My Philadelphia Story

There is a 1940 movie called The Philadelphia Story .  The movie stars Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Ruth Hussey.  It’s one of my favorite classic movies with an interesting story line and, typical of a K. Hepburn movie, lots of witty back and forth dialogue.  This post is not about that movie, or any movie, I’m just using the movie title to create my title for this post.

But before I get into My Philadelphia Story I have a couple of extraneous photos taken at the same time as the “Philadelphia photos” that I’d like to share.  What’s that old saying, “let no photo go wasted”?  All of the photos in this post were taken from around 6:30 PM early in May.


I’m not positive, but I think this flower is a gaillardia, blanket flower.


I am positive that this is Earth’s moon.  I’m still trying to get that perfect moon shot.  I’m not sure what it is going to look like but someday it will happen without me even realizing it happened until I review my photos on the PC.


So now begins my Philadelphia story.  On day in early April I was looking out the kitchen window at my garden and saw what looked to be a very tall green weed growing in the garden.  It definitely was not something I had planted.  I went out to check and it was doing so well I decide not to pull it but to let it continue to grow to see what it would become.  A few days later it started budding and by the end of the month it was in bloom along with a couple of smaller satellite plants.  It eventually got to be three to four feet tall, thanks in part to Miracle Gro.

Since this was the only thing in bloom, and the perennials and self seeded rudbeckias weren’t even close to budding, I decide I would keep this and its little siblings as full fledged members of the garden.


After transferring the photos from my phone to my PC I decided I should try to find out the name of this flower and determine if it is a garden flower or weed so I could talk about it when I got around to posting.  I went out to the garden the next day and took a picture with my Snap Plant app.  It said the flower was a Philadelphia Fleabane.  I did some Googling and it appears to be a weed or, as it prefers to be called, a wild flower.


I found the name Philadelphia fleabane to be kind of strange so I decided to see where the name came from. I went to Online Etymology and found this paragraph explaining the word bane:

Old English bana “killer, slayer, murderer, a worker of death” (human, animal, or object), also “the devil,” from Proto-Germanic *banon, cognate with *banja- “wound” (source also of Old Frisian bona “murderer,” Old Norse bani “death; that which causes death,” Old High German bana “death, destruction,” Old English benn “wound,” Gothic banja “stroke, wound”), a word of no certain IE etymology. Sense of “that which causes ruin or woe” is from 1570s.

Evidently fleabane has a long history in Europe and North America as being an effective flea deterrent.  One source said the oils in the plant are what keeps the fleas away.  It didn’t say if the oils were extracted and rubbed on the body or the plant was rubbed on the body.  Another source said the plants were burned and the smoke kept the fleas away.

I couldn’t find anything to explain Philadelphia in the plant’s name and I can’t even imagine why.


Below is a photo similar in looks to one I took a few years ago of a flower called rattlesnake master.  That flower and this one both remind me of a cheerleader with pom poms.



This just looks like a crazy creature “dancing like nobody’s watching”.  In the lower right there it looks like the left leg is starting to kick up while hopping on the right leg.


A little fun with a special effect in my editing software.


Thank you for stopping by.


All photos taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Sigma 105mm macro lens.

8 thoughts on “My Philadelphia Story

  1. First, on TCM today they are airing the Philadelphia story, so good timing. Second, the photos are excellent. I haven’t seen anything from you in a while, so it’s great to you your photos again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had, what I think was Mexican Fleabane in my backyard. It was good because it turned out to be a good ground cover. But I wound up pulling it all out and trying to plant other “flowers”. Now I have a lot of weeds to pull.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I pulled mine up and seeded some annuals but, before seeding, I rubbed a gloved hand up and down the stalks to help the fleabane self seed. The annuals came up fine (cosmoses) and this year I have good sized patch of fleabane in the same area. I also have two fleabanes on the other side of the garden.


    • Thank you. I like most Katharine Hepburn movies but for some reason I’m not to enthused with the Hepburn/Tracey movies. I know most people think they are absolute classics but to each his own.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Eliza. There is a lady who lives a little up the street from me and she has a long row of them growing out of the crack that runs the length of her driveway, about two and a half car lengths. But I’m not sure this is from her admiration of the fleabane as she has “feral” Easter redbud trees and cedar trees growing randomly in her front yard. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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