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Monday, September 15, 2014

Sorting out Asters- Two is Enough

 
There are so many kinds of asters, identification is a challenge, and remembering all the names is worse than a quiz naming the spinal nerves. At least there's a mnemonic for that!

Anyway, here are two I encountered this past week, and am pretty sure I've identified them correctly.

First is the flat-topped white aster, Aster umbellatus. At least two of the key features are in the name. The flowers are white, and the clusters are flat, although this picture doesn't show that very well.

Flat-topped white aster

Two other important things to look for are the sparse rays (you'd call them petals, but technically that's not what they are on asters). Each blossom might have only 2-15 of them, looking a lot as if some have gone missing. The other thing is that the leaves of this one don't clasp the stem. In many asters, they do.

Flat-topped white aster

Now for a blue species, Aster prenanthoides. I struggled with this one, because it wasn't either of the ones I thought it was. However, the leaves finally gave it away, so I'll start with them. These do clasp the stem a bit, but that's not the big thing. Notice the odd shape? They are wide at the tip with a few teeth, then taper quickly to have almost parallel sides near the base.

Crooked-stemmed aster

The common name, crooked-stemmed aster, comes from a feature that isn't revealed very clearly in my picture, but you can sort of see it. Follow the stalk that is coming from the top of the picture toward the bottom. At each joint the stem turns a little bit, looking zig-zag. I'll have to find a better example.

Crooked-stemmed aster

Now the question is, will I remember these?

See Bushy Aster
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Black

 
Black is not my favorite color. However, I love the patterns in this black substance. Can you guess what it is?

black swirls

black swirls

black swirls

I don't want you to see the answer too easily...

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black swirls

There is a leak in the pipes that carry ink from the tank to the presses at the paper!


See My Low-Budget Black Taco Ad
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Morning Colors

 
Didn't get done with work until the sun was coming up this morning. The view west was a sunrise surprise.

rainbow

The view east, a little more expected.

sunrise

Had a hard time getting to sleep, but then this evening we went to a concert and pig roast/potluck dinner at a local church. Really good food, worship time, and fun stuff for kids, including this inflatable slide.

inflatable slide

I think I'll be going to dreamland soon!

See Canadian Rainbow
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Formatting

 
The bulk of the day has been spent formatting text and cover for a print version of the first two Anastasia Raven stories combined into one volume. So, that is the quality in today.

The cover format isn't right yet. I've got to reduce the size of the text on the spine. But I'm getting close.



I hate giving in to the giant Amazon, but I need to get these into print, and CreateSpace is really the easiest way to go. Sigh.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Four or Six?

 
Glanced out the window through the rain today and saw three really wet deer in the yard. One of them was a buck!

Do you think he has four or six points?

whitetail buck

Take a close look. The answer is five!

whitetail buck

See Which Way Did He Go?
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