Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SALUTE TO DITCH WEEDS

This Fall has not been very colorful in my area. Although that is not entirely true for we do have color. Brown, rust and pale yellow certainly are colors, just not vibrant ones. Now I am going to make a huge confession here. Please don't be too shocked. I often find Fall colors almost an assault to my senses. I am overwhelmed and sometimes, I study the pavement as I drive to avoid the splendor. I feel like I am living in a cartoon. Yes, I can hear you leaf lovers gasp in disbelief. Is she daft??? I do like them, just in much smaller doses, please.

Perhaps my brightly colored leaf phobia comes from so many years of living in south Florida were seasons go almost unnoticed. Live Oaks keep their leaves all year though in winter, the leaves do get a bit sparse. I use to refer to the trees being in their underwear as apposed to being fully dressed the rest of the year. Winter naked trees like the cypress are rare in most areas. Palm trees don't even think about it and scrub pines love their evergreen nature. Green dominates. Unless you live in the northern part of the state, most Florida trees are evergreen.

There was a small 2 mile strip of roadway where I lived that was studded with occasional maples that got a bit excited color wise once a year. Because the land is so flat, you only can see what is right beside a road. There are no vistas. I use to enjoy the brief splash of color of the random maples.

So when I came here, I was at first thrilled with the changing leaves but that thrill quickly dulled when my senses screamed, "enough all ready." I know I have appalled all you leaf lovers but surely I am not alone. If I have learned anything in life, it is that you can't have an original thought. At least one person out there is saying, "Oh yeah, me too, me too."

Because I live in such a rural, mountainous setting, the trees in fall always get their due. They are photographed constantly. Those very trees however are the ones that overwhelm me. What does not overwhelm me are the ditch weeds.

Those of you who have followed along know I am a fierce appreciator of the underdog and the ditch weeds are definite underdogs. I love the annual displays they manage to attain in spite of living with beer cans, food wrappers, cigarette butts, flooded ditches, droughts and breathing exhaust fumes daily instead of clean air. They are survivors and in spite of such handicaps, they put on a lovely display each year and yet they do not overwhelm with massive displays like the trees do. You must hunt them down. So this is my salute to the ditch weed. Under appreciated by many but not by me.

Enjoy and if you can identify, feel free to educate me. I appreciate their pluck and beauty, but do not really know what I am seeing. Sometimes, that just isn't necessary for appreciation.







As I was walking along the roadside snapping pictures away, suddenly a long dormant awareness came to life. I looked up and all my meter reader warning hairs stood on end. I saw this trio of dogs watching me. They had not made a sound. I was far from my vehicle and for a moment I felt a tinge of fear. The three Shepherd's story was still fresh in my mind.

It was just a reflex for when I really looked, I saw there was no menace. You can see in their faces that I am merely a curiosity, not a threat. Pretty sure I bored them a bit. I did try my "getting low with baby talk approach" but they just stayed out of reach, never barking. A rather strange group. The main road was a good 300 yards from the house. They were just curious and went back down the drive disappointed that I wasn't more interesting as I went back to my vehicle.



Hope you will give the ditch weeds a little closer look now that you have been made aware. They work hard for your approval.



21 comments :

  1. Patti, it looks like your ditch weeds might be wild asparagus, daisies and sumac...maybe, I think, can't be positive or sure from here in Ohio! :)

    I found your post very funny, even though I love the bright fall colors...to each their own, right?

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  2. I believe Wanda is right about the flowers. I of course am a devout leaf peeper and have been thrilled by all the blog pictures since because of all the pups I did not get to make my annual Fall trip to Appalachia this year. It takes all kinds to make this world turn though. The dogs have their tails down which does not mean "friendly" !

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  3. I enjoy seeing ditch weeds, too. I first read that as witch deeds!

    You are nuts about the color; it can't get too bright for me, but like you, we've not had the best color this year.

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  4. I'm not a flower, tree or weed expert, so I have no idea. Abe might know, he's the one with the green thumb. LOL Our son has lived in Fl now for about 30 years and he said that was what he missed the most the changing seasons, he said they don't change down there like they do here. It took him forever to feel comfortable going out to purchase a Christmas tree in short sleeves.

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  5. We are seeing fall colors here in the Sierra foothills and are completely thrilled by it. It's been so many years since we've lived where any leaves changed into splendid autumn colors. It can be overwhelming, especially if your senses are attuned to all of it.

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  6. They don't call it the natural state for nothing. Sometimes I think I hate to even step on the grass for fear of what I might be trampling on, like a bee or a small needed bug, nature sure is grand.

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  7. Here in northern Vermont the fall color has vanished and, with the return to standard time last weekend, we are experiencing "the big dark."

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  8. You are truly a Florida Gal at heart!!!! I've never heard anyone say that they get 'enough' of the gorgeous Autumn colors. I do remember when I lived in Florida and Texas---I yearned to see the Autumn colors since we had so little down there. Guess it is all about how we were 'raised'....

    I've never been much of a Ditch-Weed watcher --until I started blogging. Now--I'm a little more 'in tune' with them....

    But I'm definitely a Leaf Lover--especially in FALL.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  9. Wanda,
    I was pretty sure about the others but had no idea on the wild
    asparagus. Hum, think I ought to go dig that up when the time is right.

    Carol,
    I have really enjoyed the blog pictures also, mainly because the view is limited.
    You are right, the dogs weren't friendly but they weren't aggressive either.

    kenju,
    Can understand your take on the title, especially so close tp Halloween. I am sorry about the lack of color also for the sake of the true leaf lovers.

    Patty,
    Florida really takes some adjusting to in the fall and winter when nothing really happens.
    I'll admit, I really missed snow when I was in Florida. First snow here and you will see me as happy as a six year old.

    robin,
    So glad you are getting some change of color there. Hope you stay enthused. You may have a whole new winter experience also. Enjoy.

    Linda Starr,
    Arkansas really is a beautiful state and so well named. Spring is my season.

    Olga,
    The big dark really sounds daunting. I have a friends daughter who lives in Vermont and really gets excited over the snows.

    Betsy,
    I really enjoy the blogger pictures of fall color for then it is not surrounding me.
    I probably ought to look on google to see if there is an actual phobia for my condition. Be nice to give it a name.
    Our leaves are past now but the ditch weeds are in peak. Love my weeds.

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  10. I do love the autumn colors, but I think we've had too much rain this year. The ditch weeds are pretty, though.

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  11. Not being born in Western Australia I am not aware of what is a weed and what is a flower because over here all the weeds are pretty flowers....it si beautiful.

    When I go for a ride I will snap pictures of all these beautiful flowers, get home and show Es and she says...they are weeds and is unimpressed with my efforts. It's pretty funny.

    Here, here to the underdog.

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  12. I like to be overwhelmed with color, as you know. But everyone certainly can't be the same-- how dull the world would be if we all thought the same and liked the same.

    You probably would like the subtle appeal of black and white photography. I was bored with it but therein lies a lot of secrets to good color photography, especially saturation, contrast.

    I think the weeds are properly identified by Wanda, except there appears to be a tad of sumac with the daisies. I had some of the daisies in a picture I posted several posts back I think.

    We sre back from Lit. Rock, tired. I am confined for several days==no running around town. Shucks, I'll miss out on the scuttlebutt.

    However, Dr. put me a strength of amoxicillin I did not know existed. Since frequent bathroom trips are a side effect, I may get a portable hot plate and refrig. and camp in one bathroom.

    My LR doctor and also best friend believe you are sick or well and nothing in between. To get better I need to camp in my lift chair for 3-4 days. Whoopee! I have legitimate excuse to goof off.

    I think I found some weeds outside my window called candlesticks. I hope to capture them in a photo, but no confinement (sounds like I'm pregnant or something) may preclude this venture. I'll have to wait till husband goes somewhere and sneak out to get the shot.

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  13. I like to be overwhelmed with color, as you know. But everyone certainly can't be the same-- how dull the world would be if we all thought the same and liked the same.

    You probably would like the subtle appeal of black and white photography. I was bored with it but therein lies a lot of secrets to good color photography, especially saturation, contrast.

    I think the weeds are properly identified by Wanda, except there appears to be a tad of sumac with the daisies. I had some of the daisies in a picture I posted several posts back I think.

    We sre back from Lit. Rock, tired. I am confined for several days==no running around town. Shucks, I'll miss out on the scuttlebutt.

    However, Dr. put me a strength of amoxicillin I did not know existed. Since frequent bathroom trips are a side effect, I may get a portable hot plate and refrig. and camp in one bathroom.

    My LR doctor and also best friend believe you are sick or well and nothing in between. To get better I need to camp in my lift chair for 3-4 days. Whoopee! I have legitimate excuse to goof off.

    I think I found some weeds outside my window called candlesticks. I hope to capture them in a photo, but no confinement (sounds like I'm pregnant or something) may preclude this venture. I'll have to wait till husband goes somewhere and sneak out to get the shot.

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  14. Leaf lover here! The colors inspire me. They are the best thing about the season change. Love the colors of the ditch weeds, too.

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  15. Even weeds are wildflowers! Nice photos of your ditch weeds. I am glad to have wild asparagus identified; wouldn't have made that guess.

    I guess I'm a color freak; I never tire of the brilliance of the leaves. However, due to all the water we've had here, I think, the leaves are falling at the yellow-green stage. I need a shot of red leaves to cheer me up!

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  16. The colours of the ditch-weed amaze me! Nice post. And yes ma`am..I shall sit up & take notice of the ditch weeds henceforth!

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  17. Betty,
    It could well be the rain for we have really been hit hard this year.
    Actually here , the weeds were the brightest colors.

    Amanda,
    A weed is any plant growing where it isn't supposed to, so a rose growing in a corn field is truly a weed. I have seen some really pretty "weeds" that I wouldn't mind growing in my yard.

    Nitwit,
    I do love black and white photography for the stark detail.
    Don't really think I am color allergic though for my inside walls in my house are painted Blaze Orange and Peach. Maybe I am on overload before I leave the house.
    Glad you are on some strong meds. I am really glad that you will do as you are told. Wonderful to have a friend for a doctor.
    Rest and be well.

    Janie B.
    Pretty sure I am absolutely out numbered by the leaf lovers. So far I am all alone out here. I expected as much.

    Pat,
    I wouldn't have thought asparagus either but the more I look at it, pretty sure she is right. May go back to dig that up when it is the right time.
    We have been pretty blah here also.

    lostworld,
    That a girl. There is a lot of beauty in the darndest places.

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  18. I got tickled at the theory of color overload before you leave the house. Arkansas is beautiful in all four seasons. I thought of you this morning - while Brandy and I were outside, the two foxes curiously traveled up the road to check us out. It makes me happy to see they are still around and doing well. : )

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  19. Jewels,
    You need to get a picture of those foxes. I am so envious. They are one of my favorite animals, sooo smart as well as beautiful.

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  20. I always look at weeds and strange little sprouts growing in odd places, I appreciate them :)

    the dogs appear to be discussing you

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  21. Dianne,
    You never know what neat thing you can find when you really look.
    In all my years of dealing with dogs, I have never had any just quietly sneak up on me and watch. They really startled me.
    You are right, I was just a curiosity to them.

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