Faded glory

While shooting art for an article about bee research, there appeared this gem, tucked away in a tangle of giant ragweeds, passion vines, morning glories and johnson grass, on an old farm road in Lonoke County, Arkansas.

Faded red truck.
Faded, but still beautiful. This Mack truck is being reclaimed by nature.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Texture

Texture would seem to be such a simple thing. Wandered around among the trees and weeds looking for anything new that would really fit the challenge. (Our previous post, “Coral Fungus,” would’ve been perfect). So here’s what we found today:

8-9 AlumMountain
Crumpled aluminum foil in the kitchen.
Intertwined white stone and black algae.
Black algae meets flowstone in front of the house.
Soft white feather in grass.
A shed feather stands upright, caught in blades of grass.

 

Extra textures we loved:

The dandelion’s tale

Dandelions always remind me of my mother. It’s not just because yellow was her favorite color. The dandelion was a symbol of her cross-cultural learnings.

She grew up in Bangkok surrounded by a stunning array of wildly colored tropical flowers and plants of all sorts. In the 1950s, she had earned a fellowship to study nursing in England. It would be her first time spending an extended period of time away from home and her very large family.

London was a world away and homesickness bubbled under the surface. One drab spring day, she saw a blazing  yellow beacon in the grass — a floral reminder of home.  She bent down and promptly turned it into a boutonniere. She walked along near Russell Square with a smile as bright as the dandelion in her jacket lapel.

“Excuse me ma’am,” a bobby  said with a little smile. “Do you know you’re wearing a weed?”

“A weed?” mom asked.

“A weed,” he said.

Mom just smiled and said:  “It’s beautiful no matter what it’s called.”

Can’t argue with that.

Dandelion in the sun.
Bright rays and curls of a dandelion in the sun.

 

 

 

 

Weekly photo challenge: From lines to patterns

Seed parachutes made of convergent curves ready to hitch a ride on the breeze.

9-22 About to be free2

9-21-About-to-LetGo2Crop

9-21 Parachutes2

Getting a line on this weeks’ challenge: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/lines-patterns/ and some nice takes on this week’s challenge:

Weekly photo challenge: Growth

Praying mantises are common here in the Ouachitas. Adults reach 5 inches in length. This one has a couple inches to go.

ALMOST THERE — Young mantis works his way to the top of a weed.
CHECK ME OUT — Mantis makes his or her way up to the top.
TOP OF MY GAME — Made it.

Reflections of growth of all sorts:
Great fungus
http://skfjrifnd.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

Who doesn’t like new beginnings?
Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth, Take Three

A lovely “time lapse” of growth
http://cobbies69.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

Up close and personal with a succulent
http://ateliermadman.com/2012/08/05/photographie-weekly-challenge-2012-26/

Almost too big
http://rutheh.com/2012/08/05/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

Pussywillow
http://imagesbymadelainecappuccio.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

Back to school
http://implicado.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

The measure of growth
http://vastlycurious.com/2012/08/04/weekly-challenge-growth-of-three-children-over-27-years/

and the main page:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

The thistle defense

Derided as weeds in many places, thistles can be quite both brightly charming and an effective biological weapon of sorts.

The Scots adopted the thistle as a national symbol in the 13th century thanks to the role they played in thwarting a Viking attack.  As the story goes, a party of raiding Norsemen removed their shoes, hoping to launch a silent attack on the sleeping Scots.  Running aground on the land urchins, the Norsemen’s howls awoke the Scots, who defeated them.

Thistle
SNOW DUSTED LAVENDER -- Beautiful, but handle with care.

Chickweed under glass

Seems every time I write a news story about Arkansas’ droughted conditions, it rains. Not that I’m complaining, we need the water, even if the text loses its news value.

This afternoon, following some errands in town, I wondered where “our” violets were. Last year, we had some that bloomed as early as January. Nose to the ground, I finally spotted three of them in the green that passes for a lawn — pale violet, some more white than violet.

The chickweed was also eye-catching. The tiny flowers and water’s powerful surface tension seemed to make little snow globes with the flowers embedded in the bottom.

Chickweed flowers.
Chickweed flower wrapped in a drop of rainwater. Note the tiny black cricket on the underside of a leaf in the lower right hand corner.
chickweed flowers
Three chickweed flowers under glass.