Thursday, September 3, 2009
Pretty Finds along Bog Meadow Trail
After spending this beautiful morning in the deep woods, I decided to head for a brighter spot in the afternoon: the sunlit marshy parts of the Bog Meadow Nature Trail. I was on a quest to find Nodding Bur Marigold (Bidens cernua), a sunny yellow flower that likes its feet wet. Abundant clumps of it were growing along a little creek.
There were masses of Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) growing there as well, and many plants were dangling the fat green seed pods that give this plant another common name: Touch-me-not. But I can't resist touching them, holding them very gently in my palm until POP! the pod splits open and hurls its seeds far afield.
But I close my palm around them in order to catch the seeds and look at the burst pod, its sections curled tightly back like tiny coiled springs.
If you gently peel the green coat off the seeds, the kernel inside is the most beautiful robin's-egg blue. They have a pleasant taste, as well, a little bit like walnuts.
The snowy blooms of Virgin's Bower (Clematis virginiana) have now sprouted long silky seed-heads. At this stage, this lovely native clematis is called Old Man's Beard. For obvious reasons.
On a shadier, woodsier part of the trail, I found this Jack-in-the-pulpit seed head, so bright shiny red you couldn't miss it. Often, the leaves have disappeared before the red berries form, but this plant still had them nice and green. Very pretty.