Yesterday, it was unseasonably warm (it may have hit 58 degrees, I'd heard...but it was at least in the low to mid 50s), and, although the temperature is dropping today, I think we had a high of 45. I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and get in a walk--not enough to counteract the holiday eating marathon I've been engaging, but it sure felt good.
As I've been doing for months, I ended up collecting seeds from the roadside. Here is a bouquet I gathered today:
Along with the evening primrose, Monarda didyma, and grass-leaf goldenrod, I got a little cattail fuzz (from various plants to ensure genetic diversity) and some winterberry holly (Ilex verticulata). The holly has rapidly shot to the top of my list--now that I'm encountering it in nature, I'm really enjoying its beauty. I can't wait until mine are old enough to produce berries--of the 5 bare root seedlings I put in years ago, only one did not succumb to the rabbits, deer, and my neglect. I hope to grow the rest from seed of the local genotype (the bareroot came from a Pennsylvania nursery). I've had success with seeds...but have yet to try the seeds of berry-producers.
After arriving home, I took a couple shots of a white pine tree that I put in a couple of years ago...it is actually less full now than when I put it in--the mugwort took over and shaded it out. I call it my Charlie Brown tree--I thought today was a perfect day to post it.