Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Eerily descriptive plant names and a new nature find!

Hey everyone! I feel like it's been some time since I've been blogging. The weather finally warmed up, so I find I'm not on the computer so much lately. That and I've been working on a lot of craft/decorating projects. But the other day I saw some plants that motivated me to get blogging again. These plants were for sale at a local garden shop called Plant Land.

I thought you guys would be interested in some of the plants' names. Several of them had spooky, intriguing names that made me look twice. The names are pretty self-explanatory, if you use a little imagination. This first one is called "Dragon's Blood".

In my eyes, it is named that because the little succulent's pedals/leaves look like scales. And the red rims could be seen as the "blood". Or you could see these long, curving vines as the dragon's neck.

I had taken pics of these plant labels for my own reference, but I decided to include them in case any of you were looking for more information. Like, if they're perennials or how much sun they'd like, basic stuff.

In keeping with the blood theme, this next one is called "Blood Leaf". Again, you can see why. There are tinges of red around the corners of the leaves. These leaves reminded me of Brussels sprouts.

The stems are also a beautiful magenta-type red.

Which creature does this plant remind you of?

This is the "Escargot" Rex Begonia. Its leaves do look like a snail's shell, don't they?

Here's one for the Goths! This is the "Fishnet Stockings" coleus. I love coleus plants and am growing some myself. Although, mine are the pink polkadot ones. I fall in love with pretty much every new coleus I see!

Part of what I like about this one is the color variation. You can see that depending on each leaf, the colors are slightly different. And that's all on the same plant! Some of the leaves are an almost neon green, while others are more of a light yellow. And there are these neat magenta splatters like paint on the leaves.

The stems are a beautiful reddish purple color.

This petunia had to be included based on its name: "Black Magic".

The Black Magic petunias look and feel a little like velvet, and the comparisons don't end there. They also photograph like black velvet, meaning they pick up every speck of dust and fuzz in the atmosphere. Trust me, these look cooler in person.

Another petunia with a cool name is the "Night Sky". I liked this a lot in person but I love it in photos. Somehow, the "stars" in the petal sky show up a lot more in photos. I was actually calling this the "Cow Petunia" on first sight.

And I love how each of these flowers is unique. Some are much more "star-filled" than others.

I didn't even notice these fluffy little yellow flowers until looking at the photos later. They look neat with the purple and I have no idea what they are. Little photo bombers. 😀

Plant Land has a pretty extensive selection. This is just one area.

You might see in the distance of that last photo, some old train crossing signs. There are some neat old repurposed decorations like this around the shop.

So, in the title of this blog post, I mentioned "a new nature find". My mom and I were at a local park for Mother's Day and saw some pinecones we couldn't believe. I'll start out with an exotic one here. It's almost like a tropical flower.

But this is the big shocker! Look at these beautiful red pinecones. I have not doctored this photo whatsoever.

They're so beautiful, like candles on a birthday cake! Or like the vintage candles that are clipped onto a Christmas tree's branches.

This branch reminded me of a hand waving its bright red fingernails at us. On its, um... eight fingers.

To give you an idea of how standard this pine tree was, here's a view looking up.

Seriously, have you seen anything like this ever? We've walked through this park for years and this is the first time we've seen bright red pinecones. We could see some in progress, and they seemed to be partially changed from a light purple to bright red. I can only think this is a spring thing. And we must have happened upon this during the brief change time. It reminds me of those bright red mushrooms we found in the park about a year ago:

A Surprise Forest Find.

Remember those? It's probably a find like that, where you have to be in the right place at just the right time in the season to see it.

I know many of you are nature people, so I bet someone can tell me why we saw what we saw. Are these baby pinecones, that start out red in the spring? Some people online are calling these "pollen cones". And come to think of it, when my mom touched one, a bunch of what looked like pollen swooshed out. Actually, it swooshed right onto the lenses of the sunglasses I was (luckily) wearing.

OK! I did a little research and I think I might know what's up. It looks like what we saw were the male pinecones, while the female pinecones are the ones we're more familiar with. You know, the large, woody, brown traditional pinecones. I just learned that from this mind-blowing video, which shows a lady harvesting the pollen from male pinecones:

Who knew it was edible? I know I say this pretty much every time I blog about nature, but there's something new to discover all the time! It's amazing how if you're quiet and observing nature, you can see pinecones, mushrooms, or insects you've never seen before. I'm starting to think that I'll be saying this for the rest of my life, and I'm definitely OK with that!