Friday, October 07, 2011

While the sun still shone

It has been raining, desultorily, without enthusiasm; too damp for gardening, too cool for bugs, too grey for photos. Most of my flowers are gone anyhow. Even the begonias and winter pansies are hanging their heads under the weight of rainwater.

It's good, then, that I'm still sorting September photos, full of bright, warm, sunshiny flowers and critters.

Our neighbour's sunflowers.

Banana flower and green fruit. Beach Grove.

Flies and a beetle on goldenrod. Mud Bay Station.

Unidentified seed pods. Possibly peppergrass* (a Mustard). Mud Bay, growing through the  rip-rap.

Gumweed and Cabbage white butterfly. Mud Bay.

Tiny succulent, Beach Grove.

Orange-brown sandhill skipper* on sea rocket. Centennial Beach.

Pickleweed, Salicornia pacifica. The white "spines" are salt crystals. Salicornia gets rid of excess salt by moving it up to the tips of the stems, which turn red and eventually drop off. Mud Bay tide flats. 

Another pickleweed plant. This one is just starting to accumulate salt at the tips.

It's raining harder now. I wonder if it's going to rain all month long, to make up for our warm September.

*Thanks to biobabbler, Katie and Jodi for the IDs. (See discussion in comments.)


  1. Hmm... those are salt crystals on the pickleweed? Here I thought they were what's visible of the flowers. I may have to correct one of my pickleweed posts.

  2. Nice post. FYI, I think that plant with the disk-shaped seeds is and the brownish moth is actually a butterfly (antennae knobby at the end), some kind of skipper, I think. GREAT idea to review sunny photos on a drippy day. =) Ah, sunflowers....

  3. Agree with biobabbler that the moth is a skipper butterfly. Maybe a Sandhill Skipper (Polites sabuleti)? See Anyway, lovely idea to post sunny images on a dreary day.

  4. Thanks, biobabbler and Jodi. I should have noticed that antenna. The sandhill skipper seems to match.

  5. Thanks for the memories! Right now the most colourful thing is our sunsets. - Margy

  6. Great photos. I've never seen bananas with the flower like that before!

  7. Susannah, you've ID'd similar seed pods before as pepperweed (Lepidium sp.) 2 years ago October:

    I've looked into the pickleweed some more, and I believe those white protuberances are indeed flowers: Please let me know if I'm wrong.

  8. Katie, thanks for following this up. I knew I'd seen something like these plants before, but couldn't remember where. Peppergrass does seem like a better identification, although these ones were definitely pink, not orange and yellow like the ones on the Island.

    As to the pickleweed, I'll have to do some more research. It's a very confusing plant.

  9. I've been doing research on pickleweed for a school project, and came across your site and I agree with the others that the "salt crystals" are flowers.

  10. Thanks, Katrina. I hope to be able to find some pickleweed next summer, again, and get a look at it with a microscope.


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