Yesterday evening I noticed that one of the dewdrops (Dalibarda repens) in my woods had finally bloomed. It was missing two of its five petals, but since it was the first one, I got out the camera. As I was adjusting it, Penny came tearing along the path, doing 90 miles per hour. Since I was standing on the path, Penny veered around me and stepped right on the dewdrop. That took it down to a single, mangled petal. I did not take a picture. Instead, I went looking for more. There are three patches of this stuff in my woods, all within 50 feet of each other. Patch number two had no blooms, but patch number three had this one:

Dewdrops (Dalibarda repens)

Dewdrops (Dalibarda repens)


This is hands-down my favorite flower. It is the species that taught me how to take photos of flowers, because I found it totally impossible to photograph using the automatic settings of my previous camera. I had to learn the manual controls. This is kind of a rare plant. It’s endangered in Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Actually, I just pasted most of that sentence in from the Wikipedia article, but that’s OK, because I’m the one that wrote it there in the first place. I started that article and put together the initial content. The photo in the article is also mine, and I don’t think I have ever taken a better shot of anything. That, my friends, is my best work. I use it as wallpaper on my computer.

So now that I have established my love affair with this plant for you, you can perhaps understand why I was so pleased to find one in bloom yesterday. I’ve been keeping an eye on those three patches for a couple of weeks. They have bloomed a little later this year as compared to previous years. I would have posted this last night, but my other news had me even more excited.

So excited, in fact, that I didn’t get much sleep last night because I couldn’t shut off my brain. I woke up early thinking about it too, so I did something most unusual for me – I got up. It was about 5:15 as I recall. I got dressed, went downstairs, got Penny’s leash, and we set out for Sandogardy Pond. Along the way, I spotted some beaked hazelnuts (Corylus cornuta):

Beaked hazelnuts (Corylus cornuta)

Beaked hazelnuts (Corylus cornuta)


Sandy, if you’re still wondering if you found American or beaked hazel, this would be a good time to go check.

I also found some Pyrola along the way:

Pyrola (Pyrola spp)

Pyrola (Pyrola spp)


I’m not sure what species of Pyrola this is – they are all pretty close to one another. Maybe roundleaf (P. americana), but I’m just not sure.

It was quiet at the pond. Foggy too:

Penny wades

Penny wades


I walked along the beach and saw that the floating heart (Nymphoides cordata) was in bloom now:
Floating heart (Nymphoides cordata)

Floating heart (Nymphoides cordata)


It’s not hard to tell how it came about its common name, is it?

The swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris) had bloomed too:

Swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

Swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)


That can only mean that the pickerelweed should be blooming soon too.

At the end of the beach we turned right and headed into the woods along Cross Brook (which drains the pond). There is a patch of Indian cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana) growing there, and it’s been in bloom for a while now. But I don’t think I have posted any photos of it this year, so here we go:

Indian cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana)

Indian cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana)


This plant has a delicious tuber which tastes just like… yes – cucumber. If you don’t like cucumber, you should probably eschew Indian cucumber-root. I don’t eat much of it because there’s never much of it around.

Penny and I headed back home after that. I took a shower, and Jonathan and I headed to the office. I napped in the car a bit. I guess the walk helped me turn off my brain. 🙂

When we got home I went out and admired my Dewdrop blossom again. Then I went to the catchment pond where there’s a bit of Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) growing. This plant has been threatening to bloom for about two weeks now. But today, I found a single blossom open (out of about two dozen).

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)


This flower is pretty closely related to wintergreen and pyrola, but it looks a lot more like pyrola. And like pyrola, it doesn’t present its best side to humans. That privilege is reserved for ants. I tipped the blossom upwards to get a shot of its innards:
Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)


Nice!

Saturday evening Beth and I drove into Franklin and walked the western half of the Winnipesaukee River Trail. I started telling her the names of the flowers we were seeing (and taking photos of them), and she started naming them back every time we’d pass one she had just learned (which was about once per second, because there were a lot of them).

So I challenged her to see if she could learn 35 of them, which is how many she’d need to satisfy the first requirement of the Pathfinder Flowers Honor (she will be joining this fall). The other part of that requirement is that she photograph, draw, or collect them. We had a camera, and so long as she wore the wrist strap, I figured it would be safe enough (and it was). I think she learned 32, not all of which were in bloom, but the requirement says nothing about them having to be in bloom. In my book, and plant that produces a flower is a flower, and that include trees! But we stuck to herbacious forbs. We even saw one that I recognized from Peterson’s Edible Wild Plants, but which I had never seen – the purple flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus).
I helped her with the camera settings, because I figure she may as well learn that too. Not all her shots came out all that great, but they will do. Here are her photos:

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Whoops! The heal-all slipped in there twice, so there are only 31 unique plants in the slideshow, not 32.

Four more, plus the remaining requirements, and she’ll have the Flowers Honor.

Oh – and we ate that strawberry (and several more just like it).

Yesterday I was poking around in my yard when I saw this:

Acorn taking root

Acorn taking root


It reminds me of a newborn baby with its umbilical cord still attached, and in a sense, that’s exactly what it is. The nut is mostly nutrition to get the oak started on its journey. I may have to plant a stake in the yard so I can avoid mowing it over. I’d kind of like to watch it grow.

I was doing much the same thing today (poking around the yard) when I saw several white violets.

Violet

Violet


I don’t often try to identify a violet past the genus level, and that was true today as well. Maybe I’ll start working on them this year.

I also noted that a few of our phlox had bloomed:

Phlox

Phlox


We should have a nice looking flower bed by this weekend.

Earlier this week, Sandy, a fellow New England blogger, posted a photo collage of some forest floor evergreens. I love all those plants, and found another she could have included in that category (if it grows in her local neck of the woods – which I assume it does).

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)


This is pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata). I got home before dark today – probably for the last time for several months since Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend – so I took a walk around our property. I came across a scrawny specimen and thought about taking a photo, but since it was pretty banged up, I looked around a bit longer to find a nicer looking one. This is it.

It was cloudy, and nearing dusk, and in the woods, so the lighting was less than excellent. Because of that, I got out my tiny tripod and bumped the exposure time way up – 1.6 seconds if I recall correctly. I think I must have forgotten to put the camera in macro mode though, so even though I went through all that trouble (tripod, etc), the results are still suboptimal! All it takes is one error to wreck a shot. 😦

Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.

The leaves are mostly down now, but the beeches do hang on all winter. Their leaves aren’t brown yet either, so it’s the most spectacular species I have at the moment:

Hanging on

Hanging on

Yesterday I took this shot of Penny before I left for work:

Penny

Penny


She was waiting for me to kick a ball that didn’t make it into the photo. I did kick it for her, as I do nearly every morning before I go to work. The last kick comes just as Jonathan is pulling into the turn-around spot so I can jump in and make my escape while she chases the ball.

Then at lunch time I took a stroll around my usual route in Concord, camera in hand. I wanted to see what was still in bloom. Here’s what I found:

Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose)

Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose)


Linarea vulgaris (Butter-and-eggs)

Linarea vulgaris (Butter-and-eggs)


Hieracium pratense (Yellow Hawkweed, King Devil)

Hieracium pratense (Yellow Hawkweed, King Devil)


Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)

Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)


Erigeron annuus (Daisy Fleabane)

Erigeron annuus (Daisy Fleabane)


Lepidium virginicum (Virginia Pepperweed)

Lepidium virginicum (Virginia Pepperweed)


The pepperweed is one of my favorite wild edibles. It has plenty of flavor. I ate this clump right after taking the photo. The flowers are inconspicuous and can barely be seen up there at the top of the stem. The flowers turn to seed and the stem grows higher with flowers ever-blooming at the top.
Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet)

Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet)


I wasn’t expecting to see any bittersweet. I found none the last time I looked here, but I guess I wasn’t looking hard enough. There weren’t many blossoms, but there were a lot of berries (which are poisonous).
Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet) berries

Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet) berries


These are closely related to tomatoes, as both are in the nightshade family. People used to believe tomatoes were poisonous because so many nightshades are. Nobody has qualms about eating tomatoes these days though.
Solidago spp. (Goldenrod)

Solidago spp. (Goldenrod)


I don’t know which species of goldenrod this is – there are probably a hundred that grow around here, and they are difficult to distinguish. Almost as difficult as the asters. Most of the goldenrod has gone to seed, but there are still a few of them in bloom.
Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem Artichoke)

Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem Artichoke)


This Jerusalem Artichoke is from the same stand I blogged about a little while ago. I didn’t dig any more of them up, but I am going to keep an eye on them so I can maybe score some JA seeds for my place. I think I’ve found a place where I can grow them in the front of the house. There might be enough sun there.

Yesterday before I ate my lunch I headed out the office for a walk-about. It had been a while since I made the rounds, so I decided to just take a lot of pictures. This was one of the first photo-worthy things I encountered.

Rose Hips

Rose Hips


I don’t usually take photos of cultivated flowers, but made an exception here because rose hips are edible. Moving along, I found some butter and eggs.
Butter and Eggs (Linarea vulgaris)

Butter and Eggs (Linarea vulgaris)


These are very common around here. Indeed the species name vulgaris means “common” so I suppose it is aptly named. I really like the shape of the blossom.

I almost missed this next one. There were two blossoms poking up through a tiny patch of mowed grass in amongst a huge patch of grapes, goldenrod, and Virginia creeper. I guess if it hadn’t been mowed, these would never have had a chance.

Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)

Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)


Pinks (Deptford and Maiden) are both stunning flowers. This one looks as though it had seen better days, but this late in the season, that shouldn’t be a surprise. After I took this shot, I turned my attention to the weedy section surrounding the pinks and was met by this.
A Collage of Color

A Collage of Color


The purplish berries are Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), and the red ones are wild cherries (Prunus spp). There was also some pokeweed right in there among the cherry & creeper, but I didn’t manage to get a good shot with all three in there.

Next up: yarrow:

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


I often find crab spiders on yarrow, but this one was an arachnid-free zone. This is a bloom that tends to persist well into the autumn.
Unidentified Flying Object

Unidentified Flying Object


Next I saw this lepidoptera hanging out near the railroad tracks. Maybe it’s some sort of skipper, but since I don’t know my butterflies, that’s really just a guess. I took a quick look through my Kaufman’s Field Guide to Butterflies, but didn’t spend enough time with it to even be sure it was a skipper of any sort. I bought that particular book in June, and this is actually the first time I’ve cracked it open. I should be ashamed (hangs head).
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)

Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)


This Creeping Bellflower was struggling not too far from the railroad tracks. I think it was on its last legs. This happens to be an alien species from Eurasia, and is probably a garden escapee.

I ended my journey by going into Market Basket to buy something to eat for lunch. While I was in there I saw one of the employees who I kind of know. He lives near my house (near Sandogardy Pond), works near my office (Market Basket), and shares my first name (Jim), so we do have a few things in common. He had seen me crouching down with the camera pointed at a pile of weeds thirty minutes before we greeted one another in the store. I showed him some of the pictures I took, and he seemed to appreciate it. I know I always enjoy talking with him.

With food in hand and photos in camera, I headed back to the office.

Today after lunch, Beth, Penny, and I headed down to Sandogardy Pond again. There were a lot of people there as both the temperature and humidity were nearly 90. Beth swam. I took pictures of aquatic plants.

Triadenum virginicum (Virginia marsh St. Johnswort)

Triadenum virginicum (Virginia marsh St. Johnswort)


I’m pretty sure I’ve posted pics of this species already this year, but they were out in force today, so I took several more shots. I liked this one the best.

I also came across one I don’t yet know. I have misplaced my “main” field guide, and have had no luck thus far with the FG’s I do have on hand. It might be one I used to know and then forgot:

Unidentified Flower

Unidentified Flower


If anyone out there recognizes it, I’d be grateful for an ID.

Penny spent the whole time taking sticks to people and convincing them to throw them for her. Most obliged. Kids tend to throw them out into the pond, but that does not daunt Penny in the least:

Stick Fetcher

Stick Fetcher

We came home after about an hour. I took a nap, had some supper, and then Beth and I went out again in the evening to do a little geocaching. We found two and then came home.