01 November 2013

On Callaway Road

Callaway Road (about a mile north of Pleasant Hill) is beautiful all year round. It's a dirt road through farm fields bordered by sumac in the foreground with the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the east. But it's especially lovely once the sumac has fruited and the leaves have turned.

The view from Callaway Road, October 2013.

Abutilon theophrasti or velvetweed

A few years ago, B and I paid good money for a load of compost delivered by a local farmer. He dumped it at the top of the driveway, and we spent the next few months spreading it over all the gardens. As the summer progressed I saw all sorts of plants I'd never seen before. The compost was full of uncooked seeds, and we ended up pulling luscious, gigantic weeds by the thousands over the next two summers.

One of the new weeds took a liking to the bed down by the road. I let it go to seed a few times, the first time out of laziness, the second because I thought the seedpods were beautiful. I called it witchweed until I did a little research and determined it's Abutilon theophrasti. Kind of a nondescript plant when it's green and flowering (although the leaves really do feel velvety), but once the flowers go and the seeds develop: Wow.

Dehiscent velvetweed.