urbpan: (dandelion)
I got an email this week: "today I published a poem inspired by one of the photographs in your blog"



Chicory at Castle Island

For now,
the powder blue flower
frisks
in the cool wind
and lingers
at salt water’s edge,
reclaiming the sand
for plants.




Pretty sure those photos are by Alexis, at least the better, second one. They are from this post about chicory, part of the 365 species project.

The poem was published on Jellyfish Whispers, and the poet is Marianne Szlyk.
urbpan: (Default)


We went for a walk in Olmsted Woods Monday night, a place I used to spend a lot of time but I haven't been in a while.

Read more... )
urbpan: (Default)

A dragonfly rests on the rim of a trash can.


Ants again, this time with sugary work.


A chicory blossom stays open in the rain.
urbpan: (dandelion)


Yesterday morning I took Charlie swimming at a pond behind a warehouse on RT. 9. In the median strip in rt. 9 in Brookline, in the areas they haven't rebuilt yet, there is a thick monocultural herb garden of blooming chicory, my favorite wildflower. It's raining right now, for the first time in over a week. The plants Alexis put in our front area were starting to wilt and shrivel, so hopefully this will help.

more personal stuff )
urbpan: (monarch)

This is some kind of hawk moth, possibly the adult of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, rather ragged and beaten up.Read more... )
urbpan: (dandelion)

Photos by [livejournal.com profile] cottonmanifesto. Location: corner of Jamaicaway and Brookline Ave, Boston.

Urban species #184: Chicory Cichorium intybus

Sometimes solitary, sometimes in dazzling groups, chicory blossoms resemble blue dandelions. I don't wish to play favorites, but chicory is without a doubt my favorite urban wildflower. The color is hard to capture in a photograph, and hard even to describe. The light blue is luminous, with a touch of violet. It's pale but rich, turning traffic islands and vacant lots into unplanned gardens. Each plant may have several blossoms, but each blossom is short-lived. A picked chicory flower withers in minutes. On the plant, the blossoms open early in the morning and close between midday and early afternoon.

Chicory is an exceedingly common weed in the Northeast and elsewhere, and yet many people are surprised to learn that it grows wild in the city. Chicory has been cultivated in Europe for centuries, for a wide variety of uses. The foliage is used for salad greens and the root is used as a vegetable. The roots can be stored over winter and new greens grown from them for winter salad. In North America, chicory is most well known as an additive to, or substitute for, coffee. The root is roasted and ground to be used as a hot drink, which, though lacking caffeine, tastes similar to coffee. During wartime shortages, chicory was used to extend coffee supplies.



But will it grow on the beach? )

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