Field of Science

RIP Aretha

Aretha Franklin has died and the world is a bit less interesting.  Fortunately recordings remind us what we have lost.  She totally stole this scene from the Blues Brothers.  It's simply wonderful.  

Friday Fabulous Flower - Big and Blue


Here's one of the easiest and best looking of our late summer native plants, the big blue lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica.  No idea about why it bears this specific epithet, perhaps something based on the old doctrine of signatures?  Anyone else have an idea? 

Friday Fabulous Flower - a late summer SYC


LBJs - little brown jobs, the classic tough to ID bird.  The Botanical version is an SYC - stinking, yellow composite.  Actually they aren't as tough to ID as some people make out, but there are a lot of them.  This particular SYC is part of Ms. Phactor's perennial bed, a mixture of native species and cultivars.  This is probably a selection from a native species.  This is Rudbeckia subtomentosa, one of several species that share the common name Black-eyed Susan.  Generally these all bloom in the late summer and they are pretty colorful.  The disk flowers making up the button are purple-brown and the ray flowers are bright yellow. This particular species will grow to 2 m making a rather large clump.  The stems are leafy and the leaves below are three-parted.