Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wildflower Wednesday ~ Home Again

Back to Maine wildflowers this week....many, but not all, of which I captured along my driveway.

The rabbit-foot clover (Trifolium arvense, Pea family) has already moved on to the fluffy seed-head stage, but was blooming all through late July. It's a sweet little plant, and prolific along the gravelly edges of roads and driveways, but easily overlooked.
I spied this yellow pine-sap (Hypopitys monotropa, Heath family) growing in the woods a couple of weeks ago. It's a parasitic plant that gets its energy from tree roots, and thus has no use for chlorophyll.
This is another flower that was blooming in profusion along our driveway in the last two or three weeks but has gone by now: fringed yellow-loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata, Marlberry family).
Just starting to go by now are the meadowsweets which had been gracing our fields with their pretty little flower clusters. White meadowsweet (Spiraea alba, Rose family).
And rosy meadowsweet (Spiraea tomentosa).

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta, Aster family) are still going strong.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota, Carrot family) is starting to take over the fields.
I just noticed the other evening that all Queen Anne's lace flowers were turned to face the setting sun. I thought only sunflowers did that, but now I'm wondering what other flowers do this.

The first asters have come into bloom--tall white-aster (Doelingeria umbellata, Aster family), an easy one to remember because they are tall (anywhere from waist height to over my head) and white.
And several goldenrod (Solidago spp., Aster family) are blooming now. Last summer I made it my mission to try to identify all of the goldenrods I saw (in part as a reaction to never having realized there was more than one species--let alone dozens--of goldenrod before), but this year I'm not feeling that energetic, and I don't remember any of the specifics from the ones I puzzled out last year. For now we'll just call them "goldenrod."

This is a fun little flower that I never even noticed before last summer--pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea, Aster family). The petals (or ray flowers, I suppose) are very dry and crinkly feeling and it is apparently good for dried flower arrangements.
Down along our river a bunch of new flowers came into bloom white we were away, including: spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis, Touch-me-not family).
I think this is a skullcap--I came to mad dog skullcap (Scutellaria laterilora, Mint family) using Newcomb's, but looking at the pictures on GoBotany, I'm not so sure. Any ideas?
We've always called this mint growing on rocky sand bars in the river water mint (Mentha aquatica, Mint family), but after looking at online pictures, I'm wondering if it's wild mint (Mentha canadensis). C and the boys like to collect the leaves and make tea, but it has a strong medicinal smell/taste that I can't stand.
This arrow-leaved tearthumb (Persicaria sagittata, Buckwheat family) was growing all tangled up with the jewelweed, skullcap, and the next flower. It's aptly named for the spiny barbs that grow all along the stem.
And finally, a flower whose appearance I look forward to all summer: cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis, Harebell family). It's always a thrill to see these bright read blossoms appear along the river banks.

What's blooming in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Weekend Things ~ Summer in the Margins

The only thing worse than spending eight hours a day in an airless cubicle is spending eight hours in an airless cubicle on a hot, sunny day. To make up for those wasted days, I've been trying to squeeze an entire summer into our weekends. Over the last few, we've: Made a quick trip to Acadia National Park.

 Stopped in on the old Alma Mater.

Taken a puffin cruise.

Visited the Botanical Gardens.

And hung out on the beach. 

All this rushing around seems antithetical to the whole point of the season, which is, as far as I'm concerned, to lie in the hammock with a large stack of books and a pitcher of lemonade. But I don't want to wake up on that first cold day in fall (or the first day of school) and realize we forgot to have a summer.

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