Nashville’s Mustard

There are swaths of yellow right now in Elmington Park: small yellow blooms massed in the lawn. I hope the city doesn’t mow soon, because the yellow is Nashville mustard—our mustard—and it needs to go to seed and spread. I saw it on the way to Hebrew School, and as soon as I could, I went back and parked the car in the lot, then parked my body flat on the grass.

Continue reading “Nashville’s Mustard”

Cedar Apple

To me, this particular “spring ephemeral” is as welcome as a wildflower. It is a sign of the season: a “cedar apple,” doing its wacky thing in wet spring weather. This one is on our volunteer red-cedar tree in the front yard, and I’ve been waiting for the rusty, dry galls to wake from winter. Continue reading “Cedar Apple”

White Pine “Flowers”

Holy pollen, I’ve lived next door to a white pine for years and hadn’t noticed the flowers till today. Now is prime bloom time, so where is your nearest white pine? Surely there is one, or a dozen close by. They are natives here, but are widely planted as ornamentals and living privacy fences. Gated communities adore them because they screen out the riffraff 365 days a year, except when the riffraff comes to mow.  Continue reading “White Pine “Flowers””

Driveway-Crack Flowers: White Clover

clover closeup

White clover seeded itself into our driveway cracks, so I took photos yesterday, the better to learn it.

Each flower is flowers: a globe of up to 50 tiny flowers, each with “a small standard and two side petals that enclose the keel.” So says Illinioswildflowers.info.

Standard? Like a flag?  Continue reading “Driveway-Crack Flowers: White Clover”

Black locust bloom

black locust sapling
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Look around the interstates right now, and the white trees you see are black. Black locust. There may be dogwood lingering, and I hope there is, but the two can’t be confused. Locust blooms are not little white plates stretched on graceful branches in the understory: rather, they are white bunches of grapes drooped from scraggly canopy. And they smell divine. Continue reading “Black locust bloom”