Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday & My First Photo Capture of a Butterfly!

Many thanks to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday. 

My quest to the lake to find more wildflower offerings was cut short by a sudden downpour - so I'm sharing bits and pieces from the last five days. 

Still getting used to the camera and feel I need to get a proper textbook or something - anyway, if everything was easy I suppose, there'd be no sense of accomplishment. 

One bit of excitement was having the camera in my hands when the Monarch happened by - they're doing what butterflies do at the moment - fluttering in twos over my head and rolling on the grass.  This creature looks a little worse for wear with a pinched wing - didn't seem to impede his flight though.  And it brings me to one of my favourite wildflowers in my garden - the Fall Aster.  The seed flew into the garden on the wind and has taken up a happy residence.  I cut it back by a third (so this is actually a wildflower that is being domesticated) in the spring.  It's stopped flopping and will be completely covered in purple blossoms in the weeks to come.

Here is one of its paler cousins - note its natural form - tall and floppy.  Its natural habitat is usually dry scrubby areas.  You can see from the company it is keeping, it's in quite a wet location.

I don't know if I'm breaking the rules by showing the seeds rather than the flowers - but couldn't resist.  These are the seeds of False Solomon's Seal Smilacina racemosa combined with some garden Hosta.  It's a great shock of red in the middle of the tired old chartreuse leaves.

And if you break the rules once, might as well just keep on going.  Here are the little birdnests that are left over from the Queen Anne's Lace.

And what post about wildflowers in this neck of the woods would be complete without Goldenrod.  I've left a small patch under the Tsuga because I like the way the flowers mimick the needles of the hemlock.

And as we all know, if you've got golden rod here, you've got it there.  Every spring I think I've figured out what the phlox is and what the golden rod is and think I've managed to pull out the offending wildflower.  And every fall, I'm sort of glad, I haven't been successful.

And just to show how much I like this bright yellow treasure, here's a fancy Lilliputian version called 'Little Lemon'.  It's about 30cm or a foot high - and so very, very cute!  Just one of the many plants I have in my garden that has its roots in the wild.


Gail said...

Barbara, A wonderful butterfly capture! They are teases aren't they; flitting here and there. What I love about the native asters is how they can be tamed! Generally I let them romp and flop about but have begun cutting them down to size in a few places. I can't wait for them to bloom here! I am so excited you joined WW! gail ps There aren't really many rules~Just the fourth Wednesday and then what ever you want to show.

leavesnbloom said...

Barbara those are lovely natives in your garden along with that great butterfly photo. I'm always posting pictures of berries and things as our scottish native flowers are quite plain compared to North American ones. I can't wait for my asters to bloom though mine are not natives.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You have given me a great idea to plant some goldenrod by my hemlock. What a beautiful combination.

Kim and Victoria said...

Very nice. It is a great time of year for asters and goldenrod. Love them.
Your butterfly photo is fab!

Carol said...

Oh! That False Solomon's Seal is fabulous! What colors. Poor little Monarch must not have gotten out of its chrysalis quite right... that happens ... Great portrait!

David, Melanie and family said...

Nice post! Happy Wildflower Day. Great close up the Monarch.
:-) David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

Rose said...

Beautiful photo of the Monarch! My native asters were looking rather ratty this summer, so I cut them back, which turned out to be a lucky accident because they are now standing straight and tall.

Queen Anne's Lace is one of my favorite wildflowers, and I love it in all stages, including the little "birds nests" you show here.

I have trouble distinguishing goldenrod before it blooms, too; I'm always glad in the fall that I didn't cut too much of it down.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello Barb !
Your blog looks amazing girl ! It must have been a while since I was here .. wow ! on this post ! I have to ask what is the new camera you are using ? I am always curious about other bloggers cameras ;-)
The Monarch picture is gorgeous as are all the others .. but I find it so hard to get the Monarchs to settle long enough to take their pictures .. I have a cultivar of goldenrod in my front garden .. it behaves itself very well there : )
I think there is a cultivar for everyone in that group ? winkwink

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Barb, You are so right about the similarities between the hemlock and the goldenrod. What a fabulous combo. Your butterfly is beautiful.

Barbarapc said...

Gail - I'm so there - I love a group that only has one rule - and that's simply to come to play on time. It will be interesting to see what's left to show on the 27th of October - hope springs eternal!
leavesnbloom - I think sometimes our fall flowers have to be so brash to compete with our fall display of leaves - enjoyed seeing all your berries.
Lisa - so much fun when things happen by accident.
K&V - thanks - getting a little better with practice. Have a feeling I'll be putting folks to sleep once I get more confident with my creature photos.
Carol - Still looking for my first crysalis! The butterflies are mad for the heptacodium - as are the bees - won't be too much longer until they're gone.
David/Melanie & Family - many thanks!
Rose - the same thing had happened to me - and what a delightful accident. That being said, there's probably at least 3 other perennials that I have in the garden that I probably should treat the same way. The only thing is....will I remember?!
Joy, great to hear from you and thank you! Using a Panasonic DMC-ZS7 - it's not love at first sight - getting used to it, but getting better all the time.