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*Looking at "Weeds" with new eyes.*


Today’s ramble took place in the late afternoon…It was a very busy day…and work was done in different areas today…still working on the pond..put the liner in place. Then I put a small deck in front of the greenhouse door. bought a solar charged motion sensor light for the greenhouse. and put it to charge. Going to go out after dark and check to see if it’s working or not!
After that I weeded the transfer bed and the front door flower bed…and took pictures of the Joe Pye weed and decided that from now on I’m not using the W word…it’s Eupatorium perfoliatum. It is a beautiful plant. It has strong tall stems with whorled dark green leaves and it towers over everything but the sedges and grasses. The scent is lovely; sweet but not cloying. The flowers are dusty rose/mauve and a bee/hummingbird magnet. Now, I wonder who gave it the W name? Eupatorium isn’t that hard to say or spell is it? One of it’s other names is Boneset…from a folk medicine use perhaps?

In the picture above, the eupatorium shares space with a plant which was vilified as an ALIEN species, Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife). Back in the 90’s there was a flap about this plant taking over our wetlands and depriving native species of habitat! Yes, it is a successful colonizer..but it’s lovely and the ban has been lifted. What some people won’t do for a research grant!

This lovely creature was also charmed by the eupatorium because he had two friends with him and I had a merry chase to finally find one of them alite. wouldn’t you know it…he decided to rest on a young tree and not on the flower they had been enjoying!

After some looking I have found that the meadow..see first photo… with it’s lovely mauve seedheaded grass, is full of a heartleafed daisy which will have mauve blooms in August. It is the Ciliolate Aster…a true wildflower. There are many other asters, the umbellatus, and the purple New England Aster which will bloom in September. All wildflowers..and beautiful in their time, but considered weeds by most gardeners. At present the Rudbeckia hirta, Black eyed Susan, is blooming in the meadow; as well as Echium vulgare, (Viper’s Bugloss):Hypericum perforatum, (St.John’s Wort); Achillea millefolium, (Yarrow); and Vicia cracca (Tufted Cow Vetch) which appears in the next photo, along with Apocynum androsuemilifolium (Spreading Dogbane).

This is a view of the meadow from the margin of the forest where the Thalictrum polygamum
(Tall Meadow Rue) is blooming with the Eupatorium…beautiful combination. Also evident is the pile of branches yet to be burned in the firepit…have a dandy lopper that will help me cut all the branches into small pieces…just have to get to it, though. It never ends…lol.

Hypericum perforatum

Malva neglecta, the Common Mallow. I don’t think it looks common…lovely is more likely!

Rubus: can’t wait for the fruit to develop so I can taste them! A local friend told me that they and the apple trees are very popular with local bears! oh my!

Common Mullein, Verbascum thapsis. This is a young sprout…they are biennial. The first year there is a lovely rosette of these silvery furry leaves…the second year there is a tall spike of yellow flowers…very popular with birds especially chickadees and small woodpeckers.

The next photo is of the second year…This is a humble little plant growing near the roadside…but I have seen them grow to majestic heights…6 to 8 ft. tall…with branching bloom.

This plant is a lovely colonizer as well. It’s Prunella vulgaris, (Heal All)…and it forms pretty clumps and will grow just about anywhere..but it likes moisture as it grows on low ground and near the edge of the stream. It also is not bothered by salt because it grows very close to the road.

There are so many different types of ferns growing here that I will do a separate blog on them…but the small creature in the foreground is Adiantum pedatum..(Maidenhair Fern) and in the backdrop you will see Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern)
Rudbeckia hirta…(Black Eyed Susan)

This blog is not complete but it’s late and plenty to do tomorrow…so the last photo is the nut of the black walnut…(Juglans niger) Can’t wait to harvest some of the nuts. I will have to move all the plants which were put in a bed directly under this huge tree. What a wonderful find this was.

Will have to pick up all the ones I’ve omitted from this blog and put them in a second one sometime in the future…and there will also be the August bloomers to find and photograph. It’s amazing. There are so many that I’ve not looked into as well.. so many plants…so little time!

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I find all the wild flowers (weeds?) fascinating as that's where all our much-interfered-with garden plants come from. I still exclaim over the wild- and dog-roses arching up out of the hedges and go into raptures at the bank of primroses and cowslips that we drive past on the way to town. Keep your camera handy for any bear action!

20 Jul, 2011


There are some really nice wild flower's and you have a lot , I think I would be giving the bear first choice of the fruit. Your greenhouse is looking good :-)

20 Jul, 2011


Mother Nature is providing you with a lovely selection of blooms Lori, greenhouse looks ready and I like the idea of the light..
Smashing pics and blog...

20 Jul, 2011


i have seen the term Joe Pye weed a lot and never knew what it was, it is a relation to our Hemp Agrimony, E. Cannabinum, i dont see it a lot here though as it is mostly far too dry.
i call comfrey a 'knit bone' plant, maybe a similar effect when used as medication.
when you say a 'Black eyed Susan' that would for me be a garden plant the 'Thunbergia Alata' a climber.
i dont know the 'Tall meadow rue', we have the common-, the small-, the greater- and the lesser meadow rue and the alpine but no Tall one!!
The Perf. St Johns Worth we do have although i cannt remember ever seeing one. Mallow i have wild in my garden, the Verbascum also. The Self Heal occurs here but not in my garden (yet) and the walnut i have 7 or 8 of in the garden as part of my wild hedge but it is not not the niger , but the Ruglans Regia, they occur here in the verges too and get mown down every year!
the purple loosestrife i used to see a lot in the uk but not really here, too dry again.
did you see my photo of the 'moth mullein' i discovered in the garden? never seen that one before.
i went wildflower spotting this afternoon, complete with binns, dogs and camera, and book of course...lots of clouds but no rain, perfect!
ps which bears would be interested in your rubus and apples? as Nariz says, dont forget that camera, i want to see one!! please...
i have been on the lookout for boar, saw evidence of them but as we dont have much maize this year, too dry for the farmers and water restrictions, they are not around the village so much anymore, as they normally are in the high maize plants during the day and move fr field to field. I expect Nariz sees a lot of boar around in the Picos.

20 Jul, 2011


I don't see them too often, Lori, only a couple of sightings. I see more of bits of them in our freezer - compliments of our neighbour!

21 Jul, 2011


does wild boar have a wild venison or moose?
or does it just taste like domesticated pork?

21 Jul, 2011


Strangely, it tastes more like beef. There's no 'gamey' flavour with it and it's almost devoid of any fat - as you would imagine for a wild foraging animal. Not good roasted therefore, but in stews or minced and used in lasagne it's lovely. Wish I could send you some but I fear it would be more than gamey by the time it reached you!

22 Jul, 2011


nice of you to think of me. I've never been much of a meat eater tho...and wild game never enticed me. Not that I didn't eat it as a child. My father went hunting in deer season and my brother was an avid moose hunter. I have had partridge stew (the birds are so small and their meat so tough that stewing them is just about the only way to eat them). Would not dream of trying bear as they like pork can host trichinosis. Don't eat rabbit, or frog legs, but have had the roe of the is delicious.

23 Jul, 2011


I remember having Wild Pacific Salmon when I visited Canada - not the same as your freshly-caught salmon roe, but it was lovely! Luuuuuurve Venison, but very rarely get it. Just before we left Britain to come here we discovered a Farmers' Market that sold venison sausages. Delicious! I understand British Supermarkets now occasionally stock venison but it's not a meat 'on offer' over here - I think it must be highly prized and jealously kept by its hunter! :o( I don't choose to eat rabbit but, during the many July/August fiestas here when someone has made paella, I found the 'chicken' I thought I was eating turned out to be conejo (rabbit)!

23 Jul, 2011


lovely blog lori ...................... love wild flowers and if there pretty then they stay lol ........... thanks for adding me , makes it sooooo much easier , how i wud love all that space woooo . ;0))

25 Jul, 2011


YVW...Cristina LOL.. my first concern, when it finally sank into my aging brain, I had to ask myself...What Were You Thinking? If I can control myself...I have enough work for eight years! hheee.... I've accepted the fact that I'm spreading myself very thin, but I'm trying to work on 3 areas now...had it down to one for a while (back deck and pond)...but I have to do something about the front lawn(?) it's being dug up by raccoons looking for grubs. (the grubs have killed off most of the has dried out completely and it can be rolled up like a rug to reveal the grubs below. Bears also like them so I'm hoping that the raccoons clean them up before the bears realize they're there. Don't want a bear in the front yard! And lastly, I have to clean up the fallen tree branches!!

25 Jul, 2011


any sign of them bears yet?
and what would you do if you saw them in your garden?

do they tend to be agressive or just see people as a source of food?

i like your boar sighting Nariz, in the fridge ;- ))
i rather like their taste

26 Jul, 2011


LOL... Resi, you really want to see a pic of the bears, don't you? I'm not sure I want to though! Things are weighted in your favour because my front lawn has a GRUB infestation..and at present the raccoons are rolling up the sod to get at's been pointed out to me that Bears are GRUB aficionados... I'm not looking forward to the ripening of the apples the bears come to the trees and do damage to get the apples. I have solar lighting and a large light on the driveway which may keep them at bey. I sure hope so anyway! From what I've heard they are not aggressive unless it's a mother bear with cubs...get between her and her cubs and you have problems...otherwise they're just looking for their next meal!

26 Jul, 2011


yes Lori i would so love to see one.
we have friends who came across one about 100m from them when they were walking in the Pyrenees some 6 years ago, they just stood there and it ambled off.
there are brown bears here and a scheme of reintroducing them from Slovenia, which is fairly successful, the last native female was shot a cple of years back by a local farmer, it made the headlines worldwide apparently

as for boars, i now always have my camera in my pocket when i go out so one of these days we will come face to face again.
the last time i saw one, trotting very purposefully across a next field, a big male tusker, sounds like an elephant.., Jesse shot after it and stopped about 10m away from it, looked around for me and sat on her haunches, she would have been game to have a go but i thought it safer to watch from a distance as she can run faster than i can!! anyway he had ohter matters on his mind, totally ignored her and disappeared into the woods.
B nearly walked into one last year which was laying wounded by the lake, this was of course during the hunting season, when i went to see for myself half an hour later it had gone, hopefully the hunters had found him and put him out of his misery.
many hunters here hunt on the quiet without licence and leave animals like that to die cruel deaths.
there are also often hunting dogs during the season which get lost from the pack and wander around for days.
B now refuses to go anywhere near the areas where they are hunting, again last year he had bullets flying round his ears and hitting the ground in front of him.
this peaceful french countryside!

27 Jul, 2011


We get the hunters too, Resi. No me gusta cazadores! We unwittingly and very happily managed to foil a hunt a couple of years ago. We went for a local wander round the lanes - not realising the hunt was taking place there - and, as it was a little drizzly, I was wearing my yellow waterproof jacket. We happened to spot a hunter on the opposite mountain - in a yellow jacket - who was obviously watching 'our' mountain through binoculars in order to inform the other hunters by walkie-talkie where deer were running to. Partner shouted 'Hola!' to him and he answered (I imagine thinking that we were hunters also, due to my yellow jacket) then we realised what we could do and went happily crashing through the bushes making as much noise as we could. On our way back to the village we were passed by a speeding car, the driver of which sneered at us, then we heard angry voices all talking at once and all the cars left the area by our village and roared off! No venison today then? (Hee hee!) :oD

27 Jul, 2011


lovely story Nariz and good for you, and the deer!! :-))

27 Jul, 2011


Good for you Nariz!!! As I mentioned to Resi (on another page, I think) don't have a taste for wild meat...and I"m thinking seriously of looking into becoming a vegetarian.
I was wondering if it would be dangerous for Jesse to mix it up with a boar!? The tusks on those things...yeeesh!
I have bought a "spotlight" to use in the car. That's the safest way I can think of to view the bears, if they should come, that is. The last few who were seen in this neighbourhood were hunted and destroyed. They had come into the area, drawn buy the municipal garbage dump which was nearby. As long as the dump was in operation they were happy to live there and leave the locals undisturbed. When they closed the dump the bears started checking out alternate sources of food, breaking into root cellars and storage sheds. That made them " a nuisance" and meant that they could be destroyed. Bears and humanity were never meant to mix...the bears give us a wide berth if they are allowed...but when they are hungry the will take what they can find. Like many other species they are running out of habitat because of human encroachment!

27 Jul, 2011


Wow...just reread your post Resi and tell B to always wear bright colours! We have hunting accidents occasionally here as well. Just make sure to stay on the good side of your neighbours! and here (out west) to avoid an altercation with bears, Nariz,...hikers and naturalists wear bells!

27 Jul, 2011


i dont know about the good side of our neighbours Lori, our present ones are lovely, the ones in our previous house were ok too but he was an old hunter and one christmas we heard a shot and a lot of shouting and swearing - quite a feat as we were about 800m away from them - and an ambulance came down, when we met him the next day his foot was all bandaged up and he told us he was cleaning his gun when it went off, his wife told me later that he was shooting at a rat but missed by a long shot, i dont suppose it was actually under his feet!! one of which now only has 4 toes!!
am afraid B isnt really a bright colour man!! he just gives them a wide berth.
i am afraid there is nothing i can do to stop Jesse from a tussle with anything Lori, i have a sneaky feeling she was originally bred as a fighting dog, she has been known to take on a pack of Beauceron, two huskies and a boxer, and not wanting to let go or get out of there, she was torn to shreds especially her hind end, but they didnt get off scotfree either.
we got her stitched up and seen to but the next week when we came across them once more she went straight in there again
fortunately the owners, totally irresponsable as they, like many people here, just let their animals roam, have now moved back to paris.
when we passed their house the beauceron used to come flying out of the window!! in the end i phoned the owner to tell her i wld be passing and to keep them in..
just the local packs to contend with now, but they know each other well by now and just go through the motions when we meet and i can actually handle them.
the locals are all astonished here anyway to see me walking with a dog, they just can not see the need to take a dog out.

28 Jul, 2011


Same here, Resi - dogs are working animals and never thought of as pets except in the towns where the poor things become 'apartment pets.' We'd love to have a dog - a retriever, a lab or a border collie - but it would naturally mix with the village dogs and become high rise accommodation for all sorts of vermin, so we get our 'dog fix' by stroking the local dogs, then don't touch anything until we can wash our hands! Yuk!

We once had a dog-type conversation with our Spanish neighbour who told us that the woman who delivers the post in a van actally allows her dogs into her house!!! Shock!! Horror!!!!! It's just not done in this region. :o(

29 Jul, 2011


fancy dogs in the house! she'll be taking her dog out for a walk next ....!
funny isnt it, people often just dont realize what they are missing
i remember the farm i used to stay at as a child wouldnt have their dogs in the house and the cats only as mousers, but strictly no petting, and that was quite normal then
maybe the very rural areas in france and spain etc will eventually catch up too, but not the present older generation.

29 Jul, 2011


That's part of the reason why we love this country and region so much - it's at least 20 years behind the times, so 'old fashioned' values, like respect and consideration for others, is still high on everybody's list to the point where it's being taught to this generation and the next. No doubt it will collapse and be dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming but for the moment .... life is good! :o))))))))))))

29 Jul, 2011


In the days before flea-control, I remember my parents had the same attitude toward animals in the house. The reason was mostly that veterinarians were for cattle and sheep...dogs and cats, well they were kept outdoors, fed table scraps, or left to shift for themselves in barns. The cat populations rose and fell with natural predation. It was a different world. The change, when it came, happened in the space of one generation.

30 Jul, 2011


What a fascinating blog this has turned out to be! Dont know how the heck I missed it, but enjoyed all the input especially by Resi and Nariz...
Lori, have caught up with all your blogs and can only say Im more amazed than I first expressed! You certainly make the most of your short summer! You would have enjoyed a programme I saw recently about a young girl (single, about 23yo) who has set up a sheep farm in a wild, lonely area of Scotland and is leading "the good life" in a way we couldnt even imagine down here in the "soft" south!
May you be blessed throughout the coming winter and manage to see the bears without them coming grubbing!

5 Nov, 2011


Thanks Tet! Good for that young lady...23 and she's wiser than some twice her age! I sometimes wish that I was 40 years younger! What a furrow I could plow!
But being this age really isn't so bad...trying to be careful to avoid excesses...and taking frequent breaks.
Have been seeing deer recently..they are pruning away the apple trees, my euonymous, the mallow, and the hostas...I don't give a rap...they are the loveliest creatures I've ever seen and it's a treat to see them so close. The Urban Cowboys are here for the week as this is deer season and I'm going to be on guard when outdoors don't want to have shots whizzing around my head. Locals are more careful but the UC's are dangerous!
Went to a community meeting back in Oct. and one of the local men had pictures of a large, fat black bear...and stories of his neighbour who had just shot a bear for the meat(arghhh!) They've been spotted around the area but so far all I've seen is something I think might be bear poop!
In the front "meadow" the deer tracks are thick around the alfalfa. I have done some digging and widened the stream near the gate and I think the deer are appreciative of that..they now come to drink. Downside is that it's so close to the road that I worry locals my try shooting them and the shots will cross my front yard! Will be posting "No Hunting" signs. It's a bit of work but the deer are worth it.

5 Nov, 2011


To be quite frank I would rather ban the guns than the animals..would hate the thought of a firearm in my house!

5 Nov, 2011


Amen to that, Tet! I told a neighbour I wanted to post our property and he said .."well, you know, that means that you can't use a gun on your property either!?"... yeah, and since when is that going to be a problem? I could have been very rude but I decided that if they don't understand my aversion to firearms we speak at cross purposes. There have been rumours of bears and even that does not entice me to own a gun. Whack a wooden spoon on a pan and yell bloody murder! that gets rid of just about anything ...hee hee ..including neighbours. LOL

5 Nov, 2011

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