Late Spring Wildflowers

Although summer solstice is a week away or so, spring has passed here and it is now summer. I did manage to take some pictures of late spring visitors before they faded into a new season. Some of these pics were taken in the very late afternoon in the rain, among clouds of mosquitos. That is how far I will go to fulfill a vision. This blog entry has been a vision in the periphery of my daily life for weeks now.

Late spring brings the tantalizing prospect of blackberries ten weeks from now.

This year the blooms were prolific. That does not mean that the berries will be plentiful, however. So many factors seems to act to make the dream of fresh blackberry pie elusive. There was nary a berry the past few years. I hope this year we do better - because there is not one single berry left in my freezer.

I don't know the names of these blooms, though I think I used to. Maybe next year I will spend some serious time with my Newcomb's Wildflower Guide and reacquaint myself with their names. To properly identify wildflowers means picking them, however, bringing them home, looking at them with a magnifier when the blooms are small - especially when the mosquitos are swarming. And I don't enjoy picking wildflowers. So often you are not taking a bloom, you are taking the entire plant.

Then there are the orchids. Yes, the northern woods have orchids.

These little yellow orchids form a carpet in the right places at the right times.

Missed this year: the pink ladyslipper. This elusive flower will show up in a spot for a few years, then disappear. I looked hard, but could not find it in the spots where I have seen it in the past few years.

A few years ago I became aware that jack-in-the-pulpit blooms prolifically in the state woods down the dirt road, and was vaguely sad because I did not find this unusual flower on our property. This year I found it in a little patch of woods encircled by the turnaround at the end of our driveway, right in front of our house.

These irises are not wild - they are growing in a patch next to my poor neglected vegetable garden. Irises are such a favorite of mine, and I admire the toughness of this particular cultivar, which is Japanese I believe.

They are so similar to the wild blue flags that I think I will move them next year. The yellow irises in the gardens by the house are in need of thinning. I think I will move the yellow ones to a sunnier spot at the fring of the woods by the house, and move these blue ones to the official flower gardens. I have a strong blue theme happening at the flower gardens that these irises will fit. And their similarity to the wild irises will fit my thought of focusing the gardens by the house on plants that look like they could be wild, even if they are not.


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