Thursday, December 20, 2007

Native Plants in Your Face

Over the weekend we had an excellent snowstorm. An excellent snowstorm? I admit I love snow. Snowmen, snow sculpture, snow angels, shoveling, even the excitement of slipping and sliding on the road.

The kids insisted that I build a snowman. The snow, however, was soft and powdery. Great for skiing or snowshoeing, but not sticky, not "packing" snow. We made do by building mini-snowmen. The other problem was a more common snowman problem. In the modern "clean" yard, there are no lumps of coal for eyes and nose. We found a great solution using native plants. Brown-eyed susan (Rudebckia triloba) seedheads make excellent eyes, nose, and even mouth. We left some stem on the seedhead to help hold the seedheads in place.

So there we have it, one more reason to celebrate native plants. It could get a bit weird if the gold finches feed on those particular seedheads, but the snow will likely melt before the snowmen need to re-enact Hitchcock's The Birds.

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