This time of year, a bowl often contains the season's holiday greeting cards. Some are receptacles for the more mundane things of life: car keys, cell phones, the dog's leash, a shopping list, mail coming in or going out, and the like. Here's one of ours:
Along with a couple Amur Maple leaves, you might recognize seeds from one of our favorites, the milkweed. Not a glamorous plant, it makes itself useful as well as ornamental as the perfect nesting perch for the Monarch caterpillar and butterfly. A much preferred habitat for this threatened or endangered species.
When fields are farmed right to the road, beneficial plants such as the milkweed are often the victim of overly aggressive weeding programs. If you have a ditch bank or area that's perpetually moist, try planting some milkweeds. While the flower isn't pretty, the seeds are among nature's most exquisite we think. Plus our world's dwindling Monarchs will thank you.
It was an "off" year for our little orchard. So no McIntosh for us in 2015. But, the apples and bowl below were set on a table by my wife more than 40 years ago. A good harvest in both fruit and film.