like areas, usually in the woods somewhere. This one was right out in the open, and though I'm told it does happen, it surprised me because I'm used to finding them among the grass next to streams way back in the trees. The first time I recall stumbling across Ground Ivy was in the grass around and in a small, walled, and very hidden graveyard down in Maryland; it was along the hiking trail that travels down the west side of Loch Raven Reservoir, about a mile and a half north of where the trail crosses Dulaney Valley Rd. It was a hot day and it felt great to be under the trees, and of course my fascination with graveyards also drew me. But I remember those little purple flowers growing in the grass. By the way, that shot on the right is from the next plant over from the first one; I wanted to get that shot of two blooms. Don't they look like two Barracudas poking their heads out of a reef?

No picture of the day this time - you got four of 'em!


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