Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Wildflower Alphabet

It's a great year for wildflowers - plenty of rain and sun have produced bumper crops. My goal on today's ride is to snap every wildflower I can find, and if possible beat my previous record (set just a few days ago) of 22 varieties sighted on a less-than-20-mile ride.

The day is gloriously blue-skied, hot, and sunny - mid 80s and slightly sticky - with just enough breeze (about 10 mph) to keep things pleasant. I have doused every inch of exposed skin (also some inches of unexposed skin) with homemade bug deterrent (tea tree oil and peppermint oil in an olive oil base), as I shall be clambering through a lot of underbrush and would rather not come home with more bites than photos.

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Today's pictures are being presented in alphabetical, rather than chronological, order. :)

A is for Aster:


(This may actually be Helianthus, but I couldn't confirm the identification. It's definitely a member of the Aster family.)


B is for Bellflower:


...and Bergamot (Wild):


...and Birdsfoot Trefoil:


...and Bindweed (Hedge):


...and Black-Eyed Susan:


C is for Campion (white):


...and Clover (Red):


...and Coneflower:


...and Cow Vetch (with Corn):


...and Crown Vetch:



...and Cyclist (ahem):


D is for Daisy Fleabane (can you spot the tiny peach-coloured spider?):


...and Daylily:


E is for Elder:


G is for Grapevine (I know, not a flower, but I love this little vine-covered shed):


H is for Hawkweed (Yellow):


K is for Knapweed (Spotted):


M is for Milkweed (Common):


...and More Milkweed (Swamp):


...and Mouse-Ear Chickweed:


...and Mullein:


P is for Parsnip (Wild):


Q is for Queen Anne's Lace:



S is for Salsify:


...and Soapwort (also called Bouncing Bet):



...and Spiderwort (gone to Seed):


...and St. John's Wort (Common):


...and Swamp Buttercup:


 ...and Sweet White Clover:


T is for Thistle:


...and Turk's Cap Lily (with Unidentified Umbellifer in background):



U is for Unknown (can anyone identify this tiny blossom, about 1/4" wide?):


 ...and Unidentified (about 6" tall, grows on roadside, fuzzy mauve blossoms about 1" tall):


V is for View (had to throw in at least one Bend in the Road shot, you know):


Also seen on today's ride (but not photographed) were Curly Dock, Motherwort, and Sweet Yellow Clover. I had hoped for Chicory, but the blossoms were closed by the time I hit the road.

So did I set a new personal record for Wildflowers Spotted While Cycling Less Than 20 Miles?

Just a moment while I tally up....

Varieties spotted: 36
Varieties photographed: 33
(Bug bites: 3)

Woo hoo! Wildflower heaven.

And a very good ride too, once I was able to put the camera away and pedal more than a few yards at a time. :)

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What's blooming in your neck of the woods?

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34 comments:

  1. Wow! So cool! I am totally impressed. That you could even begin to identify all those wildflowers. They are all so pretty! Wish some of them would find their way to my corner of the world to grow free and wild. Looks like it was a lovely ride. Have a great week. Tammy

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    1. Thanks so much, Tammy! I had to look up several of them - I am slowly building up my wildflower recognition skills and each year I learn a few more. :)

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  2. That was a great effort of yours, Mrs. Micawber. I loved the variety of flowers at your place, many of them you can find my in native country too. Like that soapwort my Mum likes so much, and really works as a soap! and many other wild flowers, like thistle, and swamp buttercup. as Far as I got to know from your pictures, you have quite similar climate to my place of birth's climate :) I always like to see your photos!

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    1. Thanks Anna - I hope they didn't make you homesick. It's interesting that our wildflowers are similar to those of your native country - perhaps we are at the same latitude. Enjoy your summer!

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  3. Wow! I could never identify those flowers. I have seen a few, but no where near as many as you have around you. Thank you for sharing all that summer lovliness.

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    1. Thanks Beth - I spent a lot of time in Colorado looking at distant mountains, so it was time to balance it out by spending some serious close-up flower time here. :)

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  4. Thanks for the great photos. Last night as Flippy and I walked our evening walk, I wished I had had my new camera to photograph the lovely wild flowers on our "prairie." Down here in southwest Louisiana we have a few that you did not see yesterday. Hope you won't mind if I add to your collection.

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    1. Please do! I love to see what blooms in other areas.

      Thanks Linda. :)

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  5. Beautiful pictures, mrs Micawber. You have a great eye for flower photography!

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    1. Wow, thank you, Barbara! I truly love wildflowers - maybe that helps. :)

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  6. Great pics Sue, just love the the Salsify and the Turk's Cap Lillies.
    So many wild flowers over there.......
    Love the bend in the road pic too......

    Claire x

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    1. Thanks Claire - the salsify photo is probably my favourite of this post. I wish you could see the Turk's Cap lilies - they seem so exotic to me, but they'd fit right in where you live. :)

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  7. Oh I love this post. The flowers are so all so pretty. What a great ride you must have had.

    I mostly have green left at my place now. All the irises have long bloomed themselves out...I do have one die hard red rose bush that blooms by my front steps, and a salmon colored one that bloomed two blooms and then stopped (I am guessing the heat is too much for it) All week we are going to be in the 90's. So seeing your pictures with all the lovely wild flowers was very nice indeed. Thank you.

    Blessings always dear friend.

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    1. It's a good year for roses, at least here in Wi - lots of rain and sun. We are having that 90ยบ week now and could use a bit of rain.

      Thanks Vicki! :)

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  8. I think this is the best kind of ride of all, when you can collect wildflowers (via photos) instead of miles!

    (Although I must confess I still want to collect enough wildflowers NOT on camera to fill the dyepot, even if everything in my neck of the high plains meet footfills dyes yellow...)

    The camo spider shot is so cool, but I am really loving the photo of Tallulah!

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    1. Thanks Deb - I'd rather collect wildflowers than miles any day. Although it would be better done on foot....

      :)

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  9. Oh, I really have enjoyed this. Such beautiful wildflowers that surround you..What a happy ride.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks e - I confess it did get a little tedious when I kept having to stop the bike what seemed like every few yards. But it was all worth it to have a photo record. :)

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  10. aw the Cycling Flower was the loveliest!!!

    Your images and identifications are great and help me out a bit!

    We have Trumpet Vine blooming, hosta flowering, Indian paintbrush, and daisies. Oh and red and white petunias....2 zinnia have bloomed just today! the first of the year

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    1. It's a good summer for flowers, isn't it? The ones in my little planters are flourishing happily.

      Thanks kathy! :)

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  11. Beautiful photo's Sue, I'm very impressed with your knowledge of all those lovely wild flowers I wouldn't have been able to name them all. :)

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    1. A few years ago neither would I - and several of these I had to look up. Bit by bit I am learning them though! :)

      Thanks Linda.

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  12. Awesome! At first I thought you were only going to post about a few letters a day and I was so delighted when there were so many. Lovely lovely!

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    1. Thanks Astri - a few letters a day would have been less impressive, don't you think? Better to do it all in one huge bandwidth-clogging post.

      ;)

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  13. What gorgeous pictures! I know the names of dandelions and daisies and that's pretty much it. My alphabet would be very short.

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    1. Ah, but I'll bet you could trump me and many others if it came to fabric identification.... :)

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  14. Love the pictures of your wild flowers! Impressed that you know all the names too. Wish we had such a variety. Your thistle is lovely:) x

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I really liked the thistle too. (And I did have to look up several of the flowers - am slowly building up my flower knowledge base.) :)

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  15. Hey, ho! Next to the last I think is Haresfoot clover (Trifolium_arvense) and the one with the little white flowers I believe is Flowery Spurge (Euphorbia corollata). :) A stellar shadow shot, by the way.

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    1. Thanks so much, Marigold - you are right about the Euphorbia, which was identified for me by a Facebook friend. And Haresfoot Clover is so obviously the perfect name for those fuzzy little blooms. Thanks again.

      It was a good hot day, perfect for shadow shots. :)

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  16. Fantastic! This will help me on my ride tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks Mary Lou! Hope you saw lots of flowers. :)

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  17. Thanks sooooo much for posting, Sue. Did I tell you that when we lived in CO we lived in a housing development in Nederland, in the mountains west of Boulder and we were not allowed to plant grass, but just had to have the native grass, and wildflowers? I was so excited one day when I came upon the state wildflower, a Columbine! Here in OR we have some foxgloves that are still in bloom and some little daisies, too :)
    Gracie xx

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    1. Your housing development had the right idea - my friend Snowcatcher and her husband (who live in Colorado) had to fight their homeowner's association for YEARS to get permission to pull their "lawn" (which wasn't even green) and put in native plants instead. Go figure!

      Columbines are lovely - we have the red kind here in Wisconsin, but I love the Colorado blue ones. :)

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