Thursday, May 3, 2018

Beautiful and Dangerous Nature

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've been blogging, because it finally thawed out around here and I have to be outside! Can you believe we had snow in late April and today we had over 80° weather? Because I haven't been checking in here much, I've ended up with a number of things to share. So this is going to be one of those Justine's favorites kind of blog posts.

Something I wanted to be sure and share with you guys was a display from last month's Art in Bloom at the Milwaukee Art Museum. You might remember Art in Bloom from past years. If not, it's a wonderful show of flower arrangements that are interpretations of the art.

This arrangement was in the Haitian gallery space. Check out that skull!

This display had a lot of exotic looking plants in it. I actually took a photo of the plant list, because some of these were new to me. I was especially interested in the spidery or octopus looking one in front. This one:

After googling pics of every plant on this list, I didn't find it. So if any of you know what that plant is, please let me know! Here's the flower list:

This is the painting that goes with the floral display, Baron Le Croix (Bawon Lakwa) by AndrĂ© PierreIf you read the "Designer Statement" at the bottom of the flower list, you'll understand a little bit about the painting and the symbolism. Although, I'm pretty sure you guys had a general idea of what's going on here.

It's worth reading this brief paragraph about Baron La Croix:

Baron La Croix Wiki Page

"The ultimate suave and sophisticated spirit of death" How about that?

Speaking of new and spooky flowers, I saw these little cuties in the woods a few days ago. I was told that these are Bloodroot, and from a google search it would appear that's correct. They don't look like they'd be called Bloodroot, do they? But from what I just read, the juice from this plant is both red and poisonous. And the flowers look so innocent!

If you'd like to read more: Bloodroot Wiki Page

If you read down to the "Toxicity" section on that page, you'll learn why you shouldn't mess with this plant! What I read here is actually pretty scary. To put it simply, do not apply this to your skin because it will destroy your tissue. Don't ingest this or you might vomit or pass out. And you might want to check your mouthwash for "sanguinaria" (another name for Bloodroot) because it could lead to oral cancer down the road. Wow! Nature can be pretty powerful and not always in the best of ways.

Another find in the park was this "Tree Bracket Fungus". I would have called it Seashell Fungus. Don't these look like shells?

From what I've been reading, some of these are not super healthy for trees, but people have turned this bracket or shelf fungi into art. Evidently, it's super hard and makes a good painting surface. If you google "Tree Bracket Fungus Art" you'll see some pretty cool examples.

In other nature news, some of you may have seen this little zebra spider when I shared it on Twitter.

I blogged about these once before. Some fun trivia about zebra spiders is that they don't make webs. Instead, they sneak up and pounce on their little insect victims like a cat! By the way, these spiders are much smaller than this one appears! They're like half the size of a normal ant. Ah, the magic of cropping.

This next picture was scary for me only because I didn't see more than one deer with my eyes before taking it. Then I looked at my camera screen in surprise! There were six deer that I could see, standing out in the open. But those behind this obvious deer totally blended in to the trees. Deer aren't exactly scary, but not realizing there are extra eyes upon you is!

Now that I'm studying this photo, I don't even know if I'm seeing more eyes in the woods! I think I may have just spotted a fifth head back there. I ended up seeing a good 10 in this herd, but who knows how many were actually there.

Onto a view of the outdoors at night. These are pics of the last two full moons we've had. They appeared very differently!

March 31 ~ The Sap Moon:

April 29 ~ The Pink Moon:

It's worth reading this page: Full Moon Names if you'd like to learn why each full moon has the name it does. I hope you guys enjoyed seeing my past month or so in little pieces. I'm finding it fun to write this way, with a little of this and a little of that. Let me know if you guys are seeing any new and interesting plants or insects. Everything is popping out now!


  1. Hi Just

    Awww, a stealth skull! Haha. Nice to see a floral Voodoo display.

    Those Bloodroot flowers look so deceptive! They're so deadly you'd think they were bio-engineered by aliens or something! :D

    Ooh, ninja deer too! And yes, I think they look like seashells as well!

    1. Chris ~ Oh yeah! There were all sorts of happenings. This is one of those times where I don't feel like all that much has been going on, but then I realize while looking back at my photos that things have been interesting lately.

      Yes, a stealthy skull. :) That floral display really stood out. There were many beautiful displays, but I think this one was a favorite for many people. It was the only one I saw showing up on people's social media.

      Yes, the Bloodroot flowers are deceptive! They look so pretty and innocent. I couldn't believe that list of negative reactions I was reading!

      Those deer really spooked me. When I looked at my camera screen, I probably jumped a little. Who knows how many were in the woods.

    2. There was this funny and cute internet picture I saw a few months ago of this guy who fed a wild deer that had wandered into his house, then the next day they'd brought their family. Awww!

      Also, I just noticed I didn't finish typing your name. I must've gotten ahead of myself with wanting to discuss the other things. Haha

    3. Chris ~ I saw something similar online, except I think it was a woman working in a convenience store. They'll definitely return for food! A friend of mine was feeding the deer who came into her backyard and they returned. She regretted it when they decided to eat her flowers, but you can't blame them for feeling welcome at that point!

      Oh yeah, I thought you were being casual with that. :)

  2. There is a large field I drive by to/from work and occasionally there will be a few deer out there grazing. I try taking photos but since I never have my camera, I try to be on the same side of the road to be as close as I can to use my phone.

    One drive home I spotted a single animal in the field so I pulled over and crossed the street. In the couple seconds it took to do this it had moved so I was scanning the field for it. There are a few scattered trees in front of the field's wire fence. It took a few seconds for me to find it again because it was lower than where I had been scanning at deer level. It took my brain a few more seconds to put together that I was in fact seeing a coyote and not a deer.

    It was far enough away but there was just that moment of the brain clicking between "what?", "oh no!", and "we're good here."

    1. Dex ~ How funny! That coyote was the right color, so I can see how you thought it was a deer at first. Do you think it was ever aware of you? I saw a documentary once about "coywolves" which are just what they sound like - a combination of a coyote and a wolf. In the video they showed how people regularly walk by these animals without even noticing them! The coywolves were seemingly everywhere, even in urban environments. It makes you wonder how many animals are around us at any time. That's cool that you noticed this coyote!

      I was out at night recently, taking out the trash. I had a flashlight on and I scared up an animal that shot by me so fast! So fast, I couldn't even see its legs clearly. I just saw a tan looking largish torso go flying by. I assume it was a deer, because it seemed relatively the right height. But it was that similar experience of "Wait, what was that?"

  3. I'm glad you finally got out to play! Its been a long old Winter hasn't it. With luck, the old saying about a cold Winter preceeds a hot Summer will be true.

    1. Alison ~ Thanks, I'm glad too! Oh, it had been an unbelievably long winter! Snow through the end of April and then Bam! We have 80° weather. It's crazy. It went straight from winter to summer here. Are you having pretty nice weather now?

  4. But don't we just love this weather! from 40 to 80 in less then 24 hours! I also love the hidden skull.

    1. Bob ~ Haha! Oh yeah, we just love it! ;) I don't know about you guys but it's getting cold around here again tomorrow. I think we're having a low of 41° tonight. I even heard that there was a possibility for snow in Northern Wisconsin yesterday! I'm not sure if they got it.

      I love that hidden skull too! There were all sorts of hidden objects in that arrangement. I only noticed the money and cigar while looking over these pics at home.