This morning when we got to church I stepped outside to see if I could find some forked bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum). Found some!

Forked bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum)

Forked bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum)


I had seen some out in the field earlier this week, but there were no blossoms, and I was pressed for time. This is one of my favorite late summer flowers. I have a better photo I had taken a couple of years ago – it can be seen on Wikipedia

After church I took a nap, and then Beth and I took Penny down to Sandogardy Pond. Penny was beside herself with anticipation. She knows when we’re heading to the pond.

Along the way, I saw these asters. I don’t even try to place them in a genus any more. There are hundreds of asters, and they are very difficult (at least to me) to distinguish.

Asters

Asters

I also spotted a patch of these a little farther down.

Ground bean (Amphicarpaea bracteata)

Ground bean (Amphicarpaea bracteata)


This is most often called hog peanut, but it turns out, that is a derogatory name for this plant. It makes underground seed pods – beans really – and the Native Americans made frequent use of them. I have eaten them myself and find them utterly delightful. The White Man cast aspersions on them (and by extension, upon the people who ate them) by naming them “hog peanuts,” a suggestion that they were only fit for consumption by hogs. Samuel Thayer prefers to call them “ground beans,” and I have adopted that name for them as well.

It began to rain before we got to the pond. Beth was there to swim though. I can never pass up the opportunity to make a joke about her not being allowed to swim in the rain, because she might get wet.

She swam, and I walked along the beach looking for flowers and wildlife. Specifically, I thought I might find some snails.

Bingo.

Viviparid snail

Viviparid snail


I have tentatively placed this snail as belonging to the family Vivipadae. The name suggests that it bears live young, but I can’t seem to find any information on their life cycle. The photo above shows the snail’s operculum, which is like a front door. The snail can open and close this at will.

I set it down and took another photo to show a different angle.

Viviparid snail

Viviparid snail


With its portrait taken, I chucked it back into the water, pretty close to where I had found it.

I bet it would make a nice meal for a muskrat.