Rare Harebell

The blue Harebells have appeared again.  Last year, I only saw one but this year there were two or three stalks appearing out of the thicket of goldenrod stalks.  They only grow near the car park.  It’s one of the things that has struck me, which is that a flower that is “wild” may still …

Return of the Thistles

This time last year, I didn’t know Canada had its own thistle, despite its heavily Scottish forebears.  The Canada thistle is more purple lavender than the more stereotypical Scottish thistle, which is pinkish.  There are these odd black dots inside the flower which also seem to be distinctive, although they may just be bugs.

Purple Teasel

The common teasel is like a spear, with sharp leaves below its very hard, bristly head.  It makes me smile to see the purple blossom slowly come out across the head of the plant, though.  It isn’t uniform so its almost like a tonsure or strange beard slowly filling in.

Bees on the Bee Balm

The bees were buzzing today on lots of flowers but it was funny to see them on the wild bergamot.  The purple flower also known as bee balm is starting to wilt a bit and the spiky look they take on is less dramatic than it was last week.

Wild Bee Balm

The bee balm – or wild bergamot ( Monarda fistulosa )- has erupted above the tall green goldenrod stalks that are themselves getting ready to flower.  I love the delicate tendrils of the balm’s flowers.

Heal Thyself

I’ve seen this one called “self heal” or “heal all” but is also known as Prunella.  This one was not in full flower, so there the nub top of the flower is still poking out above the purple lobed flowers that have appeared around the bottom part.

Pink Peas

This may be the last year for these everlasting peas ( Lathyrus latifolius ), which have bloomed thickly along the side of the train tracks.  I saw a small digging vehicle in the brush and it looks like the railway improvements will cost this pea – and this groundhog – their habitat.

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.

Return of the Asp

The gill over the ground creeping ivy was the first low blue flower along the path.  Late last summer I saw a taller blue flower, so I have been keeping an eye out for it again.  The viper bugloss has delicate red stamens protruding from inside the flower.

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.