Native flowers in the yard today

Parks are closed, so I’m sticking with nearby nature. Yep, I’m sticking like Cleavers on corduroy.*

Small-flowered Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila aphylla)

Today, I walked the yard to take phone pics of native flowers: only natives. (Non-natives, I’ll post tomorrow.) Continue reading “Native flowers in the yard today”

Warner Wildflowers, mid-March part 2

A short walk on the Mossy Ridge at Warner Park is good medicine.

I never say Nature is for Healing, because “Nature” is not here to make people feel better. “Nature” has every right to exist for its own mysterious, necessary, world-turning processes.

BUT, I do say that paying attention to the natural world can mitigate some humans ills, and one of them is anxiety. Continue reading “Warner Wildflowers, mid-March part 2”

Sidewalk Nature: Hummingbird weeds

lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata)

Lyre-leaf sage. Isn’t it a pretty name? And a pretty flower? But this is another of those “weeds” people poison and mow and pluck out of precious lawn grass. Lyre-leaf sage is native, it spreads by seed, it can make a lovely groundcover (a good native alternative to Ajuga / Bugle), and I just this minute learned it is an excellent nectar plant for hummingbirds. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Hummingbird weeds”

Winter Solstice flowers


Folks get sad with the short days and cold weather, so I need to advertise what might be a brief antidote.
In the grass.
In late December.
Henbit’s tiny purple trumpets, chickweed’s white stars, and ivy-leaf speedwell’s bright blue eyes are all twinkling from the grass right now in Nashville. Continue reading “Winter Solstice flowers”

Why this sweat bee and I hate your mosquito contract

Carolina rose and sweat bee
Rosa carolina and friend

When I was a kid, sweat bees were the enemy. Now we are.

This little sweat bee is gathering pollen from a native Carolina rose.
See the yellow grains stuck to the hairs on her legs?
She’s likely gathering provisions for eggs laid in a teensy underground tunnel. Continue reading “Why this sweat bee and I hate your mosquito contract”

Star of Bethlehem: Thug of my Yard

Star of Bethlehem

Once upon a time, a new grass appeared in the yard. At first, I thought the narrow leaves were wild onion, but they didn’t taste oniony. They didn’t look oniony, either, not on closer inspection: each wore a silvery line down the middle of the green.

Later, when these mystery leaves began to yellow, a flower stalk emerged. It was staggered with green and white striped buds. Exquisite! Then, the buds bloomed into white, six-petaled flowers even more exquisite.
It was Ornithogalum umbellatum L.: Star of Bethlehem.

I hate it.

Continue reading “Star of Bethlehem: Thug of my Yard”

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”