Saturday, April 22, 2017

It looks almost innocent

The Campbell River Museum sits on a hillside facing the shore, part sunny lawns, part in deep shade under evergreens or mixed alders and maples. Trails wind through the trees and above the lawn, where a collection of 80 different plants native to the area thrive.

Now that the sun is shining, and flowers are starting to appear along the street, (and I saw my first salmon-berry flower two days ago; more diagnostic of spring than the robins) I went to see what is happening on the Museum lands.

And there were trilliums and flowering red currants and kinnikinick and curly-topped ferns and ... I'll be processing photos for a few days.

But my favourite was this brand new devil's club (Oplopanax horridus) bud, with a visitor:

Two buds, old spines, and a multi-spotted ladybug, probably Harmonia axyridis.

The spines look relatively innocuous now, worn down and de-fanged by a harsh winter. I was almost tempted to touch one. Almost. Once the leaves open, there will be nasty, stinging spines everywhere, even on the leaves.

1 comment:

  1. in Ethnobotany of Western Washington ( Gunther) it was said Devils Club spines were used as fish hooks. I have to imagine harvesting fish hooks was a task given to someone who was lax in their duties and needed punishment.


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