Sunday, August 2, 2009

Enduring a Downpour

Oh man, but it did pour! I thought the rain had stopped when I set out today for a walk along Bog Meadow Trail, but the hiatus didn't last long. Luckily, I wore my raincoat and also my boat shoes, because, by the time I got back to my car, I was wading through ankle deep water. I carried my camera under my coat, but managed to sneak it out for a few shots.

Most flowers with petals were much too bedraggled to sit for their portraits today, but I did catch this field of Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) looking only a little worse for the soaking.

And beautiful Virgin's Bower (Clematis virginiana), a native wild clematis, also appeared undrowned.

Common Dodder (Cuscuta gronovii) has teensy tiny flowers and stems that look like some kid went wild with a can of orange Crazy String. Those stems twine tightly around the stems of other plants, absorbing the host plant's sap with tiny suckers. I'll bet there's lots of sap to go around this summer, what with all this rain.

The berries of Panicled Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) will eventually turn porcelain white, but the pedicels that hold them will remain this riotous shade of hot pink. The effect is mighty nice even with green berries, but just wait until fall when the leaves turn burgundy red and the berries white. Spectacular!

These odd white knobs pushing out of a birch I'm guessing will later assume some kind of shelf shape. So I think these are baby fungi just being born. Kind of cute, don't you think?

My Newcomb's wildflower guide tells me this native thistle is common, but this is the first time I've ever found Swamp Thistle (Cirsium muticum). And I found just this one. Growing in a swampy spot. (Where isn't it swampy this summer?) The flowers aren't open yet, but the buds are pretty. And I have a brand new plant to add to my wildflower life list. Ta da!

How do I know this thistle is not just any other thistle? See how the base of the flower head is covered with fine cobwebby hairs? That's its most distinguishing feature.

1 comment:

Bird said...

I can't believe the weather we seem to be having on both sides of the ocean right now - there's been two good days in about a fortnight here (I was lucky - got outside for both of them). I'm glad you decided to go out despite the rain, looks like it was worth it. I've seen common dodder once or twice but hadn't realised that it was a flowering plant, so seeing those tiny flowers is fascinating! And I love those fungus-to-be's on the birch, guess they would be bracket fungus of some kind?