Monday, June 28, 2010

A Great Walk on the Orange Trail

I had a wonderful walk on the Orange Trail on Friday. The weather was wonderful, warm with a breeze and the Meadow was so colorful. You might want to click on these next pictures to get the full effect. At first glance, the Meadow looks brownish green. But, as you look closer, you see all the wonderful colors of the early Summer flowers.

The Apples are getting bigger.

Daisy Fleabane (as opposed to the Common Fleabane that was out earlier) is out everywhere.

I found a seemingly perfect Robin's egg on the ground. I didn't touch it to see if it was broken on the other side because I didn't want to know if it had just fallen out of the nest or if it was a large piece of a discarded shell and somewhere in the tree there was a baby.

Butterfly weed was the star of the show. I have been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for it to bloom in the Meadow for a couple of weeks now. It was worth the wait.

Do you see the difference in those two plants? I didn't realize that Butterfly Weed came in more than one color. There is dark orange.

light orange

And, even yellow.

But, there were other new flowers, also. This is Tall Nettle. It's different from Stinging Nettle in that it doesn't have as many prickers. It can bite, but not as hard as the stinging stuff. The flowers are pretty, if very small and quite fuzzy.

And, I saw this wonderful stuff, Horse Nettle. In fact, I almost jumped in it to avoid a racing biker who, apparently, didn't care if he ran me over. Most of the mountain bikers on the trails are very courteous, but this guy was a jerk. I'm glad I didn't end up in this stuff. Pretty flower, but those stems look like they could bite. Click on that first picture, and you'll see what I mean.

I'm getting fitter. When I was through with the Orange Trail, I still had a bit of get up and go. So, I went across the road, to see what the trail there, that lead into the park, had to offer. I'm glad I did, because it starts off in a swamp.

It isn't a very big swamp, and, beyond it, are some very ordinary woods, but I found three flowers there.

This is Winged Loosestrife. I'm about 90% sure of this identification. I used Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, which lead me to the Loosestrifes. The description that seemed to fit was the Winged Loosestrife. But, when I went looking for pictures, the ones in the photos seemed to have more flowers. I finally decided that it was right because there was only one little plant struggling to survive. Maybe it just couldn't product the number of flowers that it was "supposed" to.

I found White Sweet Clover at the Bay, and it was here, too. And, growing right along side of it was Yellow Sweet Clover. This isn't an uncommon plant, but it isn't as common as the White.

It was while I was taking the picture of the clover that I saw what was, to me, the find of the day. I caught it out of the corner of my eye, a little speck of orange. And, when I went to investigate, I found this.

You can tell how tiny it is, by comparing it to the White Clover in the picture with it. It's not particularly beautiful, and it's another of those invaders, though I don't think it is particularly dangerous.

So, why was I so thrilled to find it? The flower is Scarlet Pimpernel. And, I have loved the book "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy, for years. Zorro and Batman are later examples of this type of swashbuckler, but Sir Percy Blakeney was the first. Though, leave it to the British to call an orange flower "Scarlet." I never thought I'd see it growing right before my eyes.

"They seek him here, they seek him there, / Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. / Is he in heaven? Or is he in hell? / That damned elusive Pimpernel!"


Upupaepops said...

Did you see my note on your blog entry for the last Orange Walk

the mystery flowers??????


The Scarlet Pumpernickle one of the best Bugs Bunny Daffy Ducks in history

Louise said...

I did, Upupaepops! Isn't that fun? Orchids growing right in my own garden. And, the good news is that I found more, growing amidst a mat of Vinca, in my back yard.

Sharon said...

You are building up your stamina! How wonderful! It won't be long and you can walk all day!
Scarlet Pimpernel, what a big name for such a tiny flower! Love the butterfly weeds, we only have the deep orange ones around here - that I have noticed, that is.

Louise said...

Oh, bad news is that the ones in the woods don't look so good. The flowerhead is all brown.

Roses and Lilacs said...

As a teenager, I thought "The Scarlet Pimpernel" was the most romantic book I'd ever read. What a great love story altho, she didn't really deserve him. I wasn't nearly so critical back then:) How lucky of you to have found a patch of the flower.

I bet you will be seeing some caterpillars on those butterfly weed soon.

Upupaepops said...

Louise orchids are not long blooming, sometimes, they turn to a brownish seed pod in many species

Many orchids have brown in their normal color, see my ladyslippers in my Flickr page, brown is normal for them

Terry said...

Like Sharon, I love the Butterfly Weed. So pretty. And your Scarlet Pimpernel made me smile.

Canyon Girl said...

You really are in a great shape and your photos just get more and more gorgeous. I can't believe how many pretty flowers you come across on your walks.

Tina said...

Butterfly weed? Never heard of it, but it sure is pretty, love the dark orange one.

John Gray said...

with all your walking
you must be as thin as a rake

sophie said...

Most interesting...meandering walks are such a pleasure especially finding all those florals treasures