spooky town

Was in northern Florida for a work trip, and I forgot how much I appreciate Spanish moss. So spooky looking. It drifts in light breezes.

Spanish moss is neither Spanish nor a moss. It’s a bromeliad–a perennial herb in the pineapple family, of all things. The University of Florida offers a online fact sheet on this perennial, which you can access here.

more interesting

Trees, shrubs, and ground cover are more interesting than I give them credit for. These white pine needles resemble a July 4th fireworks show.

This shrub’s colors move from evergreen to a frosty blue grey.

And then this ground cover is just so fun. The stems look like spring action toys–if you pushed on them, they would spring right back.

monarchs and milkweed

Since moving back to #Illinois, I can’t help but notice all the attention paid to pollinators–the critters like bees and butterflies that move pollen around on a plant, causing it to produce seeds.

Milkweed is the ultimate snack for monarch butterflies.

They migrate thousands of miles for this stuff.

And they need milkweed to lay their eggs because Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves.

Local milkweed bloomed and has since faded, but these butterflies persist. I spied a few this past week and hope I might see some more before they migrate south for the winter.

hunting trolls at the morton arboretum

If you have an afternoon to spare and enjoy searching for gigantic troll sculptures, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, is a good bet.

The sculptures are huge. If I had to guess, between 20 and 30 feet in height.

Trolls are ultimate mischief makers in Norse mythology. They create natural disturbances and set riddles for humans to solve (or not).

green clover, green clover

One of my neighbors in #Belhaven has a large clump of clover at the corner of his property. And every time I pass it by, I can’t help but peer closely and hope I find a four-leafer.

Jackson Mississippi Belhaven Clover Deep South

Clover is an herbaceous plant in the pea family, and its leaves are primarily three lobed. It took some diligence but I finally found a four-leafer–in my backyard when I was pulling weeds. Insert eye roll.

Honestly can’t remember the last time I found a four-leaf clover. Was I ten? Eleven or twelve? As a late 40-something, I’ll take this as a positive sign and hope that good luck might blow my way. (Now if I can just find a rainbow and a pot of gold.)