A Plant Made for Mardi Gras

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras — purple, green, and gold — usually are associated with King Cakes, beads, costumes, and masks.

But over the course of a season, the silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) displays those same colors: first in flower, then in unripened and maturing fruits.

Who knows? Perhaps in the middle of their life cycle, the plants throw a party and call out to one another, “Laissez les bonnes fleurs rouler!”

Silverleaf nightshade flower ~ Bandera County, Texas

 

Silverleaf nightshade fruit forming ~ Brazoria County, Texas

 

Silverleaf nightshade ripened fruits ~ Tallgrass Prairie Bottoms, Kansas

 

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

 

Looking Toward Winter

Soybeans and silo ~ Chase County, Kansas

Whatever you’re storing for the winter — be it acorns, soybeans, apples, or nuts — be sure to choose your container carefully.

 

Comments always are welcome.

A bit of additional information:
After looking at photos of similar silos, it became obvious that the split in the side was common. Mike Holder, District Extension Director for Agriculture & Natural Resources in the area, told me that the space would have been taken up by a series of small doors. Before filling, the doors were closed, and then the silage was blown in. As it was needed, one door after another was opened, beginning from the top, and the silage tossed down. Most doors were wooden, and they sometimes were removed when a silo was no longer used.

Lewis And Clark Send A Memo

prairie fire

 

We set sail under a gentle breeze from the S.E. At seven miles, passed a white clay marl or chalk bluff. Under this bluff, which is extensive, I discovered large stone much like lime, encrusted with a clear substance which I believe to be cobalt, also ore is embedded in the dark earth resembling slate, but much softer.
Above this bluff, we had the prairie set on fire to let the Sioux see that we were on the river, and as a signal for them to come to it.
                                                                                        Captain William Clark ~ 27 August, 1804

 

Comments always are welcome.