Friday, April 28, 2017

Peering into Mysteries

 
The bigger the plants get, the redder their veins,
 
except for the two damaged plants, the one on the left of which is hanging in there and forming some little buds, and the second from the left, which is drying up and being taken over by tiny black beetles. How do the beetles know which plant is ready to be decomposed?  This whole process has given me goosebumps.  We know nothing.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Little More Slow Unfolding

 
I wish I could communicate to you how crazy exciting this slow blooming is for me!  Every morning now I jump out of bed and head out to record the progress.  I think 9663 will have open flowers tomorrow.  When I passed by it 40 minutes after I drew it this morning the little bloomletscwere standing up straighter already.  I don't think 9664 is going to make it even though it's trying.  Something evidently snapped off its first bloom shoot.  Today I dragged a couple of 6 ft long fallen branches to form a kind of barricade to nudge hikers and dogs to stay out of the area where they're growing.   Yesterday a dog off its lead loped over to where I was drawing and almost stomped all over the plants.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Orchids Individuating

 
Yesterday there were eight orchid bloom shoots, but today I could find only seven.  I was able to look back and determine which is missing, and it is the newest shoot.  Lots of color peeking out today.  I really hope I can find that missing shoot tomorrow.  The plants in the area are growing up fast, plus it was early morning and the light might have been obscuring the little shoot.

When I hit 9650 today I subtracted from 10,000 and discovered I have only 344 to go after today's batch.  From here on out I'll put the countdown number under the count up number.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Color Beginning

 
Not only are the little putty root orchid shoots growing like mad, but today some of them are showing interior magenta seed-like flower buds (I am guessing here). What really interests me is how different each shoot is.  After drawing them so much I can now recognize them as individuals, even though they change each day.  The more I look the more I can see.  I had thought 9649 was going to die since it had been chomped on;  but it continues to grow in spite of being very short compared to the others;  it even is among the first to show some magenta.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Life Victorious Over Death Crackers and Other Wonders

 
If you're searching in vain for a good recipe for Life Victorious Over Death crackers, look no further.  Above is my friend K's recipe, given to her by her friend S.  I deeply love the name of these crackers:  it reminds me of my childhood neighbor's description of someone who looked sickish: " He looks like death warmed over reaching for a cracker". ( Is this an old New Orleans thing to say?)
 
Here is a small pile of the crackers, along with three buttons from K's button collection.  The designs on the crackers are pressed in using the press shown in 9624.
 
And also shown in 9626.  The roller is to cut the cracker dough apart after stamping it.
 
When we got home I slogged down to the trail in the icy rain to check on the orchid buds.  They have grown around 3/4" since yesterday!  Very quick sketches, splotched with rain drops.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day of Miracles and Wonders

 
All during the fall and winter I've been watching a patch of fifteen putty root basal leaves on one of the Jones Mountain trails.  These odd crinkly, dry-looking, winter-surviving leaves are the leaves of the elusive and very picky orchid, Aplectrum hyemale.  I've been searching for one of these orchids for years to no avail, but this winter's flourishing crop of basal leaves gave me hope.  
 
When I passed the leaves this morning I noticed they were beginning to deteriorate, so I crouched down near the ground and noticed what I thought was a mushroom.  Close observation revealed that the tan shoot was attached to the stem of a basal leaf.  An orchid was coming!  I then saw more at the bases of six more of the fifteen leaves.  Check out this link http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/putty_root.html for much more info.  I'll be visiting and reporting every day until the seed pods form.

The morning's other wonders were the yellow celandine blooming in my front garden as well as a flying wild turkey.  I love yellow celandine for their golden sap, which was used as a substitute for gold in low budget Medieval  manuscript painting.  I used sap from the stems to paint the yellow flowers.