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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rounding Out the Evening

Today was the first really hot day we've had in a while. I'm enjoying our cool summer immensely, and having it over 80 now didn't feel very good. So I laid low and waited for evening. I just came in from a little walk after the day started to cool down. Thought I'd find some things to picture for the blog.

The very first thing I found of interest was this bull thistle, getting ready to bloom. You can just barely see some of the purple petals breaking out of a bud in the right rear. I'd never noticed before that the buds are, at one point, quite round. They become more pear-shaped as they get ready to open.

bull thistle

And thus was born the theme of my quest- round. I did find some round things. I've showed you all the others previously, but they are still pretty. Next up is the seed head of goatsbeard. Looks like a really big, and fluffier dandelion.


The berries of tatarian honeysuckle are luscious looking, but taste bitter, and might give you a tummy ache if you actually succeeded in eating enough of them. Honeysuckle fruits are little Siamese twins- always two stuck together.

tararian honeysuckle

Finally, I went to my flower garden and snapped a globe thistle. It's not a real thistle. It's one of my favorite plants. Partly because it agrees to grow in my lousy soil, partly because I love the color!

globe thistle

It wasn't till I saved the pictures that I realized I had a bud, a flower, a fruit, and a seedhead. It's like the game of SET, you can count it because everything is round, or you could count it because everything is different.

Actually, this is a good place to rant about one of my pet peeves with some kinds of test questions. My favorite example (I really saw this question) is a picture of four balls: A soccer ball, a basketball, a baseball, and a football. The question was: "Which one is different?"

I suppose the "right" answer is the football because it is not round. However. However...

It could be the basketball because it's the only one you play the game inside. It could be the baseball because it's smaller. It could be the soccer ball because it's the only one you can't touch with your hands. The question is unanswerable. I am told I overthink things. Maybe. But answering those kinds of questions for me involves thinking of the possible answers and then figuring out what the question writer wants.

So, of these pictures, which one is different, eh? The goatsbeard, because it is not a color? The berries, because they are not a flower? The globe thistle, because it is the most perfect globe? The bull thistle because it has prickles?

OK, I'll stop now.

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Ann said...

Well I'm going to say that if you overthink things I could be accused of not thinking things through enough because I would have just said the football because it's not round and left it at that :)
And for your pictures I would have picked the berries because they aren't a flower. I tend to go with the most obvious (or at least to me)

Lin said...

I have a globe thistle in my yard and for some reason, it has been drying up and dying branch by branch. Don't know what is with that.

I have enough ridiculous questions at work, I try to avoid them elsewhere in my life. I don't know about the balls. I would guess the football too. What is the answer?

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

Each of these beauties are perfect in their differences. Just like us. All of us. :)

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Loved all the photos - is the bull thistle Cirsium vulgare? we call it spear or scots thistle.

Secondary Roads said...

I don't think there is a "right" answer to your question.

Anonymous said...

I took a picture of a goatsbeard when I was in Michigan. We don't have those around here.

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- that's what we are "supposed" to do for those.

Lin- you are just trying to keep the balls up in the air

Rose- too hard to make sets!

Carol- yes, but we call Onopordum acanthium Scotch thistle!

Chuck- I'm with you.

Catskill- really? hmmm. I guess I didn't know it till I lived in MI.

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