Posts Tagged ‘wind’

Deserves Respect

The ground crunched under foot in the backyard. The sun shone through very few clouds. The 9 a.m. temperature sat at 27, and the northwest wind blew at 20mph, gusting to 29, making a wind chill of 15.

I walked right up to this dandelion, in full bloom, showing no signs of even knowing it was cold.

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  I know many people consider dandelions to be a weed. Not me. They’re one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring and last in the fall. Butterflies and other insects visit them. Kids of all ages like to blow the seeds from their ball-shaped seedhead.

The flower sure had my respect, and my appreciation for the beauty it added to my day.

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A Tree Friend

I have several tree friends. Most I haven’t seen for years because I don’t hike to where they are any more. One tree friend is just down the highway from where I live.

Meet Sir Octopus.

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Sir Octopus swims in the wind, the same as an octopus swims in the water.

In the winter we swim through a sky-blue sea.

When we swim in the summer, its green leaves become seaweed. Birds and butterflies become fish. A lizard becomes a seahorse. A flower garden becomes a coral reef below us. Rocks become clams and oysters. A garter snake becomes an eel, and beetles become shrimp.

We dive to the bottom to look for sunken pirate ships. We swim with the whales, play with the otters and hide from the sharks.

Sometimes I close my eyes and feel the tides of wind move Sir Octopus around.

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Sir Octopus is a catalpa. Its shape resulted from trimming over the years to accomodate power lines above it.

No Wonder …

No wonder goldenrods are so prolific. Look at all those seeds!

An inch-and-a-half inflorescence had 21 seedheads. The one above is longer than the one I dissected. Each seedhead had 15 or so seeds! The beige seeds were tinier than tiny. The word miniscule came to mind.

This picture shows the stalks of 2 goldenrod plants. I can’t even imagine how many seeds would be on these 2 plants. Wind will disperse them.

A Wind Indicator

A strong wind blew all day yesterday. Strong storms with winds up to 50 mph or so went through last night, and the wind still blew all day today.

Buffy and I headed for Stone Face for a short walk. The rain wasn’t enough to put a healthy flow in the small creek.

Reflections on a pool were indicators of the wind’s strength.

The Accused and the Culprit

Hayfever season affects so many people. The sneezing, watery eyes begin, and all the sufferers see is the profilic bloomer goldenrod. It gets accused for all their suffering. They never notice the actual culprit, the ragweed (Ambrosia sp).

Do you see the ragweed in this picture taken in my backyard?

I rest my case.

Average height of most ragweeds is 6 feet or so. Giant ragweed can reach 17 feet tall! Peterson’s Field Guide to Wildflower shows 31 species. Illinois has 5 species.

Goldenrods (Solidago sp.) grow to 5 feet tall, with Illinois having 25 species.

This picture shows the male ragweed flowers beginning to bloom,

and this one shows them from the underneath side. Ragweed is pollinated by the wind. Insects pollinate the goldenrods.  (The flowers in this picture haven’t started blooming like in the picture above.)

Female flowers are practically hidden in the leaf axils. If you look closely, you can see yellow stamens.

These flowers were pollinated, and the seeds are developing.

Wonder if this holds one or more seeds?

Obviously, goldenrod is attractive to insects and not the cause of hayfever.

What Long Legs You Have!

Buffy and I walked along a food plot where a lot of milkweeds bloomed earlier this summer. A few seedpods were opening, and the seeds waiting for the wind to carry them away.

The seedpod had long legs that could only belong a daddy longlegs. Its body sure resembled the seeds. What would one be doing under a “pile of fluff?”

I didn’t see the 2 tiny red bugs until I put the picture in the computer. So, obviously, it knew what is was doing.