Always fun to see a tree with a lot of these natural ‘shelves’–shelf fungus that is!
Fun for us squirrels to climb, too!
Well, maybe it’s not the sun, but those ray petals look like it to us squirrels after days of rain. Mis Flora says a carpet of Green and Gold is a good post for squirrels and humans alike today.
Back in April we couldn’t find this wildflower blooming, so here it is for you today. And if you had any doubt that Green and Gold would spread in your garden’s shady areas, take a look at this carpet!
Read more about it on our April 8th ‘G’ post.
Five years ago on The Squirrel Nutwork, we featured Common Yarrow for Y day. Back then we were just building our photo files and it was spring and the local yarrow hadn’t bloomed. So our post–in which all four of us squirrels weighed in, see it here!–was of the feathery leaves, which are certainly beautiful, but we thought you’d like to see the flowers!
The native yarrow is white.
Usually, Miz Flora tells me. Apparently, she says, this plant was known across Europe and given its Latin name Achillea millefolium, by Linneaus. ‘Millefolium’ means ‘thousand leaves’ which it certainly does have. When explorers crossed North America, they found a yarrow they assumed was related. Because the leaves were fuzzier, another botanist, Thomas Nuttall, named it Achillea lanulosa, which is Latin for ‘wooly.’ Today, botanists group the yarrows together as one genus…although humans sometimes find pale pink flowers among the western, fuzzy-leaved yarrows.
Of course you humans have taken the plant and done all kinds of things to it to make it ‘prettier,’ so don’t be surprised if you go to a garden center and find yarrows blooming in colors from pink to red to purple and yellow to deep gold.
Flowers can be many things to many people!
Just take a look at these funny flowers!
Turtleheads are a fun plant that love moist soil. The little tricksters are designed so a bee gets completely brushed with pollen getting into the nectar at the bottom.
To see the bee completely inching in, hop back to our post entitled Getting Into Pink Turtleheads!
Just a side note that not all turtleheads are pink. The native ones are white, but we haven’t seen those in our suburban neighborhood. A human planted these showy pink ones.
By branching out of our season, we squirrels have a few more choices of plants to use for those difficult letters!
Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota, is a summer-bloomer, a wildflower brought over from Europe. It supposedly is named for Queen Anne of England who was also a lacemaker. In North America, it can go quite wild and take over a field, but you humans probably see it most often lining rural roads.
The berries of American Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, are poisonous. And oh-so tempting to you humans, especially when they are in full ripeness –and at their most toxic!–this time of year.
The plant is big and weedy and produces many berries. No wonder it can take over a farmer’s field!
Yet there are birds who will eat them with no harmful effects, like the Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Gray catbird and Brown Thrasher.
Nutmeg and Hickory have both shown you humans the Common Milkweed plant. Well, Ol’ Wally here has a milkweed a mite better.
How do you like them blossoms?? ‘Pretty in pink’ as I’ve heard humans say. This is Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, which is sometimes known as Pink Milkweed–but you know how Miz Flora hates common names, so we’ll stick to the proper one.
Aside from the brighter color, this milkweed flower doesn’t form a ball like Common Milkweed, but is more like the orange Butterflyweed in shape. And I bet you readers have already guessed–since this old squirrel is featuring this plant on the water column–that Swamp Milkweed likes a wet soil. Only wet, though, it won’t grow in standing water. Like the other milkweeds, it is highly attractive to nectar feeders, and the sap in the leaves (that the caterpillars eat) even contains the same toxins as Common Milkweed.