Something old, something new…

Well, here’s an oldie but goodie, I hope. Sure, we’ve seen plenty of deer before, and I can positively assert that I already have pictures of this one due to the long thin identifying mark down her left side, but still, it’s nice to see such a magnificent creature out enjoying the park right after all the commotion of the Farmers Market, isn’t it?

By the way, when we first met her, in the southern parking lot, back on June 11, she also didn’t know what to make of me, and came pretty close trying to determine what I was made of. If you go back and look, you’ll see I chose a picture then that didn’t feature the mark because it still looked a little fresh, and I’m sure glad to see that it seems to have healed up pretty well.

Now, onto the new stuff! Below, I’m pretty confident that we have St John’s wort aka perforate St John’s wort or common St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). Note how the petals appear asymmetrical, like little fan blades with tiny black dots along the edges.

The Pedia of Wik reports:

St. John’s wort has been used in alternative medicine as a likely effective aid in treating mild to moderate depression and related symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia. [However,] study results on the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for depression have been mixed. [And,] since St. John’s wort causes drug interactions, it might not be an appropriate choice for many people, particularly those who take other medications. [Moreover,] the plant is poisonous to livestock.

It continues “the common name “St John’s wort” may refer to any species of the genus Hypericum. Therefore, Hypericum perforatum is sometimes called “common St John’s wort” or “perforate St John’s wort” to differentiate it.

Finally, “St John’s wort is named as such because it commonly flowers, blossoms and is harvested at the time of the summer solstice in late June, around St John’s Feast Day on 24 June.

Lastly, we appear to have some fresh little Japanese Parasol or Pleated Inky Cap mushrooms (Parasola plicatilis), below. Sadly, reports that it is “too flimsy to eat”, which really sounds like more of a challenge than a prohibition, doesn’t it? is a little firmer with “generally regarded as inedible”, but not much, eh? They make you wonder if they’re not just saving some tasty little morsels for themselves, don’t they?

Well, that’s it for today, thanks for checking in, and see you all in July!

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

2 thoughts on “Something old, something new…

  1. St John’s wort produces a range of flavanoid compounds, including a bright red pigment, hypericin—an anthraquinone-derived pigment.
    This is often used for colouring and flavoring various home-made alcoholic concoctions:
    When I lived in Sweden, my learned Swedish colleagues who carried the lore, tended to use cheap lab spirit (hh-hemm) and add a range of herbs, including St John’s wort in advance of the midsummer celebrations for jolly singing and drinking celebrations! Skaal! This consumption did seem to abolish any notions of depression, so maybe it does work!

    There are other Hypericum species which can be differentiated from H. perforatum by folding or bruising the yellow petals. The real stuff shows the red hypericin pigment on the bruised petal, but others do not.


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