Garden Variety

The spring bulbs are up, with the tulips towing over the dandelions and forget-me-nots. Also, the bird feeders were busy, and the chipmunk made a surprise appearance. I like the dandelions, and no longer battle them. Once you think of them as wildflowers, rather than weeds, it seems easier to enjoy them. The forget-me-nots started …

Spring wildflowers

I love this time of year, where it’s still cool and the early wildflowers are making their appearance. Yellow, purple, and white violets, marsh marigolds, and Ontario’s provincial flower the trillium. I took the dog for a walk through Parks Canada’s Rouge Park, near Markham. It’s a lovely park, with a mixture of habitats and …

Late Summer Monarchs

I’ve seen more monarchs in the last few days than I’ve seen all summer.  The butterflies are well provided for as milkweed goes.  It’s everywhere.  But this monarch butterfly was spending its time in the plentiful goldenrod, bee balm, and prairie coneflowers.

Asters and Goldenrod

It is late summer along the Holland River and the purple asters have taken over from the white daisies.  They’re especially striking amongst the tall yellow goldenrod.

Brown-Eyed Susan

We have a number of these flowers – brown-eyed susans, black-eyed susans, and the prairie coneflower – all along the runoff pond by the Tom Taylor trail.

Sweet Forget-Me-Nots

The Forget-Me-Nots – from the German for Vergissmeinnicht – are back everywhere along the river.  I’d seen just a bunch or two and now they’ve exploded.  They’re so small, it’s easy to miss the interesting details in the middle of these lovely flowers.

Spring Beauty

These small pink-striped white wildflowers with five petals are more common than I remembered.  I saw two or three batches of them today.  They’re known as Spring Beauty.  

Trout Lilies in the Woods

The Trout Lily is one of my favorite wildflowers.  The mottled leaves and the delicate yellow bloom make it a distinctive spring wildflower.

Dutchman’s Breeches

These small white flowers were far from the path but just caught my eye.  There were only two of them but they’re among the most unusual flower I’ve seen along the path.  They’re called Dutchman’s Breeches – or dicentra cucullaria – and have medicinal purposes and can be toxic.