Sep. 15, 2020

That long ago beach dune now supports a nice bunch of showy sunflowers. That's one name for this hybrid between prairie sunflower and Jerusalem artichoke. It's one of the more popular sunflowers in cultivation, other than the great big common ones. Not surprising it turns up in a planted prairie.

Sep. 14, 2020

Got out briefly yesterday, took a walk on the beach. Actually, around the 'prairie' planting at Gerber Hill County Park. That part of the park is a low sand pile that was a beach maybe 10,000 years ago. The prairie plants are American natives, but may have never seen our part of the country before. Anyway, pretty stuff on a pretty afternoon, starting with this New England aster. This is the pink variety.

Sep. 13, 2020

This is a biennial beeblossom, Oenothera gaura. Beeblossoms always delight me, partly because they were a relatively late discovery. For a while we weren't in the same orbits. Then they got involved in all the recent reclassification that's been going on, and moved genus Gaura to the genus of evening-primroses. So when our orbits intersected along the rail behind the car dealer, afternoon delight!

Sep. 12, 2020

Here we see sandhill amaranth in its new home. How did it get here? Why would a train drop it in this spot near Blissfield? What you can't see is the large grain elevator complex on both sides of the track. The trains don't run much anymore, but the amaranth could have been here for a long time. And speaking of trains, this is the route of the first one west of the Allegheny Mountains. It was started in 1832, intended to run from Port Lawrence, Michigan, to Kalamazoo. It made it to Adrian before funds ran dry. It was reportedly quite an adventure building through what was then the Great Black Swamp. Port Lawrence is now Toledo, Ohio, a very nice place to visit. But you can no longer take the train.

Sep. 9, 2020

This obedient plant (that's its name!) was the best one I could think of to lead into today's rant. What ever happened to turn signals? I'm on the road every day these days, and it seems that no one is signaling any more. What are they doing with their left hands? Those evil cell phones? Or have we gotten careless? Or are they afraid its a political statement? Or is it rebellion? I may have to mask up to protect you, but watch out for me the rest of the time? Those levers are right there, in easy reach. You already paid for them. So please. please, let us know what you're doing when you slow down in front of us!