Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Eyes Have It

On my recent walks around a few different areas, I began to find changes in the flowers which had been around for much of the summer - and like so many times since looking through the camera lens, I discovered things that I never knew before. Come along with me and I'll show you.


One day, while walking up near the cottage this unusual plant caught my eye. In fact it looked like it had literally caught an eye. I had to look this up to learn the name of this plant, which is White Baneberries or Doll's Eyes. Each of those little stems once held an "eyeball" but there was only this solitary one left by the time I saw it.





These are the seed pods from the Himalayan Balsam or Touch-me-nots which grows quite profusely in late summer and early autumn, all around Frank's place. Until recently, I thought they were a kind of Snapdragon, but they're not. Thank you, Google!








Seed pods of the Himalayan Balsam with a dew drop at the end of it.





If you take one between your fingers and gently squeeze it....





.. like this...





... the pod will pop with surprising force, and expose the seeds which will ensure next year's growth.





Spindle berries take all summer to form and acquire this brilliant pink colour. These will soon open up to reveal orange seeds on their underside. The pods and seeds will remain in full colour after the loss of leaves, through the autumn, and even into the snowy days of winter.





The soft, silky hair of the thistle plant.





Colourful sumac and asters brighten up the shoreline along the creek.





This pretty red and white plant is growing through the fence from my neighbour's yard. I have no idea what kind of plant it is. Does anyone know? Thanks very much to Maria who has identified this plant as Mina Lobata also known as Spanish Flag.

Thanks for joining me for another walk. As always, the company was fantastic!

60 comments:

Russell said...

Could I actually be FIRST??!! No way!!!! I usaully check in around #138!

Love the sumac next to the purple asters - and with the lake in the background it is a great image.

Like always, love, love, love the images!

Take care.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks for the nature walk, Hil! Lovely shots, as always. I especially like the eyeball..... :)

Gaston Studio said...

You have some really unusual flowers/plants in your neck of the woods and quite beautiful ones at that! That Doll's Eye plant is unbelievable!

Brian Miller said...

beautiful pics. the first one looks to be dressed for the season...cyclops.

Maggie May said...

These are great shots....... but the doll's eye really blows me away. It is creepy!
Have never come across anything like that before!

Nuts in May

Kerri said...

Loved this nature walk you took us on! Such neat plants/flowers! That Doll's eye is quite amazing! What a neat plant that would be to have around on Halloween!

The Things We Carried said...

The doll's eyes, the spindle berries, and those red berries against a fence line...LOVED them. Hilary, something is different in how you are displaying your pictures here? a new editing system? Anyhow, very LOVELY!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Lovely fall colors. I rarely wear autumn tones, but I love them in nature

Nessa said...

The flowers look like alien insect invaders. otherworldly and beautiful.

Inty swetha said...

wow!! i'm glad that i gave you a company .. the colorful leaves were really amazing..and the spindle berries.. they all are really good !

Thumbelina said...

I love your nature walks! Those pods are fascinating and that eyeball plant... yuk and wow all at once!

Daryl said...

Step away from the Sumac .. its very pretty but it causes a horrible itchy rash

What a fascinating flora filled field full of fabulous flora for fotographing

Mental P Mama said...

I have never even heard of Doll's Eyes before...so interesting. I just love this time of year;)

Jeni said...

I've never heard of the Dolls' Eyes, Spindle Berry or the Himalayan Balsam either. Why is it also called "Touch-Me-Nots" though?

ellen abbott said...

So cool! I love seed pods.

Reasons said...

Why thank YOU! Am off to check out your recommedended posts.xx

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I enjoyed the nature stroll very much, especially the doll's eye and the Spindle Berry. Now I'm off to check out your recommendations!

lime said...

oh every one of those is such an interesting thing, either intriguing or beautiful. the doll's eyes just seems so odd with pink stems and white berries. that last one i can't help you but it sure is pretty.

Cheffie-Mom said...

I love the beautiful colors. Happy Fall! Thank you for taking me along!

Georgie K. Buttons said...

Thanks for sharing those! I think the eyeball one was my favorite. Lol.

Kathleen said...

Delightful walk with you. Love the "caught an eye" pun, clever girl!I have a friend who calls those pseudosnapdragons "poppers" -- they're great fun, aren't they? The flora just a bit north of me is very similar. I wonder if we're distant neighbors?

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful pics, Hilary. I love the eyeball one.

Kelly H-Y said...

Love joining you on your walks! Gorgeous pics!

lakeviewer said...

Lovely walk.

Sande said...

Almost make you want to be a botanist?! Even the rocks cry out hey?

Karen said...

I love your nature walks. Vibrant and amazing colors even as the season turns. And living in the south all my life, I love seeing the different foliage.

Thanks!

Hilary said...

* Russell, you ARE first. Thanks for the kind words. Always very much appreciated. :)

* Thanks, Baggie. I'm glad you like them. :)

* Thank you, GS. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for them next year to see if I can find some in full bloom. :)

* That's true, Brian. I hadn't thought about how ghoulish it looked. Thanks for the kind words. :)

* Thanks, Maggie. That was new to me too. Now I'll have to watch for them. :)

* Thanks, Kerri. That seems to be the popular opinion! Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thank so much for all your kind words, MT. I'm not doing anything different than usual. I'm not really sure what you're seeing differently. Thanks always for the visit. :)

* Thanks, Teri. I'm more of a summer shades person myself, but I can't disagree how they look so fine in nature. :)

* Thank you, Nessa. That's a cool description! :)

* Thanks very much, IS. I'm glad that you joined me. :)

* Thanks Thumbelina. I'm glad you could appreciate the "yuck and wow" factor. ;)

* Thanks, Daryl. Only you could fill my form with F words with such formidable flair! :)

* Thanks, MPM. They're new to me too. Good thing I didn't blink or I'd have missed it. ;)

* Jeni, they're called Touch-Me-Nots because of how quickly they pop open in your hand as soon as you do. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* I'm glad, Ellen. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks, Reasons. I'm sure you'll enjoy them. :)

* Thanks for joining me, Elizabeth. Much appreciated. Enjoy those posts. :)

* Thanks very much for the kind words, Lime. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks for joining me, Cheffie. And happy fall to you too. :)

* Thanks very much, Georgie. I'm glad you like them. :)

* Fairly distant, Kathleen. I'm in southern Ontario - but the same land mass for sure. :) Yes, the "poppers" sure can be addictive. I spent far more time popping them than I had to for photography purposes. ;)

* Thanks, Leah. I was so hoping that you/Mike might have been able to identify the flora in the last image. I'll have to keep searching. :)

* Thanks, Kelly. I enjoy having you along. :)

* Thank you, Lakeviewer. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks, Sande. If I was a botanist, I'd probably know what those last flowers were! :)

* Thanks very much for joining me, Karen. I imagine it's quite a different change of season between our north and your south. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Protege said...

Lovely flowers; so much beauty if one only looks and pays attention.
Very surprising and enticing pictures Hilary, the *eyeball* one was almost surreal.
I guess these are the last flowers of this year, I take it.;)
xo

blunoz said...

Those spindle berries are very pretty. I've never seen anything like it before. I also like the unidentified red and white leaves at the end.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

those are some vivid reds alright!

Gary Heller said...

The Dolls eye is quite strange and weird actually. We can imagine that the plant can "see" us and watch us in the garden.
The red and white plant through the fence is beautiful
Also, thanks for your kind words.

Grayquill said...

What variety you find in your walks. The creation is a giant wonder - you bring it out so well in your pictures and your finds.
I enjoyed my visit today - bunches.

imbeingheldhostage said...

What interesting things you see on your walks! I think the one eye was a little freaky, I can't imagine the plant covered in "doll's eyes"...

lorenabr said...

Lovely pics. You have a good eye 4 nature.:)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I've never seen anything like the first photo. How much fun that must have been to come across. And thistles - so many different kinds and always intriguing. An odd beauty.

Enjoyed the walk.

Rain said...

Wow that Doll's Eye plant is freaky! Belongs in my scary apple orchard at night I think, lol!

JC said...

I love you posting pictures of things I've never seen. Just makes me smile with joy.

LadyFi said...

Fantastic! Just wonderful! When I saw that first photo I thought it was small magnet men or women doing acrobatics!

Nancy said...

I just love your walks because I always learn something. Nature is so beautiful to look at, but underneath it is all business. Those little seeds are just waiting for the right moment to pop and go into the ground. Loved the single remaining eyeball.

Reb said...

Lovely, the doll's eyes are really interesting.

Anita said...

Everybody's fascinated with the Doll's Eye and so am I!

Do you have plants in your home? What kind? You definitely have an eye for beauty.

imac said...

Great photos, And good colours.
Congrats on the job of POTW keeper.

ds said...

Thank you for the walk; I learned a lot. The eyeball is so appropriate for this time of year ;) Love the colors of the spindleberry. So glad you let us come along...have a great weekend!

photowannabe said...

Thanks for taking me on this delightful walk. I agree that looking through the camera lens allows me to see things I would probably overlook.
I love the dolls eye flower. Its sort of eerie but strangely beautiful.

Shrinky said...

They really DO look like dolls eyes, don't they? You have captured the changing season beautifully - thanks for the tour.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Protege. They're the last flowers which I've photographed, I think. It's become pretty cold, pretty fast here but there a few heartier blooms around. Just not many. Actually, you jogged my memory just now. There was one other image I was planning to use on this post but must have overlooked at the time. Maybe I'll post it next time.. or soon. Thanks always for your warm comments, my friend. :)

• Thank you, Kevin. I'll try to get a few images of the Spindle berries when they pop and reveal the orange seeds. They're so colourful then. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks for the visit, Gary R. :)

• Thank you, Gary H. I'd like to find that plant in full bloom sometime, and not just at the end of its season like this one. I will be sure to share it if and when I do. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Grayquill, thank you so much for the kind comment. I'm glad you're enjoying these flowers in "bunches." ;) You're right about the wonder of it all. I'm always amazed at what I see out in nature. This one just happened to be looking back at me. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, IBHH. Those eyes certainly have it as far as this plant goes. I'm just going to have to find more of them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Lorenabr. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, MJ. I'm sure glad that you could join me. That Doll's Eye was very strange to happen upon. The pink was so vivid that I thought I was seeing a toy part or a drinking straw and I walked right past it at first. But it's a pretty pristine area and I never see signs of littering, so I took the few steps back to examine it more closely. There were no others nearby. Just this sole stem with its lone eyeball. Now I'll just have to find more. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Rain, that sounds like the perfect place for them! :)

• Thanks very kindly, JC. I'm very happy to hear that you're finding such joy these days. Keep on smiling! :)

• Thanks, LadyFi. I thought something similar when I first happened upon it too. Some sort of kids' toy. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Nancy. I like the way you describe nature being all business beneath the surface of its beauty. You're so right about that and that in itself is a big part of its beauty. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Reb. I'm glad you think so. I'm surprised that nobody else has seen them before. It's cool finding something different! ;)

• Ack, Anita. I have very few plants in my home because as much as I love them, I'm not very good at keeping them alive. Mostly I have a few flowering plants which my sons have given me for Mother's Day or birthdays. They go outside in the late spring and come back home to my kitchen in October where they threaten to die all winter but somehow manage to survive and occasionally thrive for summer. ;) Thanks for the very kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, Imac. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, DS. I'm always happy to have you along on my walks. Such great company. Thanks for the always-kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Sue. Yes, that camera lens sure does open our eyes to new possibilities. Angles, perspective, colour.. all look more intriguing through that lens, somehow. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Shrinky. I'm glad you joined me. :)

Diane said...

It is amazing how so many different kinds of plants grow in different areas. I have not seen any of the ones you pictured here in NY. Neato! :O)

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

The photos are really wonderful. This is a beautiful set of pictures and so different from anything I have here.

Rebecca said...

What a great little tour. It pays to notice the details! I really like the photo of the plants reaching through the fence and that first one of the lone berry is pretty cool too.

Dianne said...

I really love the Doll's Eye!

and the thistle

gaelikaa said...

That was a nice walk. I read somewhere that Heaven is a garden full of exotic plants and greenery and I'm sort of believing for that! Thanks for coming over to mine and for leaving that lovely comment. It meant a lot to me!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Diane. Some of them were quite new to me too. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for letting me know. :)

• Thanks kindly, Abe. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Thanks very much, Rebecca. It's quite amazing what can be found if we slow down and take a good look. The camera really helps with that. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Dianne. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks so much, Gaelikaa. That sounds pretty cool to me too. Thanks for the visit. :)

Maria said...

I discovered native impatiens this past summer. I didn't know you had to twist the seedheads to make them explode. I'll have to try that next time.

That doll's eyes plant? WEIRD!!!

And that last plant is mina lobata, if someone hasn't identified it already.

Enjoyed your nature walk this Sunday morning. :-)

SandyCarlson said...

These flowers are gorgeous.

Merisi said...

That Baneberry sure was staring right at you! :-)
I do not remember ever seeing this plant, but I know the Himalayan Balsam very well, popping them for hours on end when we were children.

Hilary said...

• Maria, thank you so much for identifying the mina lobata for me! The seed pods only need to be squeezed very gently and they'll pop for you. Have fun with that! I'm so glad you joined me on this walk. :)

• Thanks so much, Sandy. I'm glad you liked them. :)

• Merisi, it sure was staring and made sure that I stared right back! I can easily imagine you having fun with these pods as a child. I spent too much time playing with them just the other week. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

Louise said...

Spindle berries. TOOO pretty!

Hilary said...

Thanks very much, Louise. I think so too. :)

kcinnova said...

As always, it is a great treat to be invited along on a walk with you & your camera, Hilary. ♥

Hilary said...

Thanks very much, KC. Always a pleasure to have you along. :)