Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Silenes and Thistles

I walk past a weedy open field every morning on the dog walk where new houses are being built and I spotted some thistle there. I've been waiting for days for the Cirsium vulgare, Bull thistle to bloom to take some photos. But I realized after they started blooming that the flower wasn't all that interesting so I opted to scan a bunch of them instead. Unfortunately I didn't learn that they are food for the hummingbird hawk moth before I cut off the flower heads but I'm sure more will appear from other parts of the plant as I didn't uproot them. At least I hope so. The thistle made me pay for my transgression by sticking me several times. It has tiny but very sharp thorns on the leaves and stems.

Also on the same walk are lots of Silenes. There seems to be two types, one with a maroon colored ribs on the balloon/bladder and the other, puffier with larger balloon and light green in color. Both are probably Silene latifolia the white Campion but a book I have also lists them as Silene cucubalus. I've looked at several photos of S. cucubalus and they don't look like the ones I've scanned so I'll stick with S. latifolia.

See this Wikipedia article for more information on S. latifolia.

The scans were done on an HP Scanjet 4850 which seems to be marginally better than the old Microtek I used previously. It does have two fluorescent light tubes instead of one so it illuminates the flowers to a greater depth. The HP is better suited for 3D image scanning, otherwise light fall off is tremendous and things only an inch or two off the glass fades into the murky black background.

And...yay! we got some rain last night. Almost an inch and it just started to rain again now as I type this.


Blogger lisa said...

Those scans turned out cool...I've gotta get rid of my old "feed-in" scanner! I get lots of campion, too...I like it, and it seems to "bait" pest bugs and deer away from my other ornamentals. Way to fall on the sword, I say!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Lisa,
I didn't know that about the campions. I should dig out a bunch and plant them around the outskirts of the yard. There are several campions called "catch fly". Apparently the sticky stems would catch small insects and hence the name but I didn't know that pests are attracted to the plant too.

I bought a dedicated scanner but those all in one fax/scanner/copier/printer are almost the same price so I should have opted for one of those instead. A 3D scanner is great fun.

5:54 PM  

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