a few of my favorite things

I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty and diversity of nature. Fairly frequently, she amazes me with outright weirdness, bizarre forms, gooey structures, foul smells, stunning beauty, and unexpected features.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my garden lately, and walking Huxley in the woods. There has been plenty to observe and admire, immersed in these two places that are teeming with things I can’t look away from!

So these past few weeks, here have been a few of my favorite things!

Stinking, rotting calabaza squash being harvested for seed. The massive fruits are impressive, as is the smell and feel of some of them that have gone foul. I love the patterns they decay forms on the skins. 
Maroon-colored dog fennel in the woods. Never seen it before. It’s not due to cold or anything obvious, all surrounding dog fennel is green as usual. Gorgeous!
Beautiful purple and black bean seeds, I can’t wait to grow these Scarlet Runner Beans! They are like magic beans. This large seed will grow into a gorgeous plant, prolific with red flowers that pollinators love, and the pods are edible too. 
Amazing adaptation to a tough environment, as a little seedling on the salty beach sand, makes a go for it, nestled among plastic waste.
The underground (supposedly edible) precursor to the stinky, putrid stinkhorn fungus that has been prevalent this winter with all the rain. Inside, it is like a brain, with two hemispheres, vein or neuron-like patterning, and a gelatinous sac.
Blue-colored turmeric! A very rare thing, and one of my new favorites. I’ve been learning about it through osmosis lately, since the photos I posted on Facebook have triggered a lot of interest and conversation. Apparently it’s endangered and very rare, its super duper medicinal. 
Gorgeous patterned watermelon seeds, from Mehmet. A Turkish heirloom variety called Cekirdegi Oyali, which means crocheted seed. When the seeds dry, they form these unique patterns. Can’t wait to grow this in the spring!
This native clematis grows wild, and it’s seed heads are peculiar and wonderful. They remind me of something depicted in a Dr. Seuss book.
This field was fully of “weedy” Bidens alba, and a whole lot of Queen butterflies. This photo could’t capture it, there were lots of butterflies! There is a lot of value in these scrappy looking pieces of land, I wish more people would leave them be. 
Wouldn’t want to be an insect that stumbled over this trapdoor spider (hunkering down in the hole in the upper right). All the rain we’ve had, accumulated like delicate glass beads on her elaborate trap.
I’m so in love with this Seminole Pumpkin. It was my gateway drug to gardening and seed saving. This year’s crop was so lovely and diverse!! Look at the shape of this beauty, and the speckling.

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