Plants on the Move

We grow shell out beans and green beans on poles in our garden. It is fun to watch them vine up the strings that we lace from top to bottom for them to cling to. By the time the beans are to the top, it looks like we have a collection of Cousin Its in the front yard. All they need are bowler hats to complete the image. Those are kohlrabi and orange beets in front of them.

The beans always grow beyond the top of the poles. This year I was amazed to track the highest tendrils as they moved from pointing one direction to completely the opposite direction in the space of 30 minutes. They weren’t following the sun, by the way. Husband thinks they were growing and twisting because they are vines, and they grow in a circular fashion. I have no idea. I just liked finding them pointing in a different direction after turning my back for just a few minutes. I hope the following pictures give you a sense of their movement.

The beans pointing southwest at 7:54 AM
The same beans pointing northeast 8:26 AM

I know that sunflowers follow the sun until their heads get too heavy and stiff. I have seen our bush cucumbers appear to tilt with the sun. The beans astounded me, as I never saw them rotate so fast or so surreptitiously.

What is your favorite plant to watch as it grows? What natural mysteries have you noticed lately? Any hypotheses about our moving beans?

49 thoughts on “Plants on the Move”

  1. I don’t know the mechanism by which they do it, but tendrils are always on the move because their purpose is to find support. It’s interesting that the separate tendrils seem to move in concert rather than randomly.

    One mystery I’ve noticed lately is the sudden disappearance of chipmunks. Earlier in the summer they were everywhere and I often would see several in the yard at the same time. I haven’t seen a single one for the last couple of weeks.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I cannot find anything about salmonella and squirrels but we had a outbreak here which killed off most of birds in my woods. At same time there was a big drop in squirrel sightings. I took my feeder down and disinfected it and left it down for 3 weeks. Should disinfect it again

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Husband discovered our natural mystery on Saturday when he was weeding in the garden.

    Our sole cucumber plant to have survived our resident rabbit’s relentless assault has produced some rather strange looking fruit. I noticed this several weeks ago, and attributed their strange looks to not getting enough water. This is supposed to be an English or so-called seedless cucumber variety. This years crop are very pale green, about twelve inches long, and slightly thicker than usual. I discovered when I sliced one that it is much harder than cukes normally are, more like a carrot. It has a very subtle cucumber taste, and is VERY crispy. I’m guessing that this is a plant that has cross pollinated with a summer squash, though we don’t have any squash in our garden. In all of my years of growing veggies, I have never seen anything like it.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I did a bit of research. An article on Google Scholar states that, “Cucumbers do not cross-pollinate with squash or pumpkins.” So, PJ, that theory is not valid. I suspect you have something that is not a cucumber. What was the source of the plant? Seed packet? Nursery plant? Volunteer? If it is a volunteer it might have originally been a hybrid that has reverted back to whatever the two plants that were hybridized once were. If it is a nursery plant it may have been mislabeled.

        Mislabeling occurs a lot. For example I don’t buy Roma tomatoes anymore because of lack of flavor and tough skins that are difficult to remove. And I have a Roma tomato, with its lack of flavor and tough skin, thriving in my garden this year due a mislabel committed by my beloved and reliable local nursery. I am using them in sauce because I refuse to waste any tomato.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. The source of the plant was a seed packet from our local seed library. The fruit is neither a cucumber or a squash but some strange combination of features of both. I, too, had read that cucumber and squash do not cross pollinate, so I ‘m scratching my head for a plausible explanation. Husband showed it to a neighbor who is a horticulturist and a friend who is a master gardener, both have worked for years at two local nurseries, and neither of them had seen anything like it.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Move On Baboons,

    I love “viney” plants. The staircase leading off the deck to the backyard is covered in a beautiful Morning Glory. I don’t usually allow those to grow there, but last summer we planted 2 clematis that rabbits then ate and my dogs abused. This year the clematis did return to us, and they are now protected but small as they grow back, so I allowed the MG to wander everywhere just because I love them, despite their weedy reputation. My Bleeding Heart named Edith also grows nearby, so I choose to believe that our Edith is hovering around them, as well.

    These Morning Glories are plants on the move on my garden fence and my staircase rail. They will often do what your beans are doing, Renee. You return in a half hour and Voila, they are facing a different direction. Japanese beetles love them, so they have a few holes in them, but they are wandering all over the staircase rail and my heart is happy.

    I will try to get Gravatar to change my picture back to the Morning Glories.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I signed out of WP and signed back in and there it is on all the gravatars. Just like, “Turn off your computer and turn it back on.”

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Fungi are amazing and smart. Largest known plant in the world is an underground fungus that covers a whole mountain in Pacific Northwest. They are vital to all life. Have read about them and watched a documentary on prime last night. Very good until it got off into happy mushrooms and alternate states of consciousness. Should have watched that part I know. . .

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I am always impressed with how the grape vines can wrap themselves up in the trees so well. We have a few growing in the lilac bushes. I’ll need to get in there and sort them out one of these days.
    And the wild cucumber vines will take over the whole back of the shed in one summer. Crazy.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Some years ago, husband’s oldest nephew in Aalborg had a mystery plant growing in his house. They tried everything, even hired an exterminator of some sort to rid themselves of it, all to no avail. It was like the cat that kept coming back.

    The plant was growing in a wall somewhere, an interior wall, I might add, so had no access to light and water, yet it sprouted leaves that you see it through their textured wallcovering. Their house was a very nice hundred year old house that had been completely modernized, and featured such amenities as heated bathroom floors, and lights that switched on automatically when you entered a room.

    To me the plant looked like a nightshade vine of some sort. After years of fighting it with every imaginable chemical under the sun without success, they finally sold the house. I have no idea whether they were required to disclose that information and whether or not they did, but I do know that plant was a major factor in their decision to sell.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I am not a vine kind of person. I work pretty hard to keep the grapevine at bay and I did eradicate ferns when I moved into this house years ago. I realize ferns aren’t exactly vines but they hit the same creepy note as vines. Like aliens.

    I am fascinated every summer by how fast tomato plants grow in my bales. They start out a little slow and then between mid July and mid August, they just go wild.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Isn’t it funny what plants appeal to us? I spent a lot of energy getting rid of a ground cover, snow of the mountain, when we moved into this house forty-two years ago. I don’t mind the way it looks, but I can’t stand the smell of it. It is hardy, I’ll give it that. The same is true of the Virginia waterleaf, which I’m entirely responsible for planting in our yard. Had no idea at the time of how invasive it is, and how short of a period each year it has anything to recommend it. If I knew then what I know now…

      I do love vines, though, and have several. We have two different honeysuckles growing up against our privacy fence, along with a bunch of morning glories, but you’ve got to stay on top of the morning glories or they’ll take over the place. Aren’t you glad you live in a place where you have to deal with kudzu?

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Why do the beans move? I’m taking an answer from one of my favorite movies (although I will admit it has so many plot holes that it could be considered lace) Sahara. He’s talking about some clam shell found in the Niger river that glows and scientists don’t know. Matthew McConnaughy says “my theory is that they do it because they can.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You don’t have to apologize for Sahara just because it isn’t a serious movie. For one thing… Steve Zahn, who incidentally went to school at Cooper High School here in the Minneapolis suburbs.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s not lack of seriousness, I don’t think. But there are just so many things that are so wrong. They could never bury themselves with camels like that before they jump up to get on the train. The Niger river I don’t believe even goes to Mali. And why would the bad guy’s evil henchmen stick around trying to kill Matthew McConaughey when it’s clear that the bad guy is about to fly off and leave the whole place to blow up, henchman and all.
        And there never is any explanation of why in heavens name the submarine captain took the sub to Africa with gold on it during the Civil War. All this aside, I still keep watching it!!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. As to the psychology of the bad guy’s henchmen, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the MAGA crew why they stick around?

          Liked by 2 people

      2. And I do love Steve Zahn. He has the best line in the movie. “I’ll find the bomb. You get the girl.”


    1. You mean our bean poles? Before the beans grow up on them, all those metal poles makes it look like ke we are communicating with space aliens..

      Liked by 4 people

        1. We get them from Jung’s, which is seed and plant company. They consist of one large circular metal circle with spokes at ground level, and a smaller metal circle at the top. The pole runs through the middle of the metal circles and sticks in the ground. We lace strings from the bottom circle to the top circle around the entire circumference for the vines to grow up..

          Liked by 2 people

  9. i love watching marijuana grow it’s suck a pretty plant and can grow tall or bushy
    bud driven it is fun to watch

    beans are sent here from outer space to send back i do to their mother planet
    outside like radar eaten they suck information from our cells and release info in a form that is traceable in low impedance red at fron there
    natural mysteries
    how does my thermos know if it’s hot or if it’s cold

    it’s a mystery

    Liked by 2 people

  10. i’m hoping to get growing hops soon
    ben what was your guys name 2 years ago
    maybe next spring

    i love hosta and daylilllies
    the varieties and bulletproof nature
    find the right growing circumstances and watch


  11. The mystery I encountered in my birdbath was an insect with a brilliant green abdomen. It was struggling in the water and I scooped it up with a leaf and sent it on its way. After doing a little research I identified it as a mud dauber, but mud daubers are supposed to be blue, not green.

    This is not an insect I usually see, but it was when we were in the midst of that long dry spell, so maybe the creature was exploring new territory looking for water. Do you suppose heat or drought makes them change color?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve been known to change color in both extreme heat and extreme cold so I think that’s a plausible theory, but I’m not an entomologist. I can bug you, though.

      Liked by 1 person

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