Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How Fresh Is a Daisy?

 I took my camera with me on my early morning coffee run with the silly goal of reaching 212 posts for the first 212 days of 2013.  This one does it.  My first camera stop was a little garden outside Midtown Coffee.  When I saw this first Daisy, past its prime, I thought of the common phrase "fresh as a daisy" and got curious about its origin.  Turns out it is likely related to the fact that daisies tend to close up at night and open in the morning.  They probably open more reliably than people hop out of bed.  So, if a person looks alert at 6:00 a.m. and ready to seize the day, the comparison is apt.  But it only works in spring and early summer, unless you keep watering your daisies.  Still, how do we describe an enthusiastic early riser in November?
 This neighboring daisy probably got a little more water, as it looks a little fresher than the one in the first photo.
 This one looks even better. 

Then I moved on to the Sunflowers in front of Quincy Natural Foods.  I usually celebrate them every summer around this time.  Also, on the corner of Coburn and Monte Vista, I see the Sunflower growing out of an old apple tree stump has returned and is blooming.  Further up Coburn, several homes have Sunflowers, Cone Flowers, and other members of the sunflower family looking healthy and displaying an array of bright colors.
 The Sunflowers in front of QNF are in various stages from freshly bloomed to producing seeds.  They're also attracting a good variety of bees and wasps.  Fun to watch.

Next week I'll lead my last week of daily Nature Walks for the season out at Oakland Camp.  I did a little scouting of the area yesterday and things are looking pretty dry.  There were a few species of wildflowers blooming though.  An unusually big crop of Narrow-leaved Milkweed are in the fields between the North end of camp and Gilson Creek.  If they hold out for another week as they host a great variety of interesting bugs.  The Monarch Butterlies are still active in the area.  There are also some Arnica blooming, and Spanish Clover.  The other four species of Milkweed in the area have already gone to seed, and their different sizes and shapes of seed pods are fascinating.  I hope we catch a few at the stage of bursting open and releasing their seeds to the sky.

Thus ends my 212th post in 212 days.

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