Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rock Bells (Wild Red Columbine)

Rock Bells, or Wild Red Columbine
Aquilegia canadensis
These pictures come courtesy of regular contributor, Mike Hall, who said that the Buffalo River Area (Near Compton, AR) was full of these right now. To see more of Mikes work (with lush watefalls) from his recent trip to the area, go to
And for more on Rock bells see:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mammatus Chariots

Mammatus clouds dip behind three of the "Little Rock Nine" - a sculpture honoring students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, over 50 years ago

Mammatus over Arkansas River

Arkansas Capitol Building.

South Wing, looking north.

All pics taken April, 23 2009 between 6:40 AM and 7:40 AM
I don't normally post clouds to ID Arkansas, but these are a unique kind, worthy of an ID.
"He makes the Clouds His chariots, He rides on the wings of the Wind." (Psalm 104)
Mammatus: root word same as in mammal, mammary, and Maumelle, Arkansas. “Pouches or Breasts.” (Some French explorer or Meteorologist had been too long from the company of women and started seeing things in the clouds and hills!)
I ride a van as part of a pool to work, so it was with some consternation that I saw the morning sky putting on a Mammatus cloud show. (I couldn't stop to get out without loosing my ride.) But it is a little safer than taking pictures while driving. (See folio below)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sanapshot, Week 15 4/12-4/18

Calico green

Final tree mix, heavy in white oak, goes green.

False Dandelion (Cat's ear) - grows like it was planted in a vase.

Ragwort "Stick Weeds"

Supise "Albino" white bloom among the Crimson tide.

Crimson Clover/ White Oak. The Crimson clover are off the charts the year, and are the number one search item that are bringing folks to this blog. Tag: Red flower along highways.

This week was a lot like last week only more so. A little warmer, though not much. Cold nights, gorgeous days, with Thomas Kincaid landscapes replete Dogwoods amidst azaleas. (The dogs are greening but still go strong, and I believe the Pink Dogs follow slightly on the heals of the more prodigious white.) The woods are fully calico, with White Oak, Pin Oak, Walnut (or Pecan), and Sycamore serving as caboose on the green machine.

My big find this week is the White Oak. May sound strange in that I have been taking pictures of growing things for years; however this is my first year to be deeply aware of the White Oak as distinct from all other Oaks. And now that I have realised that distinction, I wonder how I ever lacked clarity before. (I plan a larger post this week given to the White Oaks). So stay tuned.

Quick notes/things observed:

  1. The "Dogs" go green
  2. Multihued Azalea patches, some going sour, and some going bold.
  3. White mini-daisies on a stick., appear to follow ragwort by about a week.
  4. White "snow" bushes. (I took some pics then erased them for the file space.)
  5. Lots of mini-rose things.
  6. A suggestion of Primrose.
  7. A deep thickening of buttercup fields.
  8. Several varieties of smell good trees and shrubs.
  9. The Seeding (finally) of the Sugar maples.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Snapshot Week 14: April 5-11

Water Oak in living green

Dogwoods barking loudly, some going to leaf.

"Rorange" berries. I have yet to learn the name of this plant, but berries are not new, they have been in place since deep winter.

Crimson clover boldly bound along Arkansas highways.

As of April 11, I now think of Spring in Central Arkansas as about half way done. The marker?--that triad of limon-green trees, and dogwood casting shadows on hot-pink azaleas.

Truth is, this was a schizophrenic week. The very best and worst of Spring, with chilly bright skies, tornadoes, freezing nights and open-door days. The week opened under vicious wind and closed with weeping skies. With heaven in between.

Heavy winds toss this emerging Willow Oak.
Willow Oak Catkin clump.

I hadn't really taken it in before this year, but the White Oak and Pin Oak appear later in the line of Oaks going into floral catkin flourish. And flourish they have, it great bulky mass. (I've noticed too, that I can now tell White Oaks from a distance, apart from a leaf. They are marked by a certain waviness to the branches.

White Oak covered in catkin.

The last of the new green is giving way to that wonderful "calico" green.... a splotchy blend of various green hues, from sage, to limon, to army, to the dark green of the pine, which will -- as the weeks unfold, darkened into a uni-mass. (Yellow patch = buttercups)

General observations:

Dog wood in full floral flourish, some going to leaf.
Redbud pretty much mopped up, with a few stragglers.
Limp dusty wisteria vines.
The Jesamine vines, with yellow flower seem thinner.
The byways are heavy under Crimson clover.
The hard branched Pin Oak softening with green.
Yellow "ragwort" on sticks, sticking out of pasture land
Purple "Blue Phlox" sprouting on roadsides.
Butter cups continue to thicken in pastures and in wet spots.
A lot more of the carnation bush for which I do not have a name -- in snowy bloom.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Snapshot Week 13: March 29 - April 5: Virid

Beyond the "Dogs" the big news this week was green - in every virid shade. (Virid = living pulsing green of a sort that doesn't seem to record with full force on film/or a digital plane. I have often thought of virid green to be the opposite but equal of blood-red corpuscles as viewed through a microscope. )

The new Sweetgum seedballs begin to mature. If I have it right, only one of the balls of the multi-ball cluster makes the descent, while the rest of the cluster falls to the ground. (See week 11)

Redbud purple dims as new green "hearts" push from the tips.

Not sure if this is new Walnut or Pecan growth (Mount Magazine view)

Still waiting on a better ID, but this catkin belongs to a member of the Birch family.

(File/04) Southern Red Oak goes to leaf, even as the catkins leave.

End of week, Southern Red Oak in full regalia (but still thickening)

Virid copper green Oaks near the State Capitol. These would be Willow Oaks, unless the leaf fattens up and I find they are Water Oaks. (There are some other very apparent Willow Oaks on ground that are not near as bunchy with leaf.

While the White oaks and Pin Oaks seem just now bursting forth in copper catkin (those floral chains that look like worms), many of the other oaks are shedding their "worms" as the new leaves push into flower, and spread them (with wind help) into dusty humps upon the ground.

I'm pretty sure these are the seeds of a Silver Tip maple, now turning brittle and the color of straw. Next week, whirling wind.

What a wild wisteria patch! I hope to return next year and harvest a body of images.

Other things observed:

Azalias (sp?), blooming under the dogwood.
Red bud greatly diminished
Red Clover building in mounds
Purple Vetch beginning to out from the Red Clover mix
Dock weed in the interstate
lots of the yellow stick (daisy family) flowers
White bushes coated in mini-carnation.

Red Maple given to bold green leafing
Silver tip Maple given to whirly seed browning, far less leaf than the Red.
Sugar Maple flowerettes strewn on the ground, a suggestion of whirly bird seed.