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Saturday, July 1, 2017





8:30 AM.  60 degrees F at the ferry dock, the same on the back porch.  Wind variable and calm.  The sky is mostly overcast, the humidity 91%.  The barometer is rising, predicting clearer skies for the week ahead, but with a chance of rain on Wednesday.  Highs should be between  65 and 75 degrees F.
   The common yellow buttercup of our area is probably Ranunculus acris, in the Crowfoot (Ranunculaceae) Family.  They have been blooming in roadside ditches everywhere for about a week. I won't try to go any further into the taxonomy of these ubiquitous plants.  
   These cheerful little roadside flowers are so diminutive and common that it is rather easy to ignore them.  And that's not fair, as they do a great job of decorating ditches and waste places that otherwise would be without much charm. Unfortunately, they may also cause a rash if handled, and most are poisonous to cattle; but they are only eaten out of desperation, as they evidently taste very bad (don't try it). They are mostly Eurasian in origin.
  My records for buttercup bloom dates are: 6/16/16; 7/07/14; 7/08/13; 6/-4/10. They kind of creep up on one, so the dates of first bloom may be short  by a few days.
   The genus name translates from the latin as "little frog," relating to the wet habitat of most buttercups.  The species name acris refers to its unpleasant taste.  Not a great bio.
 P.S. I still like them.

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