Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More late fall color and texture

As promised in yesterday's post, here is the mystery flower that made itself known among the underbrush...

Aha! It's Bottle Gentian (or Closed Gentian). This autumn was the first time I have seen this plant in the wild, so I was very excited about this find. It grows very close to the ground, so it could easily be missed, despite its bold coloring. Let's review.

From the big picture down to the this tiny flower close to the ground. How did I find it? Luck? Good lighting? A keen eye? Or is it simply because I look at the ground a lot when I walk in the woods? All of these things contributed to my find, for sure.

Here are some other standouts from the same walk through the woods, most of which were more obvious than the cloistered Bottle Gentian.

Lady's Thumb

unknown species of ironweed

unknown species of aster

This is Virgin's Bower. I love this stuff for its fluffy seed heads. This is one plant that you can identify from far away because it is so distinct.

Here's another I love for its texture - Queen Anne's Lace. I brought this one into black and white because I wanted to emphasize that texture. This specimen looks particularly spider-like to me.

Hitchhikers on my jacket sleeve. This makes it very easy to understand how velcro was invented!

I mean, just look at the "j" hooks on these burrs!

Thanks, as always, for coming along on a discovery walk with me. I'm not sure where we're going next, but I know it will be fun!


Shelley said...

These are simply and utterly incredible photos Heather!!!
Wow!!! I wish I had 1/2 your talent.

RuthieJ said...

What a difference in climate from your place to Minnesota! Everything's been frozen off here already (although I did spot one very tiny and brave dandelion in a sheltered spot near the house today)

Monika said...

Wow, I love the photos of the burrs! How do you do the color highlights on a B&W photo?

Jim McCormac said...

More great macro shots, Heather! The ironweed is Tall Ironweed, Vernonia gigantea. It's the default ironweed in Ohio. There are two others, but they are quite rare and one essentially must make an effort to find them. A fourth, New York Ironweed, is only known from one 1892 Gallia County collection, so rediscovery of that would be quite a coup.

The aster is a beautiful little charmer: Crooked-stemmed Aster, Symphyotrichum prenanthoides. It flourishes especially along creek bottoms.

Finally, the bur is from an Agrimonia, and it looks to be Small-flowered Agrimonia, Agrimonia parviflora. These fruit are amongst the best known because of their clingy ways, even if most people don't know what they came from.

Hope I'm not overly forward with the botanical lecture, but you're obviously very keen on learning about all of this stuff, and that's great.


Heather said...

Shelley - You are so sweet! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Ruthie - Please don't misunderstand... all of the vibrantly colored flowers shown here (Lady's Thumb, Ironweed, Bottle Gentian) were photographed weeks ago, and were surely struck down by frost since then. The aster might be the only exception to that - they seem pretty resilient. On the flip side, though, we have had quite a spell of warmish weather recently, so... no snow yet, though, that's for sure!

Monika - When you ask about the color highlights, are you speaking specifically of these burr photos? If so, no trick there - my jacket sleeve just happens to be grey and offsets the color of the burrs perfectly! (Although, I did mess with the tint of the photo in Picasa to bring out that contrast just a little more.)

Jim - Thanks for all that great info. I don't mind the botanical "lecture" at all. Sometimes even with a field guide in hand I have difficulty making an accurate ID, so hearing the info from someone who has studied this stuff is invaluable. Looking at pictures and descriptions in books and on the internet is good, but feedback from a real person is even better. On the other hand though, I don't want you to feel an obligation to school me on the flora of Ohio; but if you want to, I will soak it up like a sponge! I'm going to try to make it to Flora-Quest next year.

Monika said...

Haha, I guess that is what I meant! Thanks :)

Carol Mattingly said...

Heather, as usual your photos rock. Thanks for sharing. Carol

Heather said...

Carol - Thank you so much for your kind words.