Lovely Goldenrod Gets a Bad Rap

Of all the wildflowers of fall, goldenrod gets my vote as one of the loveliest. After all it was chosen as the brand symbol for Goldenrod tablets. (As the writer in the linked post notes, it’s difficult to find information on these tablets used by many children throughout the twentieth-century. – I learned of them from my parents, and I have seen one personally.)

In later years, when, for whatever reason, allergies became an epidemic, sufferers steered clear of goldenrod, considering it a trigger for symptoms.

Modern day research proved ragweed, a plant that blooms during the same season as goldenrod was the real culprit.

Here’s a guide for telling them apart from Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.

Sprays of Late Season Wild Plants Create Interest

This oddly splayed whorl of foliage caught my attention on a recent walk.

I didn’t look up the species’ ID, but the clump of plants, waning as autumn overtakes the fields, provided a moment of inspiration.

Signs of Change – Cirrus and Browning Cornstalks

Invited or not, autumn is on its way. Cornstalks are drying up and leaves will be doing so soon. Cirrus in the sky signal coming weather changes.

picture of open field, drying cornstalks, trees, grass
There is nothing like a walk in an open field in autumn. Changes will come soon, but for now we savor each fair day.

A Truly Memorable Rainbow Offers an Encore Performance

When parked in the lot of a favorite supermarket one day last week, typing, as usual, in my car, a man approached my window, gesturing toward the sky.

If not for the thoughtful stranger, I would have missed the most memorable rainbow I have ever witnessed. The full bow stretched high across the sky, every color visible in detail. A bright rosy glow appeared for a time in the center of the arch. I’ve never seen that effect before.

Two days later, as I drove up the lane that leads to lot, at precisely the same time as the rainbow had appeared, I noted that the atmospheric conditions seemed oddly similar to those on that evening when the rainbow filled the sky with wonder.

Sure enough, when I turned my gaze toward the east, there was the base of a rainbow as vivid as the one that was there the other day. What are the chances? I wondered. The spot where the twin phenoenon touched the ground appeared to be identical. Perhaps I should locate the business that sells lottery tickets situated closest to that point.

I didn’t get my camera out in time, but this partial bow was just as vivid as the complete one that appeared at the same location two days previously!

What Weed is This?

Taken a few weeks previously, this weed is thriving. But what could it be? It appears to bear thistle blossoms or a type of bur, yet the leaves resemble honeysuckle.

Perhaps I didn’t peer closely enough on my walk that day. My field guides so far have failed to provide identification.

White Snakeroot Frosts the Early Fall Forest Border

This foamy flower is everywhere in the forest border this time of year. I have been familiar with it for a long time, but just learned, via this post by Brooklyn Botanic Garden that it was the culprit which caused “milk fever”, an ailment I had vaguely heard of and rather thought was caused by poison hemlock or some such plant.

It seems that if cows consume the various parts of this plant, humans can become ill from drinking their milk.

I understand from the information in the post that for some time after a Shawnee medicine woman revealed the cause of milk fever to a country doctor, people scoffed at the idea. Does this sound just a bit familiar to our pandemic situation today, in 2020?

Anyway, the story goes on to say that these days, milk from many dairy herds is combined when the drink is packaged for sale. Thus, if one herd of cows partook of snake root, the toxin will be sufficiently diluted so as not to cause harm. Interesting. Much easier than eradicating this prolific weed from every pasture.

I’ve never considered taking a bite of this plant, or feeding it to a bovine friend. I simply feast my eyes upon its blossoms – the ones that decorate the field behind our house and the border of the pond down the road.

An Unidentifed Vine Reaches for the Sky, Clinging Only to Thin Air

I don’t believe I published this photo, taken a month or two ago. I was so intrigued by this vine’s ability to hold itself up without support, I had to record the sight.

For some reason, the photo system doesn’t show the vine properly when flipped over to vertical view. It really is clinging, seemingly, to thin air.

My New Office if Only Warm Weather Would Last

This is my favorite spot to read, write or just relax. The lovely silver maple provides a perfet canopy, the warm sunshine and gently cool breeze today, lull away my stress.

Inspiration comes best to me in natural settingsl like this. The trees seem to share the widom of their years with me.

If only late summer/early fall weather could continue into winter . . .but I guess we must have balance. The next best thing would be a small writer’s cabin here. But then again, it might alter the mystical atmosphere.

Here’s another shot of the site. There’s something about this huge silver maple, with frail small branches, yet a thick, sturdy trunk, that renews my strenghth . . .

picture of silver maple

View from the Gas Pump – Storm Clouds Retreat Following a Late Afternoon Weather Event

Glancing up from the gas pump, I was intrigued by the sight of these retreating storm clouds, artistically arranged, just for my enjoyment, or so it seemed.

Always a weather buff, I used to be quite fond of storms, though sometimes today, they scare me. At different life stages, the same prompts trigger varying emotions, depending, I suppose upon how vulnerable we are feeling.

If they aren’t damaging, I’ve always thought thunderstorms quite fascinating.