Tag Archives: Mimulus aurantiacus

The color purple

Thistles, horsemint and nightshade on embankment (June 2011).

When I dragged the tree trunk and limbs to the cow tank embankment, I discovered the color purple in three flowering plants: thistle, horsemint and nightshade. The horsemint is clustered together in the center-right of the photograph and resembles a spindle. The nightshade is less prominent and has a star-shaped flower.  (Click the photo to enlarge and see detail.)

The star of nightshade (June 2011).

Emily Dickinson upon thistle (June 2011).

Bees collect pollen upon the thistle.  A few grasshoppers look on, ready to fly when I wade into the grass.  The embankment stands to the northwest of the cow tank or pond.

I have a predilection to call these runoff water ponds, “cow tanks,” from my background in San Saba, Texas.  I remember a cow tank I once swam in with my cousins.  We swam and got our feet muddy at the edges of the cow tank on the Hollingshead place near Mullin, Texas.  When the land was subdivided after my step-grandfather’s death, my step-father made sure that the surveyors included the cow tank within his parcel of 35 acres.  My cousins and I now own the 35 acres and this summer I plan to swim in the cow tank, its waters pure from pasture and rocky cliff runoff.

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