There’s nothing particularly unusual about this picture, it’s just another a scenic beach shot. But when I looked at the photo, what caught my eye were those streaky light effects in the shadow behind the sandstone formation. Now I’ve had light effects appear on shots in the past, they tend to happen when the angle of camera lens is in a particular relationship to the angle of the sun—but I can’t account for the light streaks only appearing in the shadow. That’s a new one on me.
While walking today I noticed a small jelly-like ball on the sandstone, rather like a gumdrop that had seen better days. On closer examination it appears to be some kind of spawn. (I moved it onto a leaf to photograph, to see it better.)
I wonder what it’s from? It was not near any bogs or open water—it was beside a moss meadow. After an 80-day drought we’ve just started to get rain and have had quite a bit in the last couple of days, so perhaps that sparked some kind of egg-laying excitement in something. But what? Frogs don’t spawn at this time of year as far as I know. Newts? Slugs?
We have (yet another) mystery plant in our yard. I thought it might be some kind of bergenia, but the leaves don’t seem to be right—they’re distinctly palmate, and the photos I’ve seen of bergenia leaves are distinctly not. In the spring it sends up tall stalks from its corms with sprays of lovely pinkish flowers—not a leaf in sight at that point— and then the flowers die back and eventually the leaves grow. It’s a big plant, the leaves are as big as those of the gunnera next to it (in fact, overall, the plant is bigger than the gunnera) and it stands three to four feet high.
And in the autumn, this is what the leaves do. Continue reading »
Many years ago (we won’t say exactly when, but it was a loooooonnnnnnng time ago) I was a college student, living with roommates. We acquired a few plants to cheer up our apartment. I got one that had leaves something like a jade plant, except that they were much smaller (1/4 inch long) and grew in densely packed rosettes. It actually bloomed once, producing pretty yellow flowers, before I managed to kill it (I have a tendancy to forget to water things, some day I’ll tell the story of the pomelo that turned into a bonsai because of that little problem). But I hadn’t made a note of what it was when I bought it, and although I wanted to get another one I was never able to identify it, so I was never able to get a replacement. (Garden stores kept offering me jade plants. No.)
At any rate, all those years later when we bought the house we now live in, it came with a wee rock garden. Imagine my delight when I realized that this little plant was tucked into a corner between a couple of rocks!
(But I still don’t know what it is.)