I just spent a week surrounded by cows ‘n corn and not much else. After the first 3 days, I more or less got over my internet withdrawals. The lack of people helped a lot. This is what it looked like first thing in the morning:
If you look closely, you can make out the house over the hill about a half mile away.
This is the view in the other direction (no houses there):
There’s a river in front of the mountain, just beyond those elms in the middle of the picture. While I was tramping around near the river the next day, this alien-looking plant was pointed out to me by my brother-in-law:
It was six feet tall and looked like something out of a John Wyndham novel. My book of wildflowers of the Northeast failed me, but after much googling (clustying, actually, since Google is evil) I found that this plant really is alien. According to the National Invasive Species Information Center the Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum L.) was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the 1700s.
Seems a long time to hold a grudge, but there you have it. Apparently, these plants never bothered to wait in line to become legal immigrants, instead secreting themselves amongst legal seeds. I, for one, have no problem uprooting such invaders, as long as they can’t blind me.
I have more pix from the trip. I’ll put ‘em up soon.