A different naked lady…

My southern sisters are proud of their Naked Ladies (Amaryllis Belladonna), while here in Chicago the Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is our “Naked Lady”. Both gained their nickname because when the flowers are in bloom their leaves already have become dormant, so are no longer present. These bulb beauties were at Lincoln Park Zoo several weeks ago and drew attention from the Lion Den.

Close up of sunlit petals. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Vibrant autumn color. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Prolific blooms. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Garden bouquet of flowering fall bulbs. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Change of subject…

At first my eye was drawn to the opening Purple Coneflower. Newly emerged petals are pale green, which gradually, over several days, turn to pinky-purple when they have grown to their full length. Purple Coneflower are a favorite subject. More images of this returning favorite will follow soon.

Bringing the flower into focus showed me this new bloom had already collected some debris. Upon closer inspection, it became clear the stringy litter was actually the legs of a Daddy Long Legs {Pholcus phalangioides} spider. As a child they were part of summer’s entertainment; watching them climb brick walls was fun and for some reason they were a favorite critter to hold. I am friendly only from a distance with other spiders. Somehow, these Daddys seemed harmless to me. Perhaps my experiences with them as a child served to buffer fears of introducing “Rosey”, the Rosy Haired Tarantula, as a classroom pet.

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom  accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg