Last week, if you remember, we found a new type of clover. It was hard to see the details in the more artsy photo Elizabeth took, so I asked her if she would take one to help you identify the Rabbit-foot Clover if you were ever to run across it yourself. These are better:
Rabiit-foot Clover – Trifolium arvense. This is growing low to the ground and has narrower leaves than most of the other clovers we’ve found in our area.
The flowers are really different, too. They even feel like fur… very soft and fluffy, not unlike Yours Truly!
We didn’t get flower photos of this tree for you this year, but the cherries are ripe now. Unfortunately, our trees are too tall and spindly for Elizabeth to gather the fruit. The birds will enjoy fattening up on them, though.
Chokecherry – Prunus virginiana. This fruit makes wonderful jam, jelly or wine but you never want to chew on a handful straight from the tree. They are called Chokecherries for a very good reason: they dry your mouth and throat out almost instantaneously!
But back to flowers…
We found some lovely ones, and some interesting ones for you this week. Oh, yes, and one of those blasted composite flowers that look like dandelions but aren’t dandelions at all.
A lot of two-leggers around here call these Bluebells, but they aren’t. They’re Harebells – Campanula rotundifolia. Bluebells are something entirely different! (Doing this series with Elizabeth is turning me into quite a wildflower snob, isn’t it!)
As you can see from the flowers, we went out early this morning for our wildflower safari. I wanted to run through the cool, wet plants, but Elizabeth had me on the silly red leash thing and kept telling me to wait while she took pictures. She was having trouble seeing to take the pictures because the lenses of her seeing enhancers kept fogging up. This meant she had to keep taking photos in case the focus wasn’t what it should be. BORING.
We found this yellow one down the road from the Harebells. It belongs to the Goldenrod family. We both like these flowers because they indicate that autumn is coming soon. Autumn is Elizabeth’s favourite season. It’s my second favourite. My favourite season is, of course, winter!
Gray Goldenrod – Solidago nemoralis. There are almost as many types of Goldenrod growing around here as yellow composite Dandelion imitators. This one is not called Gray because two-leggers have difficulty distinguishing between grey and yellow, but because it’s leaves are a greyish-green colour. You can tell it from the others by this but even better by looking at the flowers. Although there are many little branches of them, they are really short and all the flowers seem to be on the same side of the stem.
We headed off road shortly after taking that shot. At last I could feel the dew on my paw pads. Aaaaaah! That’s living!
On our way, we saw a number of other signs that autumn is coming soon. If you don’t want to let go of summer, then you’d better close your eyes for this part.
The lack of rain over the past couple of weeks has stressed many Paper Birches – Betula papyrifera into thinking it’s time to change colour.
We found this Wild Sarsaparilla – Aralia nudicaulis putting on quite a show. I liked lying in the moss while Elizabeth photographed in this spot.
And here is some precocious Labrador Tea – Rhododendron groenlandicum.
Okay. You summer two-leggers can open your eyes now.
Off we headed, into the sunrise (which was well under way by this point). Elizabeth was still having difficulty seeing for some reason, and she walked into several of these nasty things on our way to the next flower subject:
Is it possible to see an echo?
Now I’ve seen this next one many times, but I didn’t realise it was actually a flower!
These Narrow-leaved Cattail plants – Typha angustifolia – were as tall as Elizabeth, but she says that under ideal conditions, they can grow to be over 2 m tall!
I think they should be called the Narwhal Flower.
There is usually a gap above the brown part of the flower, then a ragged looking dead-grass coloured flower part begins. You can see this on some of the flowers in the general photo if you look closely, but the close-up one has lost the upper fluff part for some reason.
It is a good time for these to be blooming here from a photographer’s perspective. The water in this marsh has all dried up! Elizabeth was able to walk in without getting her shoes soaked. I kind of missed the splash part of our safari, though.
On slightly higher ground, we found these Christmassy plants:
I don’t know if Bears actually eat Bearberries – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi…. I think, judging from what they leave behind, that they prefer Blueberries, which are much tastier.
Some plants look lovely in the early morning light. We found this lonely, faded Common Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus watching the sunrise, too.
Isn’t it lovely? It’s almost as tall as the Cattails.
From here we turned onto a deer path that led into the deep woods. We didn’t expect to see much there today; we were just taking a short-cut to the road, where it is easier for Elizabeth to walk me on the silly leash. To our surprise, we found something Elizabeth recognised, but hadn’t found on the ‘Estate’ before. Now, if you thought those Cattails made strange flowers, wait ’til you see this one!
The flowers of the Spurred Gentian – Halenia deflexa are very small and easy to miss. But aren’t they just the coolest little flowers you ever sniffed out?
Next to it, we found one of those Dandelion wannabes, but Elizabeth needs to think about it a bit before we show you a photo. Maybe next week, she says.
We showed you a Jewelweed flower last week. This morning, however, we found one that was more intensely coloured. And there was no wind here, so I think Elizabeth was able to get a better photo for you to look at.
Jewelweed – Impatiens capensis
By this time, we were late for breakfast. It’s hard to hurry when you have a camera in your hands, Elizabeth says. I wouldn’t know. But we got home just in time to find Kay pulling out of the driveway in the Growly Beast. “Well,” she said, “no one was here for breakfast so, I thought I’d go get some groceries!”
Elizabeth has been busy atoning all morning in the kitchen which has, apparently, been renamed: THE DOGHOUSE!