Finding the frumious bandersnatch

After my bicycle ride yesterday I grabbed my camera and took a walk around the community park where I often begin and end my rides. The summer is nearly spent, black-eyed susans are already gone but the cattails growing by the creek had caught my eye. The way the sun was painting the edges of them with color lured me, but by the time I’d put the bike in the car and gotten out my camera they were in the shade.

So I began looking a bit more closely at things closer to ground level. When I discovered the spiderweb in the railing of the footbridge, I also found my vantage point for shooting the creek. And looking down low caused me to find the “frumious bandersnatch” plant (last photo). Actually it appears to be a variety of coleus, but growing by the footpath on the edge of wild growth I really can’t say what it is. But it put me in mind of Lewis Carroll’s poem (“The jaws that bite, the claws that catch”), so I took liberties naming it.

If anyone can identify the flower heads I’d be interested in knowing what they are. Black-eyed susans? There were lots of those here a few weeks ago, but these don’t look quite like that close up. Or maybe they do, and I just never had seen them this way. In any case – enjoy!


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

– by Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There


  1. Janine Whitis August 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    the brown seed heads look like bee balm to me or also known as bergamot.

  2. WTRemington August 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    A lovely meander among the spinners and Oswego Tea seedheads, or Monarda/ beebalm, made more enchanting by L.C.’s lines and your own photographs for this reader.

    • dennis August 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks Janine and WTR – now I know what bee balm flower heads look like, and several alternate names for them. Next year I’ll have to pay attention to them when they’re blooming.

  3. Holly August 20, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    Beautiful pix (as always) and I love the “Jabberwocky” to end it all.

  4. Barry Kissin August 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm #


  5. Bob Williams August 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Really awesome! Thanks for sending them.

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