4/21/16

Shade Bloomers

Yesterday I was able to get out for a walk. I chose the Loop of Doom for my walk because Mike gave me a new Fitbit that counts floors climbed. Whoa. Do I feel like a statistical gold mine now. And just so you know, my Fitbit tells me that the Loop of Doom is the same as if I'd climbed 46 floors. I told you it was uphill all the way.

As I was saying yesterday, the wildflowers are just about bloomed out. Only...I was wrong. It's the first time EVER!!! What I might have said is that the wildflowers that bloom in full sunlight are just about bloomed out. As you're about to see, there are still scads of bloomers blooming in the shady areas. I chose the Loop of Doom for it's uphill climb, but it's also a great place to walk during warm weather because it is in shade for most of the way.

Before I left home, I checked things in the greenhouse. On my way toward the Loop of Doom, I noticed that our cultivated strawberries are starting to bloom. These are Hood strawberries...the very best, in my expert strawberry opinion. Sadly, we rarely get any of them because the squirrels get to them first. They still make a nice ground cover.


Also, another azalea is blooming now. So pretty.


And speaking of ground covers...thanks to the many of you who recognized this one from yesterday as a Lithodora. No way I'll remember that, so expect me to shrug my shoulders about it next year too.


As for my shady walk yesterday...it starts out in the full sun where I saw these pretties. My app tells me that these are Showy Prairie Gentian, but that can't possibly be right. I just now looked it up, and that's a completely different flower. Maybe one of you knows. (You guys know everything.)


Let's see if the app can do any better with this next one. It says this one is "Annual Honesty" or lunaria annua. Score one for the app. That's one right and one wrong. You need four right to win a prize in this game. These grow everywhere along the sides of the road.


This next one was on a blooming tree and was identified as European Ash. This one was just growing by the side of the road in a wild area. It isn't completely opened, and so I wondered if that was correct.


Just a few yards down the road, I saw this one in full bloom in a more "domesticated" landscape, and I got the same answer. So, okay, score two for the app.


This one is on a huge shrub, and it's covered with these flowers. It was identified as "Hawthorne," and yeah, I'll go with that. It's latin name is crataegus monogyna. 


I knew these, but I took a picture anyway. These are flowering Japanese cherries. Their blossoms are so pretty. They hang down from the branch in huge clusters.


So, after that, I turned onto the shady part of my walk. As I said, the path is almost entirely in the shade, but I sought out full sunlight for my pictures when I could. When I saw this, I recognized the foliage and the app identified it as "False Solomon's Seal". 


The flowers didn't look right to me, however, and so when I got a few yards down the road I saw the one below, which the app correctly identified as "False Solomon's Seal". (I just hate a dishonest plant, don't you?) Then, I saw the one above again, and tried for a second time. Second time around, it was identified as "King Solomon's Seal." I still don't think that's right, however. I noticed that the leaves on the one above are smaller and more slender. However, the ones shown online have a bell-shaped flower that hangs down. Maybe one of you knows.


Okay, so this isn't exactly a "blooming thing", but I liked the contrast in colors and textures.


Moving on, I saw this one. It's petals are a more delicate pink than the photograph could show. It's called a Virginia Springbeauty, although it could also be a Siberian Springbeauty. It's hard to tell the difference between the two.


This one isn't blooming...it's a sword fern. They are ubiquitous in these parts. In fact, it's hard not to have them growing in places you don't want them. I expect they will take over the world some day. I like the way they look when the sun shines through their leaves. I stood studying this one for a while because I was considering quilting its shape onto my table runner. You'll see in a bit whether I was successful.


This is how they look as they unfurl, and I love seeing them at this stage too. 


Now here's one I couldn't identify with the app, although Sue and I saw these on one of our Cooper Mountain Trail hikes last year. When I said I couldn't identify it then, a few of you suggested wild lily...and I think that's what the app said too.


Here's how it looks when you hold the flower upright.


And then there was this one...which was worth climbing 46 floors to see. It's called a Fairy Slipper or calypso bulbosa. Isn't it just the cutest thing? The name alone caused me to fall in love instantly.


When you tip it up for a better look inside, you can see that it has leopard spots.


When I got back into the sunlight, I saw this one from the day before again. I wasn't able to identify it and the app had no suggestions. Many thanks to my blogging friend Loyce, who identified this one as Manroot.



Loyce also shared this interesting tidbit with me:
According to some flower books, it is a wild cucumber and is edible but so bitter that one will wish one hadn’t!  Hence its name, Marah, which comes from the Bible when the Children of Israel were wandering about the desert and came to a spring of bitter water.  Apparently it is the only flower with a Hebrew name.  
Thanks, Loyce. I love learning that kind of stuff. You guys never cease to amaze me with your collective wealth of knowledge.

I showed you this one in my last post, but I wanted to show you that not all of the Scotch Broom are yellow. Some have hints of orange on them, and I've also seen them when they are mostly red. Too bad they're so bad for people with allergies because they are beautiful when you see them in bloom and covering a hillside.


As I was completing my loop and nearly home, I saw the first of these that we've always referred to as "wild iris". Turns out the app has a fancier name for them: Harlequin Blueflags or iris versicolor.


Also, I wanted to mention this butterfly. Mike and I saw it while sitting outside Monday evening. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it, and I wasn't completely sure I could believe our four eyes. Then, I saw it again yesterday. It flies much too fast to get a picture, but I looked it up on the internet by searching for "images of half orange and half white butterfly". Sure enough, I found it. It's called the Sara Orange-tip or anthocharis cardamines. Here's an image I found online: 

(image source: courtesy of Michael H. Lemmer)

Pretty, huh?

So that was my walk. When I got home, I was hungry and thirsty, and so I had some lunch and then got to work on my quilting. As I said, I had in mind to quilt the shape of that fern pictured above. First, I checked my tension on a practice piece, and gave a cursory try at the shape. It isn't hard.


Everything looked pretty good, and so I started by marking lines on the center green stripe of my runner...


I wanted two rows of fern leaves, and I wanted them straight, so I drew a center line down the strip, and then divided it in half on either side. Then I sucked in my breath and started stitching.  


I stitched up one side and down the other. Then, I turned my attention to the green strips at either end of the runner and did just one row. I was only about halfway around when I needed to quit for the day. I got a little confused turning that corner, but it's fine. 


Here's how it looks from the back. Doh! I was going to switch to pink thread for the bobbin. It doesn't matter in the center strip because it's green on the back too. And this looks fine to me. I'm not going to take it out for that.


I had to stop fairly early yesterday because I was making this Bacon Asparagus Quiche for dinner. It isn't difficult, but it has quite a few steps, and so I wanted to give myself plenty of time.


Today I'm hoping to get a lot more done on the runner, but I have some other things to do first. For one thing, I've been slacking on housework, and so I have a few things to do there. Also, I'm going to try a Lemon Cheesecake Mousse for dessert tonight. I'll tell you about it tomorrow if it works out.

Today I'm doubling down in Miss Maggie trying to force the kitty door issue. Right now, I have the little flapper door taped open with masking tape so that it's very clearly an outsy-insy opening. This morning Smitty was outside while she was inside, and they bumped noses through the door. She was outside most of the day yesterday, and she was a pooped pup by day's end. Like Gracie, she loves this flannel quilt.


This morning, she coached me on my embroidery. Gotta love a good helper cat.


She has the most petite kitty feet, and she folds them in front of her like a proper little lady.


Finally, my echinacea seeds arrived yesterday, and so I'm going to start over with those. Also, I've given up on two of the ten sunflower seeds I planted, so I'll try again with those. The others are nearly ready for planting in the ground.

So, a busy day ahead. Better get a move on.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

What a beautiful walk, I love your wildflowers - and so wonderfully impressive with your many flights of climb! I've been told that the ferns are edible when they are in that tender, adorable curly state, just in case you are too hungry to make it all the way home. Please remind me the name of your flower app . . . I need to start getting me some of that flower learning. By the way, I mentioned to a friend that you don't have cardinals and he suggested that there might be some kind of enemy that prevents them, either disease or predator, because your climate should be welcoming and they are found most other states. I don't know if that's true, but it's got me wondering.

Dana Gaffney said...

I think the False Solomon's Seal is hanging out by the King Solomon Seal so you don't realize it's false. That fairy flower is so pretty, like a tiny wild orchid. Sword fern is trying to take over one of my garden's, I rip it out by the handful.

Cath said...

Love the flowers in todays post....they are all out of my knowledge range...I recognised the Iris....gosh, it is a lovely bloom....but I would never have known its specific name.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have trouble climbing one flight of stairs - so it was wonderful to watch you do 46 = tee hee. Lovely photos of the all things blooming today.

Nita said...

The loop of doom...bwahahaha! I have one of those. Walking up it too many times gave me tendonitis in my achilles tendon. Beware the loop of doom!

Linda said...

Absolutely gorgeous, I love all your photos, and the bacon asparagus quiche looks delicious!

quiltzyx said...

Amazingly beautiful is the Loop of Doom!!
The quiche looks and the dessert sounds delicious!
Nice job climbing all those stairs too. :)

Kate said...

Such a pretty walk with such a daunting name. Beautiful photos! Love the pictures of Maggie, she is such a sweetie.

Beth said...

So sweet to see Maggie settled in your lap. I imagine she especially appreciates the comfort and security of her new home; it's very nice to watch her relaxing into it.

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

I enjoyed seeing all the flowers along your loop of doom and your quilting and stitching look lovely. And your cat is very sweet :)

Soma @ whimsandfancies.com said...

I love seeing your pretty wildflower and fern photos. What a great walk! Wonderful quilting too! Maggie's feet are absolutely adorable!!! They look so soft and cuddly. Thank you so much for linking up on Wandering Camera!

-Soma