Sunday, September 23, 2007


When I'm on a diet (like now) and need to exercise, or if I want to get out of the house and clear my head, I always take a walk down to the spillway. The reservoir near our house is fed by streams and springs and a spillway was constructed to channel the natural runoff. Walking to the spillway is a two mile round-trip with a couple of short hills that takes about 20 minutes to cover. That's just enough time to get your blood pumping.

Since I post a lot of flower pics (with more still to come), I thought it would be fun to include some photos of weeds.

As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. The same can be said about weeds and flowers. I once heard that a weed is a flower that just happened to grow in the wrong place.

Some poisonous berries luring unsuspecting passers-by with their vibrant colors.

I'm not sure if this is a buttercup or not but it's what we called it. As kids, we would pick them and hold them under someone else's chin. "Let's see if you like butter." If your chin glowed yellow when the flower was held under it, you liked butter. It would seem that everyone likes butter!

One thing you'll see in abundance here is sumac. (This is NOT poison sumac.) They grow in large stands and new growth is spread via the root system. I always used the branches of a young sumac for weaving "God's Eyes" that I learned in elementary school art class.

I'm not sure what these purple flowers are but if they were in your garden they'd be a flower...out in the fields they are considered weeds.

This is Queen Anne's Lace. It grows like crazy in the fields. Here, they're a weed. In California, I paid for it by the stem as filler in a bouquet.

I believe this is a variety of clover. Pretty here but most people consider its smaller flowered cousin a lawn invader. Bees love clover.

These beautiful blue flowers grow on a stalky stem and favor the area alongside roads. I have a theory that they like salt since the roads are salted here in the winter and it ends up affecting roadside plant life.

We call these "prickers" but I think others call them burrs. After they begin to die back and dry out, they attach to your clothes if you rub up against them. This happened all the time as we played games of tag and explored in the fields. Today kids stay inside and play video games.

Each pricker is a bunch of spines that have a hook on the end shaped like a crochet needle — I think velcro works in a similar way. For fun we would see how big of a clump of prickers we could get by picking them and sticking them together. Sometimes we would get masses as big as a basketball. They burn quickly, too, as our pyro tendencies quickly discovered.

You can also see goldenrod on the right in the photo above.


Steve said...

If some of those shots are weeds, they're beautiful!

RG said...

I can think of another way to get your heart rate up, make you sweat and help you lose weight as well.

Oh, and pretty pics too.

Kim said...

It looks like you've been in my back yard. LOL Another thing about weeds, they thrive without any attention. Meanwhile, the flowers that I plant wither away and die ...maybe I should water them. LOL I have a pricker bush somewhere in the back of my house, the dog comes back with them on her.

Red7Eric said...

In Scotland, those prickers are called thistle, and they're the national flower.

Touch that.

Lacey said...

The pretty purple stuff is Purple Loostreif (spelling?). It is not native to the US, and is VERY invasive, crowding out native species. Not unlike what we did to the First People, a few hundred years ago.

The blue one, I think, is Chikory.

Those prickly things, we used to call burrdocks. And we also used to make the big ball of them.

And yes, I DO love butter.

evilganome said...

I identified, belladonna or deadly nightshade.(same family as tomatoes and eggplant by the way) Lacey is right about the purple loosestrife, the clover relative is alfalfa, the blue is chickory and sorry Eric, burrdock is not a member of the thistle family. It is actually a dock. Though, the burrs do resemble thistle, which has very spiny leaves and if you brushed against one you'd soon learn the difference between thistle and dock.

Y | O | Y said...

EG, you are the master!

Rainy Conversation said...

I am a weed... in a good way.