The Latest Chipmunk Farming Efforts

I know chipmunks can make some people really, really upset, but if you don’t have a tasty garage door, they are more hilarious than anything else.

I have written about the chipmunks’ farming efforts before, but I thought you might enjoy their latest efforts, which have focused on the edge of an aging compost pile. Their lines may not be straight, but you have to admire their regular spacing.

Three chipmunk-planted safflower bouquets. The arugula on the right is a volunteer. Photographed on May 17, 2021.

The rest of the seediness in this picture is caused by a banner year for the silver maple and the elms. The chipmunks eat as many maple seeds as they can manage, but the tree has probably put out enough seeds to fill my city compost container halfway—more than even they can eat. I have filled the container twice, so I am guesstimating the quantity of raked-up leaves and broken branches that filled the rest. This year, I have to rake so that I can mow.

The Case of the Twinning Iris cristata

I don’t know why this is the first year I have seen twin buds in my Iris cristata, but I have many, many with twin buds, in a couple of different spots; it’s especially obvious now that they are fading. Maybe they are sports. Maybe it’s the unusually dry weather. Maybe they’ve been there all along, and somehow I’ve missed them. I will be watching the area more closely over the next couple of years.

These flowers, at the beginning and end of their lives, are over a week apart, and coming from the same flower bud. Photographed on May 14, 2021.

Continue reading “The Case of the Twinning Iris cristata”

Twinleaf’s Busy Season

It’s been just over a month since I spotted this year’s twinleaf. It probably came up a couple of days before I captured it.

Twinleaf unfurling. Photographed on March 30, 2021.

Within a week, it was blooming!

Twinleaf in bloom. Photographed on April 4, 2021.

The flowers do not last long.

Twinleaf that has lost all its petals. Photographed on April 9, 2021.

These nascent seedpods will spend the next month or so maturing. Meanwhile, last year’s seeds have sprouted and the baby twinleaf plants are peeking out from under their parents’ leaves.

Twinleaf seedlings in the shade of their parents. Photographed on April 17, 2021.

For now, we are in the only sober and serious phase this plant has: growing those seeds. If you look carefully, the swelling seedpods are hiding in the foliage.

A ripening twinleaf seedpod, hidden from easy viewing. Photographed on May 6, 2021.

As you walk by, there is no obvious activity.

Twinleaf. Photographed on April 30, 2021.

It’s all very discreet, until the seedpods are ready to pop. That’s when twinleaf enters the botanically rare, but wonderful, silly phase.