Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We first looked at Bluecurls back in March as a remnant of the previous year's growth. I am so thrilled to be able to present it in flower! If I remember correctly, these specimens come from the same general area.

Back in the early Spring post, I mentioned using A Guide to Wildflowers in Winter by Carol Levine for the ID. This book is exquisitely illustrated in pen and ink by Dick Rauh. Here is a short bio on Mr. Rauh. Also note that he writes "The Science of Botanical Art" articles for the ASBA Journal.

In Gretchen's yesterday comment she mentioned squirrel middens, a new term for me. But, it turns out I did have a middens shot in the Nuncketest larder taken just a few days ago. I later left out a big bowl of sunflower seeds--it was soon empty! I think the chipmunks living behind the stone wall cleaned them up.

And speaking of comments, someone recently commented that my "sticky birds" was probably "sticky burrs". A phone call to my sister in Oklahoma proved that correct and left Jean laughing in delight! :-) (See the comments for details.)


  1. That wasn't me correcting the Sticky Birds phrase, but here's a correction: Dick Rauh (not Raub) is the botanist/illustrator--I just had a class with him last week on Fern Morphology. He's in his 80s, got a PhD in botany in 2001 after retiring from a career in film, is the best instructor you could want in botany and art class! Sign up in 2010 at Wellesley College for his next appearance. - Joyce

  2. Glad I didn't go making corrections in my own journal- I thought I was wrong all these years calling them "sticky burrs"! :-) As far as the squirrel middens, I usually find not only the remnants of acorns but also stripped pine cones with left over pine seeds; and in one special corner of our "old" woods, they leave black walnut shells and crumbs. (This ancient black walnut tree is quite the specimen and I have many journal pages devoted to it), Early in the autumn season, the squirrels will usually eat only the acorns of the white oak and store the ones from the red oak. Some how they know that the 'whites" do not keep well and that the 'reds' are higher in calories to help with their winter diet.
    All week long we have been hearing HORRIBLE screaming right outside our windows at night; my 10pm dog walks have been very frightening as some animal has been growling at us from the underbrush, my flashlight catching the glint of two yellow eyes watching us. Last night the screaming went on for hours- most unsettling- but I saw him in the moonlight: a red fox! Hear the call here:
    sppoky, eh?

  3. Thanks for the correction and further information, Joyce. I updated the blog to the proper spelling.

    I started finding stripped white pine cones a couple of weeks ago. I've been recently getting into acorns (especially life cycles) and read that red oak acorns contain relatively more tannnin than whites. I wonder if that aids preservation?

  4. Ya, that's spooky alright! Upon hearing that, my imagination would have been taking me all over the place!