Ipomoea

December 16, 2010

Morning glory

Ipomoea

Morning glory

I planted some heirloom variety morning glory seeds several years back and with little-or-no help from me, one variety has made a perennial visitor of itself.  (I’ve never been one for fall cleaning and thus I have seedlings of all sorts come spring.)  They’ve appeared in the rhubarb patch, among the raspberry canes, beneath the red buckeye, in and around the tree peonies…but never to the point of being a nuisance.  I often don’t even notice them until they bloom.  This particular morning glory is a deep velvety purple when in flower, (I don’t recall it’s name, only that it came from a little seed house in northeastern Connecticut).  However beautiful it is in bloom, I always look forward to a good killing frost to turn the vines skeletal.  I love the shapes of the seed capsules, smooth and russet with their little pilose wings.

Acer no.1

December 7, 2010

Maple

Acer

Maple

I post this drawing in fond remembrance of the thousands of maples which are being logged and chipped across the street from my house as I write.  The damned Asian Longhorn Beetle is to blame.  Despite there being only a relative handful of trees actually infected, the USDA recommended removal of ALL host trees on the many acres of historic town property, infected or not; maple, ash, elm, poplar…though from where I sit, it certainly looks more like indiscriminate slaughter. Host and non-host trees alike are being destroyed.   It’s a shock and a shame to watch the forest dissappear:  it was, until last week, a beautiful forest.  The view from our house has been horribly altered, for we now are forced to look upon a Frito Lay distribution plant which had previously been hidden quite well by the trees.  It’s awful.  Really, really awful.

Celastrus orbiculatus no.3

December 1, 2010

Oriental bittersweetCelastrus orbiculatus

(Oriental bittersweet)

My nemesis.  Oriental bittersweet is native to eastern Asia, where I wish it had stayed instead of having been introduced to misguided American gardeners  in the early 1800s.  It escaped cultivation (without much trouble, I suspect) and has since exploded into a full-blown, tree-choking nuisance.  To cut the vine back or yank its bright orange roots from the ground seems only to encourage it for it climbs back with a vengeance.  And of course birds love the fruit, which contributes greatly to seed dispersal; hundreds of young’uns germinate every spring beneath my crabapple tree [see earlier post] where the robins, sparrows, chickadees, etc. often perch. I feed heaps of it’s tenacious vines to my spring-clearing fires every year.  To look on the brighter side…at least it has such pretty berries; papery mustard-yellow capsules open to reveal bright red fruit.