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A Few Wildflowers Blooming

Posted on April 16th, 2013

Old Man’s Timber is our “Happy Place”, however, we have been working pretty hard this spring with the TSI work, prescribed burning, and our recent seedling planting.  This Sunday Miechelle, Michael and I planted about 190 seedlings in around four hours.  Good thing we were at our Happy Place, or that would have started to feel like work!  More on the seedlings in a later post, but after pushing ourselves pretty hard to get the seedlings in the ground, Miechelle and I had a few minutes to walk in the timber and enjoy the first blooming wildflowers of this spring.

The first we found were some nice Bloodroot.  As usual, I was forging ahead, and almost stepped on them as Miechelle pointed them out, nearly underfoot.  Last year I found Bloodroot on March 18th, nearly a full month earlier!  Against popular preference, I truly enjoyed this past winter, and the cooler, wetter spring than last spring’s abnormal conditions.  Hopefully, this summer will be more ‘typical’ than the historic drought of 2012.

Nice Collection of Bloodroot

Nice Collection of Bloodroot

 

I was really interested in the Bloodroot in the photo below because of the unique color pattern of the petals.  I have no idea what the color variation indicates, or the cause, I will have to ask some of my really smart plant ecologist friends (Note:  A friend, Ray T, suggests the streaked colors may be a result of a viral infection, but not positive) who seem to have an explanation for just about everything!

Bloodroot with Unique Petals

Bloodroot with Unique Petals

 

One of the most exciting parts of our wildflower walk was the discovery of an area with a very nice collection of Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn.  I think I have these two species identified correctly.  They look quite similar and can be found growing together.  The Dutchman’s Breeches, really do look like the pants of a Dutchman, whereas the Squirrel Corn has a more heart-shaped flower.  Last year we only found one Dutchman’s Breeches and no Squirrel Corn, so this hillside patch with several dozen plants was a great discovery!

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

Squirrel Corn

Squirrel Corn

 

We found a few wildflowers that we have not yet identified.  We will work through our field guides to try and identify them before we post, but I couldn’t resist posting this flower with the small red mite.  I think the wildflower might be a Liverleaf Hepatica, but that is an engineers guess!  (Note:  thanks to all who replied by email or with comments, seems most likely that the plant below is a Rue Anemone)

Unidentified Flower and Red Mite

Unidentified Flower and Red Mite

 

As always, although our day ran short, it was really nice to unwind after planting the seedlings to enjoy the wildflowers, owls and all that Old Man’s Timber has to offer us at our “Happy Place”.  We hope you have a place to leave behind the worries of the world and enjoy nature’s beauty!

5 Responses

  1. Angela Bries says:

    Larry, I would agree with you that the flower in the picture with the red mite is hepatica….it is an early bloomer, even though “early” is a matter of opinion this year! I live up in north Iowa just on the Minnesota border so needless to say I am quite jealous of your wildflower finds….I can barely find anything GREEN!

    I really enjoy your blog!

    • Larry Weber says:

      Thanks Angela, I have gotten some additional email responses suggesting that the flower is a Rue Anemone, which I believe is the case. I was misled a bit by the pinkish flowers, as most of my guides show the Rue and False Rue with white petal-like sepals. As I have read, the False Rue is limited to 5 sepals, whereas the Rue has more than 5, as is the case with the photo in the blog. So I am thinking Rue Anemone.

  2. Dick Baker says:

    Check false rue anemone too.
    We enjoy your site, Larry.

    • Larry Weber says:

      Thanks Dick, as I replied above, those who know much more than me suggest Rue Anemone, so you were closer than me!

  3. Sharon Cline says:

    I love your photos, and like Angela, I’m jealous of your findings because we in the Hwy 20 band have yet to see many actual flowers on our wildflowers! Your pictures will help educate me, though, as I see the new finds in my Brigg’s Woods trail, so an advance of what is to come is a boon! From my examination of the wildflower books, I think Rue Anemone is the right answer!

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