Purple Alfalfa

I have a new appreciation for this lovely food plant.  The purple flowers look like a type of clover from far away, but as you get closer you realize they are these large lipped petals clustered together.  It’s a very pretty addition to the summer plants along the river.

Cow Vetch Returns

The cow vetch is a lovely flower.  The tendrils snake in and out of the rest of the greenery around it and then this lovely, purple flower appears.  I expect this was pasture at one point along the riverbank and it seems appropriate for a plant named after cows to appear here.  

Hold the Ketchup

This appears to be wild mustard.  It is a cluster of small yellow flowers – four petals – and has started to appear in very small pockets along the river.  I need to look a bit more closely at it though, and my reassess my initial identification!

All Gall

The goldenrod were everywhere and I noticed the development of the galls in their trunks.  Now the birds are breaking into the galls to winkle out the glucose and larva inside.

No Marsh Mallow

This funny little green weed was emerging down near a marshy ditch.  The symmetry of the leaves caught my eye, as well as the crinkled edges.  I think it may be the common mallow (Malva Neglecta).  I certainly hope so, as it has some wonderful names:  cheese-weed, malice, and running-weed among them.  The leaves look …

A Second Order of Butter-and-Eggs

The first time I saw this flower, it was relatively small and not very plentiful.  Now common toadflax ( Linaria vulgaris), butter-and-eggs, is popping up everywhere.  This was a particularly tall plant, although it was surrounded by more, all of which are about 2 feet tall.

Wild Roses

Seeing without seeing.  That was what occurred to me as I strode along the path and suddenly saw these beautiful orange rose hips.  The berries had just started turning on our wild roses at home so I knew immediately what these were.  And yet I had never noticed this rose bush before.  It was just …

Deadly Nightshade

This is the only obviously poisonous plant I regularly see.  It regularly sneaks through our fence and it has a distinctive, pungent smell, not one I care for.  The bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) actually has quite nice, purple flowers and red berries later on.  Eating the berries appears to be nasty for animals and has …

Creeping Thistle

Since this blog is all about observation and nature, it seemed appropriate to include another thistle.  I had no idea there were so many different types of thistles along this path.  The creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), also known as canada thistle although it’s from Europe.  The flower is pale lilac, instead of the bright reddish …