My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, August 5, 2011

SkyWatch Friday: Salsify against the Sky

(Click photos for more detailed images)

Western Salsify (Tragopogon dubius) in our pasture

With a yellow budding Salsify flower to its left and fragrant wild Bergamot at its base, this Western Salsify will soon release its large dandelion-type seeds to drift across the summer sky on mountain breezes.

Wildflower seed on the sand and stone
May the four winds blow you safely home...
Wildflower seed on the sand and wind
May the four winds blow you home again.
~Grateful Dead, "Franklin's Tower"

Aren't they beautiful?

The seed has no idea of being some particular plant,
but it has its own form and is in perfect harmony
with the ground, with its surroundings ...
and there is no trouble.
This is what we mean by naturalness.
~ Shrunyu Suzuki, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind"

Click on
for more skies (with and without wafting seeds) :-)


  1. Pretty! One of my ancestors was named Mehitable, that's a name you don't come across much lol...happy skywatching :)

  2. Tanya ~ No kidding? Was your ancestor from New England? It was a pretty popular name up there for a time. I have a post that discusses that very thing that you might enjoy! :-)

    Happy Friday and happy Skywatching to you too! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This is a lovely picture! Wonderful angle and beautiful light.

  4. Oh my! Thank you so much Skywatch that I stumbled there and saw this beautiful Photo! When I saw your photo, even before adding my link up, I suddenly clicked it and it directed me here! It just touched me so much! The Drama, The Composition it's a DREAM! I Love it! One of my Favorite Photos EVER :)

    Greetings from the Philippines!

  5. Beautiful sky watch photo. I was not familiar with the Salsify flower. I like the symmetry of the flower displayed in the second photo.

  6. Lois ~ Thank you! I loved the light in it too, and won't ruin it for you by describing how awkwardly I had to contort myself to get that angle. :-) Anything for a good photo!

    Steven ~ My goodness, I really appreciate your generous comment! Thank YOU! I'm so glad you liked my photo so much, because your sweet comment made my day! :-)

    The Write Girl ~ I think the Salsify is unfamiliar to most people, but it's plentiful out here. My grandmother's friend up in northern Montana used to pick them during their seed stage, spray paint them gold, and use them in flower arrangements. I prefer them au natural. :-)

    I was so pleased with the detail that showed up in the second photo (my camera's just a point-and-shoot and doesn't always take good macro shots). I think the seeds in the center look like little starbursts.

  7. Love that first shot - great pov. And it always impresses me how many apt quotes you find! By the way, I finally found the dragon but as we don't use Outlook on our PC and that's what it was trying to open I couldn't have used it anyway! Never mind... have replied to your email, and thanks for the tips about email addresses - I know nothing!

  8. Truly beautiful. And it looks very like our dandelion clocks - just a little more substantial. I love it. Thanks.

  9. Lovely, lovely photos! And the enlargement was exceptional. I do appreciate the perfect symmetry. Nicely done.

  10. It is beautiful and those are really pretty shots. I like the quotes too, they're a perfect match for this post.

    Happy weekend Laurie!

  11. Barbara ~ Thanks! I took some photos of it from above, but they were just meh, so I flopped down on mah belleh and when I saw how the sunlight was shining through the seed fluff I knew that was the angle I needed. (Kind of like how you sat on your bum in the lavender field to get the perfect angle!)

    I often find apt quotes because I've been a quote junkie most of my life and have a vast collection. Actually finding the one I'm looking for is often the most time-consuming part of my blogging! My computer's email search tool isn't as handy as I think it should be. And don't you hate it when you read something a bunch of times and don't see a typo till hours or days later? I just noticed I had typed "sane" instead of "sand" in the first line of the Grateful Dead song! LOL! Guess after all our debt ceiling debate lunacy, I was just wanting some sanity somewhere, even if I had to type it myself!! ;-)

    It's odd my email dragon took you to OE! I don't even use OE. When I click on the dragon it opens Mac Mail, so I figured it would take people to whatever email program they use. Shows how much I know! I'm glad you didn't end up needing it though, and thank you for your email today! Things have suddenly gotten crazy here again (we now have a 9am house showing Monday to get ready for, on top of all the other stuff we already had going on this weekend), so it might be a while before I can pen a worthy reply.

  12. Ellie C ~ "Dandelion clocks" - I've never heard that term before! Is that what you call the dandelions that have gone to seed? I wonder if that's what they're called here, too, and I just never heard it before. The Salsify do look like ginormous dandelion puffs, and it's fun to watch their seeds float through the air like little parachutes. I'm glad you liked the photos!

    Nonizamboni ~ I love that name. :-) Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! I agree that these photos definitely look much better in their larger versions, especially the second one where you can see so much more detail. I'm really glad you enjoyed them, and that you're enjoying my blog! I was delighted to see you on my follower's list! Warmest welcome!

    Rose ~ Thank you, Rose! :-) And hey, as the hostess of the incomparable Dandelion Vegan Blog, have you ever heard the term "dandelion clocks?" I'm intrigued by that now!

    You have a happy weekend too! Looks like you guys are finally enjoying some summer weather! Yay!

  13. I don't think it was just our weird and dsyfunctional family. As small people we blew on the 'clocks' to see what time it was. First blow one o'clock, etc until all the seeds were dispersed.

  14. Ellie C ~ Hmm, you know, now that you've explained that, I may just be hearing a very distant bell, shrouded in the murky mists of time, ringing ever so faintly from the long ago memories of my misspent youth. (LOL, I think I'm channeling a Victorian author!) I do believe I did that very thing as a kid, but if my friends and I called them "dandelion clocks," that I don't remember. (Oh, and add "weird and dysfunctional family" to our list of things we have in common. LOL!)

  15. Looks so soft and beautiful indeed!

  16. I think the clocks are the individual seed heads. I usually call them parachutes; but, I'm way out of the botanical loop.

  17. Very beautiful indeed!
    I like the flower against the blue sky :)

  18. Laloofah -- Salsify -- a new plant for me. Must be indigenous to the west. Like Zen Mind by Suzuki -- Nice! -- barbara

  19. Yes they are beautiful! All of your pictures are. But I am just smiling so much at your wonderful choice of quotes. Great philosophers Jerry Garcia and the other Zen one -- I love those! And your Ashleigh Brilliant one on your heaqder too -- I've got his book stored away somewhere!

  20. nancy ~ I know, I love its soft fuzziness! :-)

    Rose ~ Parachutes are what I call them too!

    Melusine ~ Thanks! The sun was in the perfect spot for that photo, which I appreciated. :-)

    Barbara ~ It's actually, surprisingly not! According to this web site, Western Salsify is native to southern and central Europe and western Asia... Western Salsify has been introduced into North America where it has become widespread, being reported from all the continental United States except for a few in the far south-east, and all provinces of Canada except Newfoundland and the northern territories. So you may have it there in Kentucky! It's prolific out here.

    Sallie ~ Thank you! I'm tickled that my quote selections made you smile, especially since I was happy to have found two such germane ones for this post in my vast collection. I'm no hoarder when it comes to stuff, but I have no self control when it comes to stashing away favorite quotes (I've been doing it for 35 years and have so many favorites! lol) I've never read any of Ashleigh Brilliant's books, and I really must. He's got such great lines. Another favorite of mine is "We've been through so much together, and most of it is your fault." :-) Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  21. I went on a long walk today and saw so many beautiful wildflowers.. very much like the ones your pictured here!

    I hope you've had a marvelous weekend!

  22. Eva ~ Parallel lives! BW and I went on a long walk yesterday and there were a bazillion sunflowers growing wild along the road, but I was a nitwit and forgot my camera, which I'd left charging on my computer. :-( We went back today and though our walk wasn't as long, I had my camera with me this time and got at least half a bazillion photos of the sunflowers, some of which will no doubt show up on future posts. Did you get photos of the wildflowers you saw?

    Our weekend was too hot and too short but otherwise wonderful. :-) I'm sure yours must have been great, with Kuba back home and beautiful wildflowers decorating your long walk!

  23. I've never seen these pretty flowers I don't think. Never heard of them either. I'm at a loss to pick my favorite of the two photos - they are both so pretty.
    The composition in the first picture is SO professional!! The sky is certainly playing second fiddle to the Salsify! In the other photo, it's the flower itself that I thought was amazing to look at. (Not to disparage the photo itself). It really is a beautiful plant. Like something you'd see in a kaleidoscope if all the things in it were white.

    I was so much fun talking to you tonight - what a fun surprise!

  24. Jo ~ I'm always happy to introduce people to a new flower, especially since I seem to be learning about new flowers on other people's blogs all the time! And you weren't alone in not being familiar with Salsify. You probably saw bunches of them when you were out here last, but they probably hadn't gone to seed yet and that's when they're really attention-grabbing.

    I'm so glad you liked both photos, and I love your analogy of the all-white kaleidoscope, that's a great comparison!

    It was lots of fun talking to you tonight, too, and so funny that I started out by razzing you about not visiting my blog for two days only to find out you were on it when I called! LOL I can't wait for our Friday call, hopefully I'll have more fun news to report! :-)


Will Blog For Comments. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to leave yours!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

free counters