It is that time of year when nature likes to get out her frost compasses for us to admire.
I took this photo last Friday in the middle of the day.
We are looking due west.
The southern sun has thawed the areas it can get to, but unlike other suns, it cannot refresh the parts it cannot reach. (My apologies, I think a retro marketing slogan tried to creep in there.)
The frost shadow on the sand itself is quite straightforward, but the shadows and frost on the logs are more interesting, particularly when…
Prickly lettuce is known to some of its navigating friends as the 'compass plant' and to its Roman friends as 'lactuca serriola'.
In truth it is only one of many plants with the compass plant nickname (Silphium laciniatum in the US is another one), but it has earned it.
In open ground, the leaves of the main stem are aligned north-south, offering the least surface area to the midday sun, but the maximum area to the weaker light of the start and end of the day. (This is a similar logic to the N-S alignment…