Thursday, March 17, 2005

Lions, Lambs, and White Flowers

Between cool snaps and dark windy days, there are a few warm, sunny, glorious hours. Spring is sneaking in.

We've seen a few swallows, a bat, and lots of mosquitoes and gnats. (I've had two itchy bites already.)

It's not really planting time yet though. At the gardening conference, I tried tying my hands behind my back to keep me from buying any plants so early.

But they had Sun Golds. Last year after reading a book about a New York couple's adventures in market gardening, I looked everywhere for Sun Golds, the cherry tomato that they had praised to the heavens. No joy. I could find the seeds, but they need to be started indoors and there's just no room.

So when a vendor at the conference had Sun Golds, I had to get them. And then I figured I might as well get a few other things as well.

While the tomatoes are in an aggravating "outside during the day - make sure they're out of doggie reach - remember to bring them in at night" arrangement, the lettuce and broccoli could go in the ground right away.

Which of course was a powerful signal to mother nature, to unleash a hail storm and days upon days of rain.

I took these pictures last weekend, before all the bad weather came to town. If sound were an option, in the background you'd hear a husband and a dog begging me to hurry up and quit taking so long.

Bloodroot. One of my favorite spring wildflowers. Even the latin name has blood in it: Sanguinaria canadensis. It looks dainty, but it must be tough if it has the name "Canada" in it and can live in Alabama too.

Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides or Anemonella thalictroides). A magnified bloom. In real life it's less than an inch (2.5 cm) across.

Toothwort. The genus used to be called dentaria, alluding to the roots that look like teeth, but was changed to cardamine. (If you know why, clue me in.) There are lots of species of toothwort. I think this one is Cardamine concatenata. I've read that you can eat the peppery roots, but I haven't tried it.

Toothwort close up.


sugarcreekfarm said...

Wow, I love your flower pictures. What kind of camera do you have? Do you use special settings? My closeups always come out blurry. My camera has Japanese menus. That doesn't make things any easier. (sheepish grin)

fletch said...

Wow. First bloodroot I've seen this year. I didn't know it lived that far South. Headed for the Smokies this weekend but it's still too early there I think. Nice pics.

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all.

Kelli, it's a Sony Mavica CD1000. It's got a macro setting that you have to use to get any closer than 3 feet or so.

I love the little CD-type disks it uses for storage - they're cheap and hold a lot.

But several things drive me crazy about the camera. The worst thing is that there is such a lag between the time you hit the button and the time it actually takes the picture. Forget taking any action shots.

Also, the autofocus doesn't work to my satisfaction. It's hard to figure out how to make it focus on what you want. It does have a manual focus, but nowdays my eyes aren't good enough to use that in such a tiny viewfinder.

It does have the advantage of menus in English though. :)

swamp4me said...

I've been keeping an eye out for our bloodroot but it hasn't made an appearance here yet. The southern twayblade (Listera australis) is showing buds, but none have opened yet.

I really like the way you present your photos -- beautiful!

Rurality said...

I don't think I've got the twayblade nearby. Or at least I haven't found any yet. Wish I could!

Marsha said...

I read that book! "Stronger Than Dirt" or something, right? I planted sungolds after reading that (I get tomato starts) and they really were just the most amazing tomato. I had to talk people into tasting them and then they wouldn't leave my garden until they scavanged every ripe one they could find. I hope my garden place has them again this year 'cause I'll have to plant double just to have any for myself.

Rurality said...

That's it! I couldn't think of the name.

I hope I get to try the Sun Golds... last year the deer ended up getting all tomatoes we planted.