Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumnal Equinox

I was, temporarily, borrowing someone else's camera last week (heh, heh, you know who you are!) and never quite got the hang of the settings. So these are a bit out of focus, but I am posting anyway -- this shot, to me, is one of those autumn-in-New-York scenes.

I always get a bit bummed when I see all the mums for sale. It means summer is really, truly, actually ending and socks will become a daily part of my apparel. The little girl in her school uniform really hits this point home.

Mums are, of course, short for Chrysanthemum. The original species, Chrysanthemum indicum, was yellow and Linnaeus himself gave the plant its genus name due to this hue (chrys- means yellow).

Again, forgive my apparent inability to focus!

Of course mums come in endless varieties these days. They are as necessary to a florist as leatherleaf fern and are sold at nurseries (and delis) each autumn.

Another interesting tidbit about this genus is that it is rich with pyrethrum - a natural insecticide. The plants are crushed and processed into many herbal repellents.

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