Friday, August 21, 2009

a little on the weed day - post #497(!!!)

It is hard to believe that it was exactly a week ago that we were tossing our sleeping bags into the car and heading west to Somerset county. We were vending and speaking at a day devoted to wild native plants, and it was something we've been looking forward to for a very long time!
We arrived in the early afternoon and had several hours before we were to meet several other attendees at a local restaurant. We were also expecting 4 other women, with whom we'd be sharing a bunkhouse.
We decided to wander down the road a bit. It was amazing to see how many plants are common that we don't even see here - just 150 miles away. Additionally, some of the plants we DO have behave differently. It was fascinating. For instance, although our woodland hillside here is covered with Mayapple in the spring, I've never actually seen a fruit. Perhaps the deer eat them? We did see several deer during our stay in Somerset, but I can't imagine why we don't see the fruit here. I may actually go out hunting them in a day or so if the heat ever breaks here. They are delicious!
One of the first plants I saw along the road way was this one, below. It looks like a cross between oregano (leaves) and wild bergamot... sort of? Does anyone know what this one is? It had a faint scent that could back up either one of those guesses. Fred showed us the next one, calling it Water Horehound. It was another one with very little fragrance.
He also pointed out the trillium berries, saying that in all of his years he's never seen them before. We don't have a lot of trillium on the property here, other than what I've been bringing in for the past 5 years. It would be interesting to go over to the wildflower preserve and see what's shakin'.

This lake was right across from our campground, through a small swamp and some trees. We later realized that about 1/4 mile up the road there was a paved drive with a sandy beachy area. ha.

I just adored this perky little posy with the deep pink buds opening to white flowers. No idea what it is, but as you'll see there are several of those. On the weed walk, Fred had identified and had information on well over 100 plants. No matter how many you know or how long you study there will always be new (to you) species waving hello. That's what makes it so exciting.This magnificent fungus was about 20 feet up a tree. The trees were another source of amazement, as Fred pointed out 2 bee trees, where you could see the bees coming and going from their natural hives inside the trees. They were too distant for me to capture with the camera, though.This candelabra tree had Maryanne (in orange) talking about the trees that were trained in that manner on the grounds of Mount Hope Estate. It made us wonder if at one time someone had attempted to sculpt this tree or if it was a natural occurance.Another one that none of us could identify. There's something familiar about the leaves and the way they are situated on the stem, but I can't place it. Joe Pye-ish?Finally at home the other day I spied this spiderweb in the early morning fog. They seem to be one of the clearest signs of the impending autumn to me. Soon they will cover the shrubs in the front of the house with shrouds that look like Halloween decorations. OH! I saw a baby fig on the tree the other day - I will have to watch that grow... and I just realized that this was Friday and there are no faves posted here. Perhaps there will be more later.


Joey and Mandi said...

The first pic looks like field basil.
Thats my guess.


Tina Sams said...
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Tina Sams said...

I believe you are right - I've never even heard of it before! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I do not know what any of the plants are.

I am a regular lurker here. :) I had to add this time, I agree about the spider webs picking up the morning dew. I find them pretty, but it is also a reminder of the changing of the seasons.

Tina Sams said...

In another month, they will cover all the shrubs during the nigh. It always strikes me how much busier they are at OUR house compared to the other houses nearby. Hmmm... it's like they are claiming it :-)

Anonymous said...
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Lori said...

The first one is wild basil (Clinopodium vulgare), it took me about a week to figure this one out when I found it this year, lol. Tina, Did you notice what the water horehound tasted like, I was just wondering because I have a plant like that and it is a citrusy kind of taste, I am trying to figure out if it is mint or horehound.


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