Tag Archives: Beauty

Tiny Flowers | Tatarian Honeysuckle

This is the last of the Tiny Flowers posts. Check the recent posts at the right for links to the earlier ones. The term ‘flowers’ is actually not correct this time. What I found in hunting for 1/4″ flowers was a berry of that size. It deserved to be in the spotlight with its translucent orange skin.

Tatarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) is a shrub found in most of Canada and the U.S. except for the south eastern states. It is not native according to the USDA. The plant is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into North America as an ornamental in 1752. It is classified as noxious and invasive in several regions.

My two photos were taken from about 2″ away using the super-macro setting with no flash.

With leaf structure | Marc Banks | Flickr

Tiny Flowers | Japanese Meadowsweet

In front of our house we have some shrubs. One type is spirea. Some species of spirea have pure white flowers. The one in front of our house has pink flowers. It is known as Japanese Meadowsweet (Spiraea japonica). The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture shows it distributed in the eastern third of the country and part of Canada. It is not native here. It is native to Japan, China, and Korea. Many nurseries offer it as a yard shrub.

We like the bunches of pink it presents in the late spring and early summer. Closer inspection shows a mass of individual small 1/4″ flowers.

This picture reminds me that it is getting to be time to trim the shrubs before they get too big.

 

Tiny Flowers | Creeping Charlie

This tiny 1/4″ flower reminds me of an iris. It is actually from an ivy plant called Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea). It goes by many names: ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin to name a few. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, it is not native to North America. But, it is widespread. It is actually native to Europe and SE Asia.

It has medicinal uses, is edible, and was used to make beer in Saxony before hops were introduced. Try it yourself to make a brew of Creeper 2013. It can be part of cheese making substituted for rennet.

Dennis Profant | http://fieldbioinohio.blogspot.com/ | Used with permission

It is an attractive ground ivy with gently scalloped leaves. It is part of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It doesn’t climb up. Instead, it propagates horizontally along the ground. This vine in the center is about 6″ long and is near the edge of my lawn.

Unfortunately, it is quite invasive and can take over spaces from other plants. Here it tries to make headway into my lawn grass. It weaves its way several feet in through the grass setting down rhizomes every few inches. It can be pulled out. But, it is tedious to remove.

Tiny Flowers | Bird’s-Foot Trefoil

The previous two posts featured yellow flowers. Here is one more. It is another member of the bean, legume, pea family (Fabaceae). Bird’s-Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is found throughout Canada and the U.S. except for Nevada, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and S. Carolina. It is also found throughout Britain, mainland Europe, Asia, north and east Africa, and in mountainous parts of the tropics. According to the United States Dept. of Agriculture site, it is not native here. They have clusters of flowers on low growing plants. Each individual flower is quite small. Remember, I was hunting for 1/4″ or less.

Note the visiting fly on my finger for a sense of scale.

According to the Wildscreen ARKive site, this plant can go by as many as 70 other names such as: bacon and eggs, butter and eggs, Devil’s fingers, Dutchman’s clogs, granny’s toenails, hen and chickens, lady’s fingers, lady’s slipper.

The name can be derived from the leaves in this image from the Illinois Wildflowers site, our next door neighbor. Note the three leaves and their birdfoot shape.

Tiny Flowers | Low Hop Field Clover

This post continues the results of my quest for very small flowers noticed on my recent walk. This one is known as Low Hop Field Clover Trifolium campestre Schreb. According to Plant Profile of the USDA, it is found in most of Canada and the U.S. I notice the small yellow flowers every time we go walking.

Each small 1/4″ clover blossom shows proudly among the green leaves. The plant is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae). A key identifying feature is the larger middle leaf of the three.

If you want to read more details about this species, visit the Illinois Wildflowers site.

Tiny Flowers | Common Yellow Woodsorrel

Big showy flowers are wonderful to see. There are many fine examples in the yards and gardens in most neighborhoods. Today, as I set out on a walk along our community trails, I brought my camera. I decided to search for some of the smallest flowers I could find. I tried to restrict my hunt to 1/4″ flowers. The macro setting on the camera allows me to get within 2″. I found several good subjects. Today, I am sharing one. More will follow in the days to come.


Let me introduce you to Oxalis stricta L. It is also known as common yellow woodsorrel. The flower in this image and the next looks very large. That is an illusion caused by the macro setting on the camera. It is quite small.

Common Yellow Woodsorrel

A Little Bit Closer

In order to get a better sense of scale, I supported the flower in my hand for comparison. It is a very small flower.

The plant which produces this tiny flower has shamrock shaped leaves. This specimen stood about 12″ tall. I have seen smaller ones growing in my yard and garden.

The common yellow woodsorrel is found throughout most of Canada and the U.S. except for some far western states. The United States Department of Agriculture offers more details here.

Violets | Blue, White, and Yellow

by Melanie and Jim

Violets were abundant along the path where we hiked in the wooded wetlands along a local river. We stopped, surrounded by hundreds of them. The only way to be close enough for a photo was to get down on hands and knees among them.

It is surprising how many different species of violet there are in the world. Wikipedia says there are as many as 600 in the viola genus of the family Violaceae.

We were blessed with these three fine examples. Each is 1″ across.

Enjoy.

Grand Tetons | Mountains of Inspiration

This was our view from the room at the B&B in Wilson, Wyoming, near Jackson. What a contrast to the hills and farmland of Iowa we left a few days before. In the distance are the mountains of Grand Teton National Park.

Join us for a hike to the base of these peaks.

A Middle-Aged Woman Reclaims Her Beauty

The beauty of young women cannot be denied, healthy with glowing unwrinkled skin, bright eyes, firm round breasts, and soft, dark pink lips. Their bellies are flat, or sweetly rounded like a kitten’s. Usually unaware of their own loveliness, they see it in those around them, and they envy, they yearn for the beauty of others.

As we age we think we are wiser but still we yearn for beauty, especially that of youth, the smooth skin and firm breasts. We forget our own youthful good looks, if we’d ever even known them.

I was “pretty” as a young woman, never beautiful in my own eyes. I was pretty until I married a man with two beautiful daughters, both of whom outshone me. I became plain compared to them. Even at their gawky best, with bad skin and braced teeth, their beauty was clear and I felt plain. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Like Snow White’s stepmother, this stepmother could see, I would never be the fairest of them all. I was almost 21 when I married.

For decades of my life I was not beautiful. I spent decades believing I was “attractive, but in the same way humans are generally attractive.” I had lost my beauty, or my perception of it. I saw it in others, but I could not see it in me.

Now I am “middle-aged.” Surely that cannot be true — but I’m past the mid-point, almost certainly. Is it possible for a woman my age to be beautiful? How could I find my beauty?

Over the last four years I’ve transformed my life. I went from working hard in a job I’d come to dislike, angry and tightly wound, to a more relaxed pace. My interim employment suited me fairly well, keeping me busy but not frantic, allowing me to release my anger, soothe my mind. Full retirement is even better, allowing the luxuries of physical fitness and generosity with time.

And I’ve found my beauty. It snuck up on me. I dropped a little weight purposely, but fairly easily with less stress eating. I grew my hair somewhat longer, with a more relaxed style to suit my new attitude and new life. And the scowls in my face eased out while I smile more.

In the last few months I’ve been called beautiful by people other than my husband, who has always found me so. One of my daughters (one of the beautiful princesses) has told me on two different occasions how pretty I am. (She has reached the age where she doubts her own beauty, and whether she ever even had it.)

My skin has gained the patina of middle age. My breasts are not firm and high like a young woman’s. My soft, dark pink lips slowly thin and fade.

Yet in middle age, I have reclaimed my beauty, and I stand ready to carry it into old age, no longer yearning for someone else’s skin or figure or long, dark lashes. I am attractive, about as attractive as other humans. And as I age, it is easier to see their beauty, as well.

Sunshine | Leaves | Color

Turn toward the light.

How I See It

For a couple of hours, sunshine streams in one of the living room windows directly on one of our plants. In response to the light, phototropism, the plant directs its leaves to maximize the amount of light it receives. The colors and subtle shades of yellow and green are really beautiful. Here, the sun backlights the leaf.

The camera and tripod are brought closer and set to macro mode. The entire width is about 1″.


Have an interesting day. Thank you for stopping by for a look.


 

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