Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Demunitive, Dainty and Demure

This past weekend I was still a bit under the weather, but I managed to spend plenty of time in early morning photographing flowers. I came across some great finds, some of which were tiny and required a sharp eye to catch. Here are a few of them...

This is called Large Twayblade. It's a member of the orchid family. I'm not terribly familiar with orchids, but when I saw the flowers, I thought they were reminiscent of orchids, so I was glad to see my hunch was right.

As you can see, this is not exactly a stand-out flower. No eye-popping color. Very low to the ground, mixing right in with the grass growing around it. I consider it a lucky sighting!

The flowers are very different-looking. They have kind of a waxy look to them, and you can see they are also a little translucent. They remind me of the webbed foot of a duck. The flowers themselves are probably only about 1" long.

I spent a long time with this flower, photographing it from many different angles, trying to capture its essence and beauty. However, I don't think you want to see 4o more pictures of it!

Another close-to-the ground flower, this is Common Speedwell. This is even more dainty than the Twayblade, with the flowers being only about 1/4".

It reminds me of Ground Ivy in its habit. My specimens seem to only be about 4 or 5" tall, but apparently they can get as tall as 18" (soil quality is a determining factor... I'd say clay and silt aren't conducive to tall growth).

What it lacks in size it makes up for in quantity. We have quite a few sizable patches of it growing in the more "waste areas" of the property (i.e. around the driveway).

Quite lovely, don't you think?

This is a flower I'm still trying to get an ID on. Also very tiny flowers, maybe 1/2". Possibly 5 or 6" tall.

Whatever it is, it's cute. If anyone has any ideas as to what this is, please chime in! So far this year I've been pretty lucky identifying wildflowers that are new to me, but this one has me stumped for now.


Shellmo said...

Beauty comes in small packages - lovely shots!

Nature As Is said...

Heather nice find!!! when a wild orchid is that well concealed....can you imagine what plants we miss all the time. Great shots Heather.

Kelly said...

...I've never seen that first flower...I've probably walked right past it. I've seen the second flower many times. Matty loves it because it's so tiny. I have no idea what it is however, but I'm learning! I hope someone can identify it. Beautiful photos...

Is your Birding by Ear weekend at the Wilds still on? I hope they didn't cancel it on you.

Heather said...

Shelley - You're right, it can indeed come in small packages!

Crista - I know what you mean about what we must miss all the time. I think I could walk around our property every day for the rest of my years and still find something new EVERY time!

Kelly - That son of yours, he has a good eye!
Yes, thankfully birding by ear at the Wilds is still on. I'll be heading out tomorrow afternoon! Can't wait!

Jim McCormac said...

See you soon at the Wilds, Heather. Nice shots; the mystery plant is a charming little mint known as Veined Skullcap, Scutellaria nervosa. Fairly widespread and common in rich woods, but an elfin that i easily missed.


RuthieJ said...

Wow, Heather, those pictures are great! Are you like laying on the ground to take them? I wish I could take good close-ups like that.

Heather said...

Jim - Thanks for your help with the ID on the Skullcap!

Ruthie - Hi there! Several of these plants were on a hillside so I was able to get below them, but sometimes I do lay on the ground, or at least lay my camera on the ground. Glad you liked the shots!