Thursday, July 16, 2009

Missing a Mullein

Common Mullein, Verbascum thapsus

It is my habit to walk at night, after the day’s work, when the heat has passed and the sun leans toward the western sky, leaving the fields in coolness and still.
Along the lane between corn and soy, watching deer browse at the distant tree line, butterflies dance along the gravel path--this has become the routine.

But, last week I walked here early, as the sun was rising, the day bright and fresh.
To catch a few pictures before the clouds brought rain and strong winds to blow them away.

And I found it a different place, in the morning.
Tender blooms open wide, that, by evening, have passed--
never seen on all those other walks.

I must remember to break old habits.

Morning Roadside with Moth Mullein

Moth Mullein, Verbascum blattaria

(please click to enlarge)

I see Common Mullein often. Its wooly leaves and tall, spiky stem stand out easily along roadsides and vacant lots.
But, only in the morning, do the blossoms of Moth Mullein open broadly, revealing its place, too, in disturbed gravel shoulders lining the fields.
So named, because its petals resemble moth's wings, its stamens, their feathery antennae.

Read more about mullein here:

Common Mullein
Moth Mullein

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love walks in the early morning. I am glad you got out to enjoy the morning for a change.

RuthieJ said...

What a pretty plant. I'll have to be on the lookout for Moth Mullein here in Minnesota. It's always good for me to ID a new wildflower--especially if it's in my backyard.

Ginnymo said...

Very nice post Nina. Never heard of that plant. I am always learning new things here...
I was a night person for lots of years and never thought I'd ever be able to get up early and enjoy the sunrise. But for the past 12 years I have and it's so refreshing to see the day coming to life so early. But I sure don't care for the BlueJays waking me at 5:30 AM!! Ha! I never seem to sleep past that hour any more. So I look out the window and see animals that I wouldn't see later in the day, like the Turkeys and sometimes a deer. I love watching the sun come up through the woods.
If I could, I'd be out walking also. It's peaceful.
Take care!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Yes, this sweet little weed is lovely--if you haven't enlarged the photos, please do.
What an early morning treat!
And it almost disappears by midday, the slender stems barely noticeable along the roadways.

Anonymous said...

nice pictures...
The best place for the best ENTERTAINMENT

mlc said...

I like mullein too. Love your photos. I am glad I stopped by to learn a little more about it. I was walking every morning a little earlier in the spring, and my dogs were loving it and I was too. After the mosquito hatch, the garden intruded and we stopped. The seasons are cycling and it's coming time again for morning walks where the mosquitos are not.

Deborah Godin said...

I didn't know about moth mullein, what a lovely little amost pansy-like face! A real charmer!

Cheryl said...

Mullein is something I am very familiar is a beautiful wild plant here. I grow it in my garden, for the mullein moth to lay her eggs. Sadly I only found two caterpillars on the plant this year, but that is better than none......

A lovely post......

deejbrown said...

"I must remember to break old habits..." You are so right.
I am usually on my way to work (how much is missed that really means something!). But the quiet mullein in one of my favorites. Lovely post.