Viper’s Bugloss


Bees love bugloss blue

snakes do not–they say

it’s a remedy

for their venom, still

Viper’s bugloss could

be their cousin—look

how its red stamens

flicker and feel the

bristle-sting of its

round thick stem and the

leaves, rough and pointed

like long sharp teeth or

oxen tongue. It’s a

witch’s sword in a

taut-rooted rosette

ready to brandish

penta-herb magic.

‘Bugloss’ has Greek origins meaning ox’s tongue. The flowers have five petals, five sepals and five stamens.


©2017 Ontheland



shoorah shoorah

Fluorescent green

shoo-rah shoo-rah didn’t see it coming

apple light in three o’clock sun

Grasses are high

stir it up little darlin’ stir it up

late spring buds now open faces

We’ll soon be gone

take off your shoes and dance we’re barefootin

sunbeam shimmers of yesterday.

∼ ∼ ∼

From my drive home, song references are Shoo-rah, Shoo-rah sung by Betty Wright; Stir it up performed by Johnny Nash; and Barefootin sung by Robert Parker.

image©2017 Ontheland

May rains

We’ve had an unusual stretch of rain and clouds. 


such abundance!

the creek is now a river

tumbling to the lake


city pond

new willow tresses

fill mirror 

After days of rain

faithful gardener returns

to kneel, sprinkling seeds

©2017 Ontheland

Angel wings paint the sky

Angel wings paint the sky

5:37 PM, August 11, 2016

Rays shine down from above

5:38 PM

Clouds mottle, drama swirls

7:28 PM

Watchful eye peers downward

7:28 PM

Over parched yellow fields

7:29 PM

Orange sun yields to dusk

8:16 PM

Angel  wings paint the sky

Rays shine down from above

Clouds mottle, drama swirls

Watchful eye peers downward

Over parched yellow fields

Orange sun yields to dusk.

Linking to Skywatch Friday.

©2016, all rights reserved by




A creek runs dry

On my Sunday stop at a local woods I discovered that Collin’s Creek is dry. We’ve had so little rain since Spring that our water table is seriously diminished.

Collins Creek upstream view August 7, 2016
Collins Creek downstream view August 7, 2016

There was a creek where cool waters tumbled

dogs wet their feet and skidded on rocks,

birds fluffed and drank,

bugs buzzed and skittered.

Now all is quiet in harsh summer heat,

in endless days of merciless drought

Collin’s waters shrank,

to a hard creek bed.

‘Level 2 low water condition!’

conservation experts exclaim

as hoses gush and swimming pools fill,

folks unaware of a stream in the woods

barely a trickle, no longer there.

©2016, all rights reserved by

Mullein—a towering medicinal flower plant


From floppy flannel

velvet green leaves,

a friendly casual shrub

just hanging out,

a towering stalk


yellow buds



like a spear



far below.




I finally identified this wild plant as Mullein, not from thumbing through a field guide, but with one quick internet search for a plant that ‘looks like corn’.  Its visual profile resembles corn, but with velvety leaves and a flower spike, it’s not like corn at all and is a member of the Snapdragon family.

Some people love these plants and grow them in flower gardens.  There are many varieties. For herbalists, Mullein are known as a source of traditional remedies.  For me, the young plants, even younger than shown in my first photo, are quite attractive.  As they mature location becomes a factor. They are so huge that sometimes a towering stalk can feel like an obstruction–in the fall the stalks become hard wooden sticks.

Mullein is also known as:  Velvet plant, Verbascum Flowers, Woolen Blanket Herb, Bullock’s Lungwort, Flannel Flower, Shepherd’s Club, Hare’s Beard, Pig Taper, and Cow’s Lungwort.

A thank  you to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow, which gave me a nudge to gather photos, identify, and write about these plants.

©2016, all rights reserved by