Freedom to bind…


This is a member of the lovely vining Morning Glory family, opening its blossoms as the morning light highlights its beauty. However, this species is one of those non-native, Eurasian varieties that is a dreaded invasive visitor in American gardens. Known as Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) I enjoyed taking its portrait during a morning bike ride along a Lake Michigan pathway in Lincoln Park, far from any cultivated gardens. They appeared a fair distance from a prairie restoration area and were isolated from the golf course by a stone wall making their appearance more tolerable to the native purist. This Bind Weed did emulate its name wrapping around other vegetation proliferating this informal, unplanned area of horticulture.

Portrait of an invader (pretty but unfriendly). Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Catching the sunlight. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Busy morning on the Bind Weed Morning Glory. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Enjoy from a distance…


Emerging Musk Thistle (Carduus Nutans) found along the Grant’s Trail in St. Louis during a morning walk. Beautiful, but untouchable for all its bristles.

Musk Thistle bloom with bud in background. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Opening Musk Thistle flower. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

For more details see: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/ipm1015

A wild lion…


Macro view of the lovely Dandelion. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Dandelion in the lawn. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Now, back to nature. Here’s a couple of images of the “lions” that roam freely (and aggressively) in our lawns. The Dandelion (Taraxacum), as a flower, is pretty; take a close look.

Nature’s foreshadowing…


Natural bouquet of Frost Aster. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

This native perennial is aptly named, Frost Aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum). It is one of the last blooming perennials in Chicago-land, ending only when a hard frost sets the stage for winter’s dormancy. The abundance of blooms is magnified by the circumstance that the plant is a rhizome, existing as spreading gatherings of the parent plant. The previous post showed the Frost Aster along the lakefront path in Lincoln Park. Those colonies lived on the side of the wall opposite of Lake Michigan, preferring the dryer environment of a gravel path.

Attention is focused as the sun momentarily spot lights this bouquet. I centered the composition, to emphasize the natural vignette around this vibrant cluster.

May frost come later than sooner.

For more information on Frost Aster: http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/fr_aster.htm

Transitory vision…


Catalpa leaf near Common Clover. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

A fallen autumn-gold Catalpa leaf is a momentary backdrop for a Common Clover’s shadow. As the morning sun continues its passage through the sky this profile will shortly be a recollection.

Soon the ground will be covered with the colors of fallen autumn leaves, blanketing clover and grass. Gradually the leaves will transform into mulch for next spring’s reawakening of Lincoln Park’s greens.

In the meantime…


Sharing a pretty “weed”, the common White Clover (Trifolium repens). Pretty in the park lawn as well as in chain links as necklaces.

Macro look at White Clover, copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

More familiar view of White Clover, copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Stirred memories…


Butter and Eggs “weed” Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg


“Butter and Eggs” was the label given to this small pretty flower by a naturalist educating me on which plants in a field were native and which were weed. Butter and Egg was considered a weed; but the name stuck with me and held my curiosity. This particular cluster was alongside an abandoned railroad track. Disturbed land is a common habitat for this species also known as Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris).

I prefer the nickname Butter and Egg as it reminds me of my grandmother’s scrambled eggs with butter. She was generous with butter and only partly scrambled the yolks with the egg whites, resulting in several shades of yellow in the final dish. I can only wonder what the founder of this plant was thinking when they chose the name for this plant.

Typical of many Eurasian weeds in the United States there are many common names in addition to Butter and Eggs associated with it according to Wikipedia.org:

  • “Linaria acutiloba Fisch. ex Rchb. is a synonym.[4] Because this plant grows as a weed, it has acquired a large number of local colloquial names, including brideweed, bridewort, butter and eggs (but see Lotus corniculatus), butter haycocks, bread and butter, bunny haycocks, bunny mouths, calf’s snout, Continental weed, dead men’s bones, devil’s flax, devil’s flower, doggies, dragon bushes, eggs and bacon (but see Lotus corniculatus), eggs and butter, false flax, flaxweed, fluellen (but see Kickxia), gallweed, gallwort, impudent lawyer, Jacob’s ladder (but see Polemonium), lion’s mouth, monkey flower (but see Mimulus), North American ramsted, rabbit flower, rancid, ransted, snapdragon (but see Antirrhinum), wild flax, wild snapdragon, wild tobacco (but see Nicotiana), yellow rod, yellow toadflax.[7]