There have been lots of new blooms in these parts lately. I noticed three yesterday and two today. The two I saw today were Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), and Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens). I took some photos:

Mitchella repens

Mitchella repens

Monotropa uniflora

Monotropa uniflora

There are cool things about both of these plants. As you can see from the photo of the Partridge Berry, it produces flowers in pairs, joined at the base. These flowers eventually become a single berry, and the berry has two little eyes – remnants of the two flowers that formed it. The berry stays on the vine all winter long, and persist until the new flowers come in. So I guess the berries ought to be dropping off pretty soon.

The cool thing about Indian Pipe is that it is a plant, not a fungus. The first time I ever saw one was on a hike with Beth and David to Sandogardy Pond about four years ago. We thought it was a fungus then, and it sure does look like a fungus. But fungi do not make seeds, and this plant most certainly does. However, it does have one thing in common with fungi besides its looks – it’s a parasite. It feeds off other plants. It is white because it does not produce chlorophyll.

Yesterday I went for a walk at lunchtime. My mission was two-fold: walk to LL Bean to buy some new shoes, and take a long walk to help the wool in my sock to felt up some more. Also, I kept an eye out for flowers.

While I was at Bean, I saw a solar phone charger. And I’ve been wanting one of these for about a year. The price looked pretty OK to me, so I bought it. Usually when we go camping, it’s in some place where there is no cell phone signal. The phone responds by boosting its own signal, and that drains the battery in short order. So unless I remember to turn off the phone, I need to recharge it. Plus when we go to the Camporee in Oskosh in August, I will need to recharge it then too. I think this is just the ticket. It has an internal battery, so I can leave it on the dashboard of the car during the day, while I have my phone in my pocket. Then at night I can retrieve the solar charger from the car and use it to charge my phone while I sleep.

Now back to plants. On the way to Bean, or on the way back to the office, I found a new-to-me variety of Cinquefoil. Silvery Cinquefoil, or Potentilla argentea. I usually just group all the Cinquefoils together, or divide them into two groups – tall and short. But there are several species of this stuff around here, and some of them are pretty difficult to distinguish. So I will try learning to do that.

I also noted that the Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), Bitter Nightshade (Solanum dulcimara, White Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba), Hawthorn (Crataegus spp), and Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) were all in bloom. I’m guess they did that while I was sick and didn’t feel much like walking about.

I logged them at the Bloom Clock. First time I had done that for a couple of weeks too. Don’t know if I mentioned it, but the Butter and Eggs (Linaria vulgaris) bloomed a couple of days ago too (Wednesday?)

So now I’m pretty much all caught up on the Bloom Clock. I’ll keep a sharp eye out for blooms over the next couple of days. I’m always on the lookout for new blooms at the end of the month, and old blooms that are still just barely going at the beginning of the month. We don’t have anything planned for after church tomorrow, so maybe I’ll take a walk down to Sandogardy. I hope to find some Floating Heart (Nymphoides cordata) in bloom, and maybe some White Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata) too. And maybe some Swamp Candles (Lysimachia terestris) and some Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna). Lotsa stuff to look for anyhow! It’ll prolly rain, but I do have a rain coat and some rain pants, and I know how to use them!