Monday, October 06, 2008

"100" -- Jogging Path

It's been a while since I uploaded these pictures from the camera.

75. I've gotten so used to CAT TAILS that I can identify them in many different stages of growth. I was so proud of myself that I knew these were cat tails when they just looked like fat grass. With the weather changing, soon the "tails" will turn into ugly, falling-apart, beige, puffy messes. The cat tails are on the left. I never did haul out my field guides to decide what the yellow flowers on the right were. I was guessing it might be coreopsis or rudbeckia, but neither ID seemed right, and the longer it grew, the more sure I was that this was no version of either plant that I'd ever learned. So that one's still up for grabs.

76. GOLDENROD is pretty and does not deserve its reputation as a horrid and evil allergen. Actually, the goldenrod blooms about the same time as the ragweed goes nuts, and it's actually the ragweed that gets to us.

77. This is the one that confused me for the longest time. It's hard to see on the blog picture, but if you click on the photo you can see the tiny little flowers and the tinier little leaves in amongst the plantain and the pebbles.

I could've sworn it looked like chamomile. But it was growing right alongside the edge of the road, coming up in the gravel, just inches from the asphalt. When it first came up in June, it looked like chamomile. But then it started "blooming" (a word used very loosely in this context) and it didn't look anything like a tiny daisy. The "flowers" did look like the middle of a chamomile flower, but there were no white rays around the flowerhead. I puzzled over this plant and couldn't find anything in my nature guides. And then one day I was jogging, and I kept smelling Sleepytime tea. Huh? What's up with that? It HAD to be chamomile, but the flowers weren't right. So I put the power of the internet onto solving the puzzle ... as opposed to the power [boom! pow! zappo!] of my small stack of nature guides sitting on the science shelf. Turns out that this plant is PINEAPPLE WEED and it is a chamomile. It's just that this is a chamomile without white ray-petals attached to the yellow-green middle. Suddenly it all made sense. And the name is perfect, as the "flower" looks rather like a miniscule pineapple. For the next couple of weeks, I savored the Sleepytime aromas while jogging. But unfortunately, I dawdled on taking the camera jogging with me, so the plants got way pat their prime and the pictures didn't turn out too well. Suffice it to say that pineapple weed looks like any other chamomile that has been plucked-to-death by a love-sick girl who wants to know if "he loves me" or "he loves me not."

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