Last autumn--on a clear, crisp September day--my family was forced to stop on a very rural highway because of a flat tire. No big deal, of course, and it happens to most of us at some point.
I wrote a post about that experience, and about the fact that the inconvenience provided an opportunity. (To read about it, you can click on the link in the previous sentence.)
Long story short, while the more talented tire-changers were dealing with the tire, I took the gift of time to investigate the surrounding wildflowers. As it was September, most plants were on the decline and setting seed.
Fast forward to June 2013. I thought it might be fun to try to find that same spot and see if any of the wildflowers were blooming. The fishman--being the excellent tire-changer and good sport that he is--agreed to hunt for it.
One disclaimer: On both occasions, the only camera I had along was my smartphone. It performs better with plenty of light, but suffices under the right conditions.
It took us a while to find the exact same spot, but here's what we found this time:
An ordinary swath dominated by tall Grasses and escaped flowering Alfalfa by the side of the road.
The expanse of the combined Grass border and the Alfalfa crop was quite pleasant and pastoral from a distance. But upon closer examination, we also found:
|Hoary Puccoon (Lithospermum canescens)|
|Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)|
|Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)|
|White Campion (Silene alba) (non-native)|
|Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)|
We also found a delightful surprise:
Did you see the hidden dots of pink among the various Milkweeds and Grasses?
Wild Roses were blooming--buried in the Grasses! And to think you could only see them if you stopped to look closely. I believe this variety is Rosa carolina, based on various descriptions and the pigment in the petals. It is native throughout most of the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
I was very excited about all of these wildflower finds. The fishman reminded me that it could have been any other roadside, and of course he was right. But it's nice to get to know a particular spot and revisit it during different seasons and times.
We own a modest "cottage" near the "flat-tire/wildflower hangout." I have to admit several non-native plants need attention on the lot. But they are beautiful. These include:
|Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)|
|Goat's Beard seedhead (Tragopogon dubius)|
...and of course plenty of common Dandelions. Lots of upkeep, inside and out, but I look forward to returning soon. The next time we visit, we'll have fruit for foraging:
|Mulberries (Morus rubra)|
|Blackcap Raspberries (Rubus occidentalis)|
Oh, and the mystery plant that I couldn't identify last fall?
|Four-O'Clocks (Mirabilis nyctaginea)|
It was Four-O'Clocks--the same plant as shown at the beginning of this post!
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I'm linking in with Gail's Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone. Head on over to her blog to see wildflowers on display in many other locales.