It’s a Steamer! May 21, 2013

When I started this blog I had no intention to write as often as I have.  But it seems there is so much happening just about daily that I have to post as often as I do. Really, I do!

Yesterday I mowed the lawn.  It was humid and in the mid 80’s.  But the forecast was for periodic rain for the rest of the week so I figured I’d better get out there and do it or I’d be knee deep in grass.

As I was headed toward the barn to get the mower, I noticed teeny tiny little white flowers in the lawn.  Hmmm…. better take a closer look at them.  They were the same height as the grass.  I picked one and thought that it resembled the speedwell / veronica that I had written about earlier.  It had four tiny roundish white petals only this little flower was about 1/8th of an inch wide.  Remarkable!  So small and so exquisite!  As I was gazing at the tiny white flowers in the lawn I notice that there were other miniscule white flowers that looked different.  These had five petals with lobes in each petal.

Mouse-Ear Chickweed and Speedwell Variation

Mouse-Ear Chickweed and Speedwell Variation

I picked samples of both and brought them into the kitchen to photograph them.  I’ve got a book on weeds (doesn’t everyone?) and started flipping through.  Yup, there it was!  The flower, or weed, on the left side of the photo above is mouse-ear chickweed.  What a cute name.  The same book says that some variations of speedwell only grow 1 to 2 inches high, so I’m pretty sure the weed to the right is speedwell.  These are both so small that you could walk right over them and not even see them.  And there must be hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions!) in my lawn.  Amazing!

So, I stalled the mowing long enough.  I got the mower and did what I had to do.  Afterwards, as I was preparing dinner (nothing exciting, just a cold salad plate), I looked out the window and saw the first scarlet tanager of the season.  He was pretty far away, but I managed to snap a photo.

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

This morning, May 21, 2013, started out warm and humid.  I filled up a bucket of cool water and headed out to the birdbath.  I was shocked to see the red tree peony had a huge flower!  There was no inkling yesterday that a bloom would be opening so quickly!  I ran back in the house and grabbed my camera.  The humidity was heavy in the air.  I took a photo and you can see the haze in it.  It was not that crisp image I was hoping for.

Tree Peony

Tree Peony

While I was out there I took a photo of the yellow tree peony which has yet to blossom.  Even after the blossoms on these peonies are spent, the foliage is beautiful.  I also took a photo of the wild phlox that is blooming pink. lavender and white, here and there, wherever it wants.  I don’t mind, and the hummingbird loves it.  Again, you can see the humidity in the air in both these photos.

Yellow Tree Peony

Yellow Tree Peony

Wild Phlox

Wild Phlox

At 2 o’clock this afternoon the thermometer outside my kitchen window showed the temperature was 95.  And that was in the shade…it had been in the shade for hours at that point.  Could it really be that hot?  I thought it might be a good idea to take another photo of that red peony as they were predicting possible severe thunderstorms later in the day.

Red Tree Peony in Dappled Sunlight

Red Tree Peony in Dappled Sunlight

I headed outside and was hit with the heat and humidity…it was bad but I didn’t think it was really 95 degrees….90 maybe.  But it certainly was a steamer!  I made my way over to the peony and I’m glad I got out there when I did as it seemed to be drooping a little from the heat.  This red peony flower is about 6 inches in diameter.  It’s more true red than the photograph shows.  The plant itself is just under 3 feet tall.  The yellow peony stands over 4 feet tall.  I’ll get some photos of the yellow blooms as soon as they’re out.  The way it’s going, that will probably be tomorrow!

Oh, I moved the hummingbird feeder outside the kitchen window this morning in hopes that maybe I’ll be able to snap a photo or two.  He’s found the new location already!  And I think I saw a female hummingbird this morning as well!

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