2017 Flora Roundup!

I love getting outside to poke around and see what’s there, what piques my interest. I’m always hoping for interesting mushrooms, seed pods, spiders or insects. I didn’t shoot outdoors quite as much last year as in previous years; I’ll try to do better this year. Hopefully it will be a mild summer! I daydream about living somewhere where the daytime high temperatures in the summer don’t rise above the low 80s and it doesn’t feel like the humidity is trying to strangle you =) Here are some of last year’s plants and fungi…(insects, lizards and birds will be in the next post).

▲ A seed sheeth still attached to the cotyledons of either a cucumber or a cantaloupe seedling . Photographed in early March.

▲ New Dogwood leaves in the spring. Photographed in late March.

▲ Early spring in the vegetable garden. The dark purple flowers are salvia (for attracting pollinators), the lavender flowers are on the chives and the out-of-focus green leaves in the foreground are beets! Photographed in early April.

This is Euphorbia ‘Tiny Tim.’ The euphorbiaceae, or spurge, family is quite large and contains more than 7,500 species, ranging from small, flowering annuals to cacti-like members (not true cacti, though) to large trees! Photographed in early April.

▲ Trillium luteum, also known as Yellow Trillium or Yellow Wakerobin. It’s native to and common in parts of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. I photographed this on in my parent’s backyard. Photographed in mid-April.

▲ These are the berries of my Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) (seen in this post from almost two years ago). Photographed in early May and late July.

▲ Early evening roses…Photographed in early May.

▲ One of the advantages to growing plants in pots is that you can move them around when you want to take their picture! I moved my Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) so that it could be back-lit by the sun. I love photographing plants this way – you can see detail in the leaves that you can’t see otherwise and sometimes leaf colors can appear to be quite different from what you’re expecting! Photographed in early May.

▲ An Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) back-lit by the sun. Photographed in early May.

▲ Overlapping fronds of an Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) back-lit by the sun. Photographed in early May.

▲ An Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), this time in black & white, back-lit by the sun. Photographed in early May.

▲ One more Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) in black & white, back-lit by the sun. Photographed in early May.

▲ New growth on an Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora). Native to eastern Asia. Photographed in early June.

▲ I grew cantaloupes last year and it was a success! Photographed throughout June.

▲ I honestly couldn’t believe it when I cut my first cantaloupe open and it was nice and orange inside – and so sweet! It tasted just like it was supposed to =) Photographed in early July.

▲ Believe it or not that orange stringy stuff is a plant! It’s called dodder and it’s a parasite. There are up to 170 different species of dodder – I’m not sure what this one is, specifically. Once a dodder seed germinates is starts to look for a host. It needs to find one one within 5-10 days or the seedling will die. Once it finds a host it produces a haustorium that it uses to attach itself to the host plant. At this point the root of the original seedling dies and the dodder is now dependent upon its host. In colder climates dodder is an annual and dies back over the winter, but seeds (it produces small flowers during it’s growing cycle) can remain dormant in the soil for many years. Photographed in early August near the Chattahoochee River.

▲ Possibly a Parasol Mushroom…photographed with my phone, converted to black & white and edited for contrast. Photographed in mid-August.

▲ I photographed this shelf-like mushroom near the Chattahoochee River, not far from where I live. It was a bit too far away for me to get a closer shot! I think it’s a polypore mushroom from the genus Trametes, but I’m still working on the full identification. I remember where I photographed it so I’ll look again this year, and also take note of what kind of tree it was growing on, since that can help with identification. I’ll also try to get a more useful picture! Photographed in late August.

▲ This is lichen growing on the side of a tree. Lichen is not a single organism! Lichen has a fungal component and an algal or algae component. Taxonomically they are categorized based on their fungal component. The relationship between the two organisms is mutualistic, meaning that they both benefit. There are more than 20,000 known species of lichen!…Photographed in late August.

▲ Moss growing on the side of a tree. Photographed in late August.

▲ A Passion Flower, most likely Passiflora incarnata. Photographed in late August.

▲ Spotted Jewelweed or Touch-Me-Not, also known as Impatiens capensis. Photographed in late August.

▲ Look at that glow…Photographed in late August.