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Author Topic: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta  (Read 9465 times)

cohan

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Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« on: July 23, 2020, 08:05:33 PM »
I thought I'd try something a little different here-- lots of photos, of course, but some poetry as well. Not just strict plant information, but some moments and days that had a particular feeling for me which I might try to capture with the camera, but also words, musings, verse, forays into mythology (as a way to relate to and integrate with the natural world- in particular the Latvian heritage of my mother's family-- though they certainly never spoke about any of this old pre-Christian stuff ;) ).
Photos will be from my garden, from wild areas on the acreage, on the farm and roadsides outside the acreage-- and maybe, it if fits, stuff from brief sojourns in town and elsewhere, maybe even photos from the passenger seat...
I'll often have related content posted on my blogger site, but there there may be more content on the mythology and other blabber, and I will use a different set of photos here, with plant info added.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 08:18:48 PM by cohan »

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 08:17:29 PM »
First set is from a warm and humid day a while back, a day of buzzing, redolent air, a riot of green and flowers and the hint of storms.... (that day had only modest thunderstorms and showers later on-- last night and this morning after a couple of days in the mid-20's, probably nearer 30 in sunny confined spots in the afternoon, with humidity in the 60-100% range, we had a darmatic lightning show last night, hours of thunder and rain, and hours again this morning.... a bit of sun late morning, darkening again now at 1pm.....)..

On a warm summer day with cooler air to come,
Gausu Mate, Mother of Slowness and Laziness, holds temporary sway
while her siblings jostle carelessly for supremacy.
Moist heavy air rises from soil and  transpires from leaves,
carrying scents of wild rose, swathes of clover and a thousand other flowers
in garden, lawn and thickets and meadows all around.
Great Mother herself, Mara, urges the small ones, shimmying bees and droning flies,
to hasten their work in the blossoms while Saule yet shines down.
Lapu Mate, Leaf Mother, leads the swirling chatter of anxious poplars and murmurs of staid spruce
in the breeze and gust of passing clouds,
Lietus Mate, Rain Mother, dances high above, weaving in and out of storms drifting from the foothills
and Thunder Brother, Perkuns, rumbles uncommittedly in the patchwork sky.

more photos, and thoughts on Animism/Nature Spirits at the link
https://cohanmagazine.blogspot.com/2020/07/ive-been-enjoying-exploring-ancient.html

1-native Erigeron philadelphicus etc in a slightly overgrown garden area ;)
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2-native Halenia deflexa these grow in various places on the acreage, I usually mow around some patches, but with this year's lawn mower issues, delayed mowing in many spots, and rain rain rain, they are all over the place :)
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3- Oxyria digyna in the rock garden, with a sea of Saussurea riederi sweeping in from behind... the time for some serious control of that species is growing near ;) I probably need to situate some in a fend for yourself meadow type of setting with some other robust species..
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4- Platanthera- I've shamefully yet to get a grasp on the local bog orchids, this one is in a garden mini wet spot created to house Primula viallii (if only flowering more nearly overlapped with this!) etc-- at least having it here has confirmed for me that size of the orchid is situational or age related, not species diagnostic-- when planted here, it was fully flowering at maybe 1/4 this size..(50cm at a guess?)
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« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 06:21:17 AM by cohan »

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 08:25:02 PM »
Still on that sultry mid-July day that inspired the above poem...
1-2 Peony.. I have an odd relationship with these flowers, planted some time ago by my mother and/or aunt; they are clearly ridiculous flowers, no proper flower parts visible even, and they can't even stand up on their own-- the large plant shown makes piles of buds every year, most of which never open fully, and many begin to rot on the plant... However, they've survived many years of no particular attention, they remind me of Old Dutch still life paintings, and they are photogenic with their pastel shades and crazy forms contrasting the dark foliage and shadows and light around....
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3- Zigadenus /Anticlea elegans a survivor from my teenage gardening years, it survived the overgrown rock garden for a couple of decades, and has been happy in its spot as I rebuilt and extended everything around it... Anaphalis that appeared on its own, behind...
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« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 08:43:04 PM by Maggi Young »

Maggi Young

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 08:45:02 PM »
Super initiative, Cohan, thank you!
 I've  added  the  photos  in attachimg=   form to the  place  in the  text  where they are  relevant- I think it  makes  for  a  better "read" 
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 09:45:06 PM »
Very good, Cohan!

You are certainly more poetic than I am :)

My grandma was fond of those "ridiculous flowers"! She had white, pink and red ones at the summerhouse. The white ones were like cabbage in size.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 06:24:35 AM »
Super initiative, Cohan, thank you!
 I've  added  the  photos  in attachimg=   form to the  place  in the  text  where they are  relevant- I think it  makes  for  a  better "read"

Ah, thanks-- and here I was wondering why they weren't showing at the end as they should...lol should have read through, first...lol

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 06:26:38 AM »
Very good, Cohan!

You are certainly more poetic than I am :)

My grandma was fond of those "ridiculous flowers"! She had white, pink and red ones at the summerhouse. The white ones were like cabbage in size.

Thanks!-- Yes, when they open fully, those flowers can be huge, and that is without any particular care from me, your grandma probably treated them better...lol I think the species peonies are very nice.. ;)

John H. Beaulieu

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 07:55:52 PM »
Good to see you posting here, Cohan.
I have not heard much from you on the usual groups. Glad all is well.

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2020, 03:19:15 PM »
Good to see you posting here, Cohan.
I have not heard much from you on the usual groups. Glad all is well.
Thanks, John-- my FB account was caught up in what seems to be a widespread phenomenon of people being blocked for supposed community violations but without any of the fun that implies ;) so, that account is gone! I have yet to try setting up a new one, but many people are not able to.... so here, twitter, instagram and the blog currently :)

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2020, 03:34:20 PM »
Scheduling and energy seem to be keeping me from doing a lot of walking about on the farm beyond the acreage-- ironic that I get out there much more in winter since a) I have to go out for firewood, then, and b)I am not tied up in the yard with gardening and mowing!!
I did manage a modest loop along one edge of the acreage and back around just onto the farm, through a wetland strip and then mixed woods.
The north end of the acreage is wet woodland, which continued onto the farm, followed by a fairly extensive mixed wetland area with more and less open areas. Wetlands here are often used for pasturage, but if not heavily grazed, they will tend to grow over with woody cover-- willows, birch, dwarf birch, tamarack (larch), spruce etc. This was the case in this part of the farm, and a few years back, my relatives cleared strips along the fenceline, presumably both to allow fence repair access and to open up some areas for grazing.
The short term result was not attractive, with brush piles with some sod/peat piled up marring the sight lines, and the ground looking scarred. Several years on, there have been inroads made by some weeds, but there are also native plants which were variously present in the seed bank or present as sparsely/non flowering vegetative clones in the shade, which have made a strong come back with more sun and openness. I'm swiftly running out of time for this morning, but will start getting photos posted from the walk, both from the woodland areas and this 'new' wetland area.
1- wet woods on the north side of the acreage
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2- a grassy view of the wetland area-- mix of native and non-native species... I'm poor on grasses, don't have  a name for this handsome grass, not even sure whether it is native or exotic!
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« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 04:21:07 PM by Maggi Young »

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2020, 03:50:22 PM »
Packera (Senecio) paupercula is a not rare, but not abundant species here. I've seen it generally in two sorts of sites -- in open grassy areas wetland/edge, and also some quite shady spots in moist/mesic woodland (two such spots on the acreage). Recently, a botanist friend in B.C. mentioned that he sees two forms-- the usual not too tall plants, with a moderate number of flower heads having relatively long ray flowers ('petals'- they aren't), and a more robust, taller, more branching form, with more numerous flower heads with shorter ray flowers. Subsequently, I found a patch of this second form on the acreage in open woodland. During the walk outlined above, I photographed  patch of each-- the first is the typical form, this is growing in a moist/mesic site in the roadside ditch, just at or within the acreage property line; the second is not far away, up the embankment and into the open, grassy mixed woods. I have no idea whether these  are variable manifestations of the same species, or whether, like many native taxa, they are not properly resolved and should have distinct names.. I believe my friend has found the robust form comes true from seed, I have not tried.
1-2- the typical long rayed form
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3-4 the robust plants with short rays

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« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 07:38:21 PM by cohan »

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2020, 08:33:21 PM »
We have a species og Senecio Solidago(virgaurea) here which vary a lot. You can find specimens with only one or a few heads and others with many (hundreds?) heads. The form of the ray flowers vary also. I don't think they are described as different taxa because you can find every form between the most different ones.

Senecio virgaurea

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« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 08:18:30 AM by Hoy »
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2020, 06:07:45 AM »
We have a species og Senecio (virgaurea) here which vary a lot. You can find specimens with only one or a few heads and others with many (hundreds?) heads. The form of the ray flowers vary also. I don't think they are described as different taxa because you can find every form between the most different ones.

Senecio virgaurea
Nice... in my area, at least, these Packeras/Senecio are never so numerous. I'm not sure I would have realised these forms were so different, but Curtis has mentioned the two forms from his area, and I believe he has grown one or the other from seed. Who knows whether any botanists have looked at the forms in my area? I wouldn't bet on it... If I'm around long enough I should try to grow each one from seed, and also grow them side by side, and see if they remain distinct, and whether they make intermediates.

Hoy

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2020, 08:17:43 AM »
Seems I mixed some names! The plant I mention is Solidago, not Senecio! I have corrected it now.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

cohan

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Re: Moods and Walks- Ponderings and Meanderings in Alberta
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2020, 07:34:52 PM »
Seems I mixed some names! The plant I mention is Solidago, not Senecio! I have corrected it now.

Ah! Well, one yellow composite or another...lol.. I did admire the Solidago on your thread, I think I kind of noticed the same species name you mentioned for the Senecio, but it was not a close-up here, so I didn't really think about it...lol.. Now I was going to be really confusingly cross-threaded and talk more about the
Solidagos, but I will be good and go do that on your thread...lol

 


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