A Brief Change Of Scene

The view from Fort Hill at Cape Cod, 18 Oct 2019 (photo by Kate St. John)

Travel is a tonic for seeing the world in new ways. This month my husband and I spent a week with his sister at Cape Cod where we had new weather, new scenery and new looks at plants I might have seen at home.

Our timing was pretty good. We missed the October 12 nor’easter but were on hand for the October 17 “bomb cyclone.” We didn’t lose power, but it was still very windy on the 18th when I visited Fort Hill, pictured above.

Birds were hard to find that day so I noticed plants such as this European spindle-tree (Euonymous europaeus) with puffy, pink, four-sided fruits.

European spindle-tree fruits, 18 Oct 2019, Dennis, MA (photo by Kate St. John)

The puffballs are actually a casing that holds orange fruit within. This ornamental has probably been planted in Pittsburgh, though I’ve never noticed it.

Euonymous europaeus fruits burst open (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

My favorite discovery was a hole in a leaf.

Someone ate this, Cape Cod, 20 Oct 2019 (photo by Kate St. John)

Who ate it? Perhaps this caterpillar did. I found him elsewhere on the plant.

And finally, the sun touched translucent red berries and made them glow at Bell’s Neck.

The small plants have a single leaf midway up the stem (lefthand photo) and were growing among pine needles. Please leave a comment to tell me what they are.

p.s. Thank you to Kerry Givens who identified the red berries as a Canada mayflower and the caterpillar as a Turbulent Phosphila moth.

(photos by Kate St. John except where noted in the captions; click the captions to see the originals)

3 thoughts on “A Brief Change Of Scene

  1. I have always wanted to go to Cape Cod. Perhaps one day I will. …. I have no idea what those red berries are, however, I know I have seen similar looking ones when I lived up North. I love that leaf that was “holed” out. Kate, it reminded me of a carved pumpkin. I think that caterpillar made its own Jack-o-Lantern! ……. So happy you and your husband had this lovely trip.

  2. The plant with the red berries is not a Malaxis orchid. It’s probably Canada mayflower or so- called wild lily of the Valley. I don’t know of any orchids that produce berry-like fruit. Instead most produce a dry, brown seedpod containing hundreds or thousands of tiny dust-like seeds. FYI the caterpillar is a common species often found on greenbriar. It goes by the unwieldy common name of the Turbulent Phosphila moth. Sometimes these caterpillars will mass together on a single leaf, all lined up side to side. I would attach a photo of that but I don’t see a way to do that. Enjoy your blog, keep up the good work—

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *