Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Great Unknown

It is strange to be a plant lover in place where you dont know the plants, yet also exciting.
I've yet to buy a field guide, since most of the months I have been here have been full of snow and early spring barrenness....
but spring has sprung and I wandered out into muddy meadows and hills today to discover that I only knew about 5 percent of the plants out and flowering now.

In great quantity there was cleavers and cinquefoil, roses and sumach, yucca, dandelion and pine....but ooodles and quantities of flowering plants, in flower that I do not know by flower or fancy name.

I found it irritating I hadnt' brought a camera along to record my new plant findings to research later, and mildly annoyed that I didn' t have a plant i.d. book for the region yet.

It is on my list of things to get this week, since it's officially spring, and now there are officially plants to learn.

I saw at least 5-6 different species in the pea/legume family. Two with white flowers, several with purple to pink, and even some yellow flowered ones. I found poison ivy ( what might have been burdock, but dear ms ivy didn't let me get down the ditch to go see.
something very fragrant in the umbelliferae with yellow flowers. More yellow flowers of an unknown genus, sever asters, one bright yellow asteraceae with LARGE yellow flowers. Some yellow flowered violets, some thing that could possibly be Aconite. a white flowered lily family plant and the yuccas are sending up flower stalks!
Tons of mustard. I saw at least 6 varieties of mustard, possibly more. another shrub I dont recognize. I want to call it gooseberry, but it isn't very thorny, and all the gooseberries i know are thorny. Maybe a currant? It's got sticky leaves and fragrant bell shaped tiny pink and white flowers.

The flax is blooming, and another purple flowered plant which looked an awful lot like a penstemon, but could be hounds tounge ( a plant discussed in class last week, which i cant remember the genus of at the moment.)

SO many plants, and so little time. Spring is fleeting, and with all the rain and snow we've had this year, I"m sure it's a special spring full of flowers that may not show up every year.

I'm eager to get higher into the hills to see what pops up there as well in the coming weeks!
Soon I promise to post pictures of the new plants I meet.

Another new friend made this week. LINDEN! Yup, there's several linden trees growing out my front door! Hooray, linden and hawthorn both within throwing distance of my apartment. What a treat!!

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~