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First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

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Hello. My name is Emily, and this will be the introduction to my blog. I plan on creating an opinionated field guide to all things natural found in much of New England. I will provide descriptions to the best of my ability, if possible photos and sketches  (I still have to figure out how to upload pictures, if possible) as well as whatever my feelings are to that particular subject.

There are many field guides out there, but most simply just give a description to their subject and little else. I feel that my own personal experiences and whatever biases associated with them will give an added insight into local wildlife, weather, geology and locales worth visiting here in New England.

 

Enjoy,

~Emily

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Not a Cat, and Doesn’t Eat Much Fish

Just before starting this blog, I just realized something very important – that this will be my first blog about a mammal.  About time, right?? Right! Now, time for my featured presentation: The FISHER CAT! Woot!

DSC_0764
Fisher CAt I inadvertantly treed while on the Cape

So, what do the following have in common: Purple Finch, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Sweet Fern and the Fisher cat? All are poorly named. The Purple Finch isn’t purple, the Red Bellied Woodpecker has a faint pink blotch on its belly, Sweet Fern isn’t a fern and the fisher cat isn’t a cat, and prefers to hunt on land. It belongs to elite group of critters I like to call “The Poorly Named Species Club.” It is actually quite a large club, indeed as there are many other species with names which describe qualities they don’t have. But enough about that, I want to focus on today’s subject: the fisher cat.

So, why are they called fisher cats? Good question! And I have an answer. It is because early English settlers in the region thought they looked like a European polecat. But instead of using the word polecat, they decided to use an old timer word for it, because you know that was back in old timer times. That old timer word being “fitch,” which then became fisher.[i] The Dutch and French settlers also had similar words for this animal as well.[ii] So with different European settlers living in in proximity to each other calling it roughly the same thing, the name fisher stuck. As for the “cat” part, I’m not sure, my sources don’t really say. I’m guessing it has something to do with the cat part of polecat. But I could be wrong. For all I know it could be Algonquin for the nasty thing that will eat your face off because it is a fucking asshole. So are there any Algonquin speakers out there in The Great Interwebs Land who can back me up on this? Any feedback would be great. Thanks.

Yeah, so it isn’t a cat. Well, what is it? It’s a giant weasel. And a rather unfriendly one at that. These things have a reputation for being mean and aggressive, kinda like that surly drunk at the bar, and you are wisely keeping a wise distance from him. Good idea, stay away from this fucker. He’s trouble. Keep your cats away from him, too, because the fisher cat thinks your Mr. Fluffybottom would make a good snack.

DSC_0685
I swear this guy was sizing me up. Seriously, you want a piece of me, bitch? I don’t think so. I’ll mess you up, mofo. He quickly ran back into the woods after this brief encounter

You know what else they like to snack on? Porcupines. Turns out they really love to eat are porcupines. It is their favorite thing to munch on. While most other predators would like to avoid a mouth full of quills, fisher cats know how to get around that issue. Basically, they charge the pointy haired rodent head on, bite his face off then flip him over. They then go straight for the soft underbelly, which just happens to be totally free of spiky quills.[iii] Victory for Fisher Cat!

And now for a quick description. Sure you got the picture, but how about some details to go along with it! Like I previously mentioned, it is a big-ass weasel. Like other members of the weasel family, it has an elongated body, which from nose to tail, a full grown adult could be anywhere from 3.5 to 4.3 feet long![iv] And they can weigh up to 18 pounds. Yeah, big for a weasel, but overall, not that big. However, what they lack in size, they more than make up for in meanness.  Also, males are larger than females.[v] They have thick dark brown, almost blackish fur.[vi] At first impression, they look kinda like a cross between a dog, weasel, and bear. And one feline type quality they do have, is retractable claws.[vii] Good for climbing and catching prey and climbing up trees, and clawing up lawn furniture and faces. And about that climbing trees thing, their paws can rotate 180 degrees, so they can easily reverse direction while climbing, making going up and deal real easy.[viii]

Fisher cats are normally rather quiet. They prefer to be silent killers. However they do make sounds. But I should point out that Youtube is not the most reliable source for fisher cat sounds, as many of them are actually recordings of red foxes.[ix] So if you want to know what the fox says, you may want to look up fisher cat screams instead of Ylvis.

So yeah, that is the first mammal post. (Finally!) What next, first shark post, or poisonous critter post or perhaps another bug or flower, or something else entirely. I will leave that a surprise for you, reader. Until next time, later!

Emily Curewitz

[i] Author Unknown “Fisher (animal)” Wikipedia 01SEP2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher_(animal)

[ii] Author Unknown “Fisher (animal)” Wikipedia 01SEP2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher_(animal)

[iii] Whitaker Jr., John O. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals Completely Revised Version 1997 Chanticleer Press New York, pg 758

[iv] Whitaker Jr., John O. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals Completely Revised Version 1997 Chanticleer Press New York, pg 758

[v] Whitaker Jr., John O. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals Completely Revised Version 1997 Chanticleer Press New York, pg 758

[vi] Whitaker Jr., John O. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals Completely Revised Version 1997 Chanticleer Press New York, pg 758

[vii] Author Unknown “About Fishers”  Mass Audubon Website http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/mammals/fishers/about  22SEP2017

[viii] Ryan, Fran “Fishers Among Most Misunderstood and Maligned Creatures in Region” Daily Hampshire Gazette,  Northampton MA. 12OCT2016

[ix] Author Unknown “About Fishers”  Mass Audubon Website http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/mammals/fishers/about  22SEP2017

Dark Side of the Moon

Money? Nope.

Time? Nuh-uh.

The Great Gig in the Sky? I guess it sorta kinda technically counts. But I still think I’m still gonna go with a “no” on that one.

Any Colour You Like? No.

Eclipse? Yep. That’s the one! More specifically, a solar eclipse. Unless you have been totally avoiding the news, Facebook and the sky, you know there was an eclipse as the moon passed directly over the sun. Here, we only got a partial eclipse. In other places they got a total eclipse. Lucky bastards. Since I am guessing you are not in any of those places, you only got to see a partial eclipse, which is better than nothing. And oh yeah, the side that faced us today; that would be the dark side, the side we never see. It is the side that always faces us during solar eclipses.[i]

To best see the eclipse, you need some special glasses, which I didn’t. I kinda forgot, as I was focusing on practicing new choreography for belly dance. However, I did find another way to view the eclipse. I put a box on my head. Well, it is a special box, called a pinhole camera. Pinhole on one side, paper on the other, and I get to see the shadow of the moon passing in front of the sun. I could have looked directly at the sun, but I wanted to see other things afterwards, so I decided not to do that. While total blindness isn’t that common (but it is still a thing), but other types of damage can, and often do occur – most notably dimming of vision for short periods of time, and seeing shadowy images for a period of time afterwards,[ii] and I don’t want any of that.

DSC_1028
My totally sweet, state-of-the-art pinhole camera. check out that super high tech wicked awesome design on that baby. You know you’re jealous!
DSC_1013
And that is my sweet image of the moon obscuring the sun in my pinhole camera. There was actually more contrast, but the camera flash brightened the inside of the box quite a bit

As most of you may already know, the moon passed in front of the sun. Also, it got a teeny bit darker in mid-afternoon and there all sorts of weird-ass shadows and shit. But did you know that there was a super cool Scrabble word involved too? Syzygy! Don’t even ask how that shit is pronounced, because I have no fucking clue, but it is 21 points before you add in any special tiles. So what the hell is this syzygy thing anyway? It is when three or more gravitational bodies pass in front of each other in a straight line[iii]. In this case the moon is passing between the earth and the sun.[iv] This will cause a shadow to fall on the earth. Where the moon completely covers the sun, it is called the umbra, it gets dark as night there, but here we were in the penumbra, where only part of the sun got covered, and it gets kinda shady,[v] depending on how close you are to the umbra. We also got some clouds too, which kinda sucked, but this being New England, it could have been a whole helleva lot worse.

DSC_1008
this was my attempt at photography with my eyes shut. Actually just one out of about 50 attempts. As you can clearly see, some dumbass clouds got in the way. Stupid clouds!

There are different kinds of solar eclipses, but this is a total eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun – at least in part of the affected area. But everyone around here will only see a partial eclipse.[vi] There are other kinds too, but I’m not discussing those, because I don’t wanna. Just today’s eclipse.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are also the cool shadows, you got these things called shadow bands, in which you have alternating dark and light areas, no one knows what causes them, but the pictures of them seem pretty cool,[vii] but sadly there were none of those here. Bummer. However, I did see some weird ass crescent shaped shadows. I wasn’t able to figure out why, but I guess it works in the same principle as my pinhole camera. They were totally cool to look at.

DSC_1017
Crescent shadows, instead of the usual flower shaped shadows

Ok, the eclipse is now over, and I am gonna go back and crank up some Pink Floyd now.  Later.

 

Emily Curewitz

21AUG2017

[i] Original Author Unknown, updated by Resnick, Brian “Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Everything You Need to Know” Vox 18Aug2017 208pm https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/15925410/total-solar-eclipse-2017-explained

[ii] Pappas, Stephanie “Can a Solar Eclipse really Blind You?” Livescience 10AUG2017 (originally published in 2012, but updated on10AUG2017) https://www.livescience.com/20433-solar-eclipse-blind.html

[iii] Author Unknown “Syzygy” Wikipedia 20AUG2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygy_(astronomy)

[iv] Author Unknown  “Solar Eclipse” Wikipedia 20AUG2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse

[v] Author Unknown  “Solar Eclipse” Wikipedia 20AUG2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse

[vi] Author Unknown “August 21 2017 Solar Eclipse” Time and Date 1995-2017 https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2017-august-21

[vii] Author Unknown “Exploring Shadow Bands” NASA 20AUG2017 https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/exploring-shadow-bands

To Kill a Northern Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottus

perchedmockingbird001
Not the best image, but here is a typical mockingbird singing in a conspicuous location

Some fictional character from some book once said that it is wrong to kill a mockingbird because all it does is sing to make us happy. Wrong! The mockingbird sings as an act of territorial aggression, among other reasons, but territory is certainly an important part of it.[i] Sure, we might like the song as it sounds pretty (sometimes) but I assure it is not for our enjoyment. And then there are their aggressive screams[ii] when it attacks another bird – or anything else unlucky enough to get to close to the nest. And no, that is not really pretty at all, unless maybe you like that noise, in which case, I am guessing you would probably like country music too, or perhaps Nickelback, or maybe both. It’s both, isn’t it? Well, since there’s no accounting for taste, so go ahead listen to that screeching thing. Anything deemed as a threat is attacked, mercilessly, and anything that strays anywhere near the nest is attacked even if it obviously not a predator. Also, anything that gets too close to the nest is remembered and if the mockingbird happens to go near it for any reason, is also considered a threat. And the mockingbird will attack every he sees it.[iii]

And their song isn’t original either, they like to copy other birds. Usually other birds. Sometimes its cats, sometimes alarm clocks, sometimes pianos, sometimes even car alarms. Basically it’s whatever sound the northern mockingbird comes across,[iv] because why the fuck not. And they repeat those sounds a few times as well.[v] Not only is territorial aggression a reason for singing, but also quite possibly a form of sexual selection. Those with the best repertoires are more likely to mate[vi], and they keep learning new songs throughout their life.

A good field mark for northern mockingbirds is their white wing spots. They will often flash those wing spots, usually on the ground. It is widely thought they do this to flush insects out in the open, so they could eat them (berries are also a very large part of their[vii] diet as well); and also as an act of territorial aggression.[viii] Notice that that territorial aggression thing is becoming a bit of a theme with this bird.

Northern Mockingbirds have been expanding their range northward for over a century. At first, they were very rare over most of New England, or at least the parts of the region they were found. Now they are found throughout most of the region, and are quite common through much of that range.[ix] Not only that, they do not migrate, they are here year round, however, they usually lay low in the winter.[x]

Sexes are similar in this species. They are a sleek, gray handsome bird with a long tail.[xi] They are fond of grassy areas, and do well in populated areas.[xii] They are often found high in a perch singing – they aren’t too fussy as to what type of perch, a tree, house, telephone pole, whatever, so long as it is high up and out in the open – because, you guessed it: territorial aggression![xiii] And unlike many other songbirds, both sexes sing.[xiv] They are also commonly found on the ground too, though, they are usually looking for food when they are there.[xv]

mockingbird
artist’s rendition of a northern mockingbid. Note the white wing spots

So to summarize: Northern Mockingbirds are dicks, like to sing, are quite good looking and have been moving north. Until next time, go out, enjoy nature, even its douchier aspects, like the northern mockingbird.

 

 

~ Emily Curewitz 14 August 2017

[i] Author unknown “How and Why Birds Sing” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2017 https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/birdsong/

[ii] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/sounds

[iii] Sample, Ian “Mockingbirds Bear a grudge Against Particular People” The Guardian 18MAY2009

[iv] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_mockingbird  05AUG2017 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/may/18/mockingbirds-human-recognition

[v] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/sounds

[vi] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_mockingbird  05AUG2017

[vii] Edited by Elphick, Chris, Dunning, John B. and Sibley, David Allen “National Audubon Society The Field Guide to Bird Life & Behavior” pg. 470. 2001, Chanticleer Press, New York.

[viii] Edited by Elphick, Chris, Dunning, John B. and Sibley, David Allen “National Audubon Society The Field Guide to Bird Life & Behavior” pg. 470. 2001, Chanticleer Press, New York.

[ix] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_mockingbird  05AUG2017

[x] Author Unknown “northern Mockingbirds” Mass Audubon 2017 http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/birds/northern-mockingbirds

[xi] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/id

[xii] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/id

[xiii] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/id

[xiv] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/sounds

[xv] Author Unknown “Northern Mockingbird” Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/id

This is Why I Don’t Eat Wild Mushrooms

Amanita bisporigera[i]

DSC_0570
This one was actually quite small. They normally get much larger.

So, what do you call a mycologist that likes to throw wild parties?  A real fun guy!  BaDUMP-bump. Ok, that’s my lame mushroom joke.

If I was to name a band, I would call it the Invincible Army of Darkness. Sounds like the name of a band you would just love to see, right? Who wouldn’t want to see that band? How about Destroying Angel? Sounds totally metal, doesn’t it. Too bad you can’t name your band that, because it is taken. Not only is it the name of some band, it is also the name of a kind of mushroom. Why is it called a destroying angel? Because, unless you get to a hospital fast, it will fucking kill you. In fact, I strongly recommend not even touching anything that even remotely looks like one, better to be safe than sorry.

Symptoms of mushroom poisoning appear usually between 5 and 24 hours of ingestion.[ii] They include vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and convulsions.[iii] All in all, not a very fun time. The poison works by destroying your liver and kidneys. There is treatment,[iv] but get to a hospital as immediately when you begin to experience symptoms, or sooner. Sooner is better, always better.

These things are all white and have what is called a ‘universal veil’,[v] which is a cup-like structure at the base of the mushroom.[vi] In fact, anything with a universal veil will kill you,[vii] so don’t fucking touch them, EVER!!! Even though the poison works by ingestion, I still will recommend not even touching them in case, you accidentally put a little in your mouth after you touched the mushroom.

There are several kinds of destroying angel mushrooms, all have the characteristics I mentioned. One species does live here: the Eastern North American Destroying Angel.[viii] (Amanita bisporigera) They like mixed broadleaf and coniferous forests, and are quite common.[ix] They have a relationship with trees[x] in which they trade off nutrients for carbohydrates.[xi] This particular species can get quite large, they can row to be anywhere between 2.5 and 8 inches long, and the cap can be up to almost 4 inches across.[xii] Not all get that big of course.

These are not the only type of poisonous mushroom found here, there are many. But they do have by far, the coolest name. As for the band, I looked them up on Youtube, and they kinda sucked. Nowhere near as metal as I had hoped, in fact, not metal at all.

 

24 July 2017,   Emily Still-Working-On-A-Pen-Name

[i] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

[ii] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[iii] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[iv] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[v] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[vi] Author Unknown “Volva (mycology)” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volva_(mycology)

[vii] Author Unknown “Volva (mycology)” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volva_(mycology)

[viii] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

[ix] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

[x] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[xi] Author Unknown “Michorrhiza” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhiza

[xii] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

This is Why I Don’t Eat Wild Mushrooms

Amanita bisporigera[i]

DSC_0570
This one was actually quite small for this species. And I can’t stress this enough, DO NOT EVER EAT IT!

So, what do you call a mycologist that likes to throw wild parties?  A real fun guy!  BaDUMP-bump. Ok, that’s my lame mushroom joke.

If I was to name a band, I would call it the Invincible Army of Darkness. Sounds like the name of a band you would just love to see, right? Who wouldn’t want to see that band? How about Destroying Angel? Sounds totally metal, doesn’t it. Too bad you can’t name your band that, because it is taken. Not only is it the name of some band, it is also the name of a kind of mushroom. Why is it called a destroying angel? Because, unless you get to a hospital fast, it will fucking kill you. In fact, I strongly recommend not even touching anything that even remotely looks like one, better to be safe than sorry.

Symptoms of mushroom poisoning appear usually between 5 and 24 hours of ingestion.[ii] They include vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and convulsions.[iii] All in all, not a very fun time. The poison works by destroying your liver and kidneys. There is treatment,[iv] but get to a hospital as immediately when you begin to experience symptoms, or sooner. Sooner is better, always better.

These things are all white and have what is called a ‘universal veil’,[v] which is a cup-like structure at the base of the mushroom.[vi] In fact, anything with a universal veil will kill you,[vii] so don’t fucking touch them, EVER!!! Even though the poison works by ingestion, I still will recommend not even touching them in case, you accidentally put a little in your mouth after you touched the mushroom.

There are several kinds of destroying angel mushrooms, all have the characteristics I mentioned. One species does live here: the Eastern North American Destroying Angel.[viii] (Amanita bisporigera) They like mixed broadleaf and coniferous forests, and are quite common.[ix] They have a relationship with trees[x] in which they trade off nutrients for carbohydrates.[xi] This particular species can get quite large, they can row to be anywhere between 2.5 and 8 inches long, and the cap can be up to almost 4 inches across.[xii] Not all get that big of course.

These are not the only type of poisonous mushroom found here, there are many. But they do have by far, the coolest name. As for the band, I looked them up on Youtube, and they kinda sucked. Nowhere near as metal as I had hoped, in fact, not metal at all.

 

24 July 2017,   Emily Still-Working-On-A-Pen-Name

[i] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

[ii] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[iii] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[iv] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[v] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[vi] Author Unknown “Volva (mycology)” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volva_(mycology)

[vii] Author Unknown “Volva (mycology)” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volva_(mycology)

[viii] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

[ix] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

[x] Author Unknown “Destroying Angel” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroying_angel

[xi] Author Unknown “Michorrhiza” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhiza

[xii] Author Unknown “Amanita bisporigera” Wikipedia 24JUL2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_bisporigera

Bluet

bluet

Houstonia caerulia[i]

Every spring you may notice these small white flowers growing in your yard, or neighbor’s yard or park or some other grassy place. Now I know they have stopped blooming now, but I decided I want to blog about them anyway, because I fucking want to. Yeah, I know it is out of season, but I don’t care. It’s not like the nature blog police are gonna come after me. Yeah, those nature blog police are always bad news. Fuck them. There are 22 species of bluet, but only 3 are native to New England[ii] – I will be focusing on the most common species H. caerulia, the other two being H. canadensis and H. longifolia[iii]. There isn’t a whole lot of information about them, other than how to grow them because they look kinda pretty in a garden, but I really don’t care about that. A quick Google search will help you with that. I won’t. The most likely reason there isn’t a whole lot else about them is probably because nobody gives a fuck, except for maybe a lone botanist out there specializing in Houstonia flowers, but I am not even sure that person even exists. And while there isn’t whole lot of information on H. caerulia either, but there is more on this one than the others, so I will focus on that one.

Here is what little interesting tidbits I can find out about them: The Cherokee used these plants to prevent bedwetting. No idea if it actually works. I am not recommending you drink a case of beer (or anything else for that matter) and then eating some of these before going to bed to find out.[iv] I’m definitely filing this in the “Don’t try this at home” category. There are also sometimes called “Quaker ladies” apparently because they look like hats worn by Quaker women[v] back when butter churning was a thing.

Despite, their name, these flowers are white, with a faint bluish hue along the tips of the petal. Not exactly the best named plant. I wasn’t sure why anyone would have actually named a blue flower that. Well, I found out some species of bluet are actually blue, which is probably why they got the name, though one is actually kinda pinkish.[vi] But most are whitish, including ones around here, which are mostly white with the tiniest faintest blue. There is also a scarlet bluet, but that is a kind of bug, not a flower.[vii] Bonus: They are also native to New England, so perhaps there will be a future blog post about them someday. Maybe, if I feel like it. However I should point out that my source actually says “Range and date information may be incomplete, overinclusive, or just plain wrong.[viii]” WTF?!?!?!

 

07 July 2017, Emily, still undecided on whether to use a pen name or not “Cassette Lizards on Fire” Maybe…

There you have it, little white flowers named after another color, and also out of season, and not a whole fucking lot about them, because yeah.

[i] Theriet, John W. (revising author) Neiring, William, A. and Olmstead, Nancy C. “National Audubon Society Field Guild to Wildflowers” 2003. Chanticleer Press New York, pg. 765-6

[ii] Author Unknown “Houstonia (plant)” Wikipedia 29JUN2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houstonia_(plant)

[iii] Author Unknown “Houstonia (plant)” Wikipedia 29JUN2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houstonia_(plant)

[iv] Author Unknown “Houstonia caerulia” GoBotany New England Wildflower Society. Framingham MA 2011-2017 https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/houstonia/caerulea/

[v] Badgett, Becca “Quaker Lady Bluets: Growing Bluets In The Garden”

[vi] Author Unknown “Houstonia rubra” SEINnet Arizona-New Mexico Chapter  30JUN2017 http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=224

[vii] Author Unknown “Species Enallagma pictum – Scarlet Bluet” Bug Guide, hosted by Iowa State University 2003-2017 Iowa State University, unless otherwise noted (best I could tell, it wasn’t noted, so this is what I am going with) http://bugguide.net/node/view/18350/data

[viii] Author Unknown “Species Enallagma pictum – Scarlet Bluet” Bug Guide, hosted by Iowa State University 2003-2017 Iowa State University, unless otherwise noted (best I could tell, it wasn’t noted, so this is what I am going with) http://bugguide.net/node/view/18350/data

Byline….

Recently, it has occurred to me, that I don’t add a byline to any of my blog posts. My name, and only my first name at that, is mentioned only once – on my introductory blog post.  Not only that, but I have no date on my blogs. I believe I should add both to future posts, just to say who wrote it and when. Not only that but I am not sure if I should use my real name or a pen name. I am just not sure which to use. Feedback would be great.

Thanks

DSC_0676
Pretty picture

 

24 June 2017, Still not sure what to call myself