The first snowfall of the year is always a little exciting for me, even though we'll certainly have seen more than enough of it before too long! We got 3 or 4 inches on Wednesday and of course, I took pictures! 😁
Raised wide beds in the seed garden. I really like these beds for this garden and the vegetable garden. It is easier to plant and maintain than just single rows and the soil doesn't get compacted. My sister says they look like graves though! 😁
The mint patch...
The poor petunias have about had it. They were still putting out a few flowers but we had a low of 16 F a few nights ago and that was too much for them. The leaves are still green though and I think if Spring were to arrive tomorrow (wishful thinking) they would revive!
My goldies are like kids when it comes to snow (and everything else!)...they absolutely love it! This is Captain and Nellie. Notice the large snowballs in the background...those are snow rollers!
Carina-the teddy bear of the family!
And Zorra-my little mischief maker! I thought it was funny that I caught them both in almost the same pose. 😊
I decided to go for another hike in the woods in the morning when the storm had just started. On my way out the door my father informed me that he had seen a large flock of turkeys in the potato field earlier, so I made a little detour to see if they were still there, and sure enough they were!
Aster seed head...
A combination of wind and all the snowflakes falling on the camera lens made for an interesting picture...almost like a painting!
The snow really didn't accumulate much in the woods...
An exciting but somewhat frustrating discovery, since this was right after I published my last post about Linnaea borealis. This fallen log is covered in it! What a sight this will be next summer! But even now I thought it was beautiful...
A close-up of the stems...
Here they are again after the storm. Oh I can hardly wait for next June!!
Mountain Ash berries...
Sugar-coated Bunchberry Dogwood...
I've been working on this post for a couple days and keep finding things to add! The turkeys were out again this morning and I was able to get much closer to them.
A lot of the snow has melted already and we don't really have any objections to that! But it was fun while it lasted! 😊
One of my happiest memories from this past summer is of the moment when I stumbled across a little patch of the Twinflower (Linnaea borealis) during one of my woodland rambles. I had never seen it before and didn't know what it was, but was immediately charmed by its delicate beauty and sweet fragrance. I soon learned its identity and was fascinated that it bore the name of Linnaeus, the great Swedish botanist who invented our modern system of binomial nomenclature. But, although I returned to the woods a few times shortly afterwards with the intention of finding it again, I only saw it in bloom that once, which I suppose makes that moment all the more special! Indeed it is a difficult plant to find, for even though it is common "in almost all the great northern forests", it is "easily overlooked, because it grows only where the woods are thickest, and its delicate twin-blossoms are almost hid among the moss, and interwoven with ivy." (Quoted from Edward Daniel Clarke's Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa, 1819).
Twinflower is an evergreen, trailing sub-shrub in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae), and is native to much of northern Europe, Asia, and North America. In this country it has been found as far south as Tennessee, but is now extirpated or considered endangered in many states along the southern boundaries of its habitat. It seems to prefer old fir forests carpeted with moss, where it has less competition from taller plants, but it grows in deciduous forest as well, and I have seen several pictures of it growing at the bases of rocks in fairly open spaces. The dainty, pale pink, drooping flowers appear in early summer, atop a slender stem about 3 inches high, which is forked at the top. The fragrance is often compared to that of Meadowsweet, and is reported to be especially strong at night.
This humble little "flower of the north" became famous when the great botanist chose it as his emblem. The 25-year-old Linnaeus first saw the plant in Lycksele on May 29, 1732, while on his expedition in Lapland. At that time it was known as Campanula serpyllifolia, or Thyme-leaved Bellflower, but it was ascertained by Linnaeus to be a distinct genus. Soon after, the genus was named Linnaea by Gronovius, Linnaeus' friend and teacher, and Linnaeus himself affixed the specific name, borealis, meaning "of the north". Linnaeus seems to have seen a symbol of his own humble beginnings in this plant, as he writes in his book Critica Botanica (1737): "Linnaea was named by the celebrated Gronovius and is a plant of Lapland, lowly, insignificant and disregarded, flowering but for a short space-from Linnaeus who resembles it".
It remained his favorite flower throughout his life, and he even added it to his crest after his ennoblement in 1761. He is seen holding the plant in most of his portraits.
Linnaea borealis is the unofficial national flower of Sweden as well as the provincial flower of Småland, Linnaeus' home province. In the 19th century, Edward P. Thompson remarked on the love the Swedes had for this little flower: "In one of my rambles in the country, some school-boys who were following the same path, came running to me, stranger as I was, exclaiming 'See, sir, we have found some of the Linnaea borealis!'".
Happy indeed should we be if we find Linnaeus' lovely little namesake blooming in our woods!
Linking with Clay and Limestone today for Wildflower Wednesday!
Besides the Autumn poets sing,
A few incisive mornings -
Still, is the bustle in the brook -
Perhaps a squirrel may remain -
Yes, another 'walk in the woods' post! Not much is happening gardenwise now besides clean-up and bulb planting. It probably seems like I've been focusing more on nature and wildflowers than anything lately. I'm still as passionate about gardening as ever, but my interest in and love for plants has expanded greatly since I started this blog--in fact I've considered renaming it to something more all-encompassing, but don't want to confuse my readers who know where to find me! So if anybody was hoping for a more garden-related post this time, please bear with me! 😊
When I entered the woods yesterday, I found them changed drastically since I'd been out a week before. All the wind and rain we've had has taken its toll on the leaves and most of the trees are now bare.
I was glad I thought to put on rubber boots before I went! And now I finally had a chance to try my hand at photographing reflections in water. It was fun but I don't think I did it justice!
I'll always be fond of creeping snowberry, since it was after finding this that I inadvertently found out about the Orono bog! I'm not sure, but I think there is some twinflower (Linnaea borealis) in this tangle, too.
The top of a tamarack tree...
The words "haunted wood" came to mind when I arrived at this spot...it really was hard to believe how changed everything was!
Bunchberry dogwood leaves turning purple...
And then...I got lost! Up until this point I had been finding familiar landmarks so I had a good idea where I was, but suddenly I came into this open area and I still have no idea where I was!
I thought maybe I was on Cypripedium Hill and it just looked different as all the rest of the woods did, but when I came upon this patch of cattails shortly after, I knew I had made a wrong turn somewhere, as I haven't seen these anywhere I've been exploring this summer.
It was getting late and I was a little worried, but did stop long enough to do something I've always wanted to do! 😁
Not sure what this was, but something tells me there were some beautiful flowers here earlier this summer!
In the end, my wonderful dog Nellie saved the day. She was barking (it was past their suppertime) and I was able to follow the sound back home. It actually didn't take long at all to get back into familiar territory and before I knew it I recognized the huge rock pile that borders the woods (from many seasons of rock removal in the potato field!).
So that's the story of yesterday's adventure! Thanks for coming along with me again. I am hoping to resume the flower histories I had been posting during last winter soon, so that will bring us back to the subject of gardening...although the first flower I am planning to write about happens to be a wildflower too! Oh well! 😊
There is a flower that Bees prefer--
And Whatsoever Insect pass--
Her face be rounder than the Moon
She doth not wait for June--
Contending with the Grass--
And when the Hills be full--
Her Public—be the Noon--
The Bravest—of the Host--
How well Miss Dickinson knew her flowers! I love how she wrote so lovingly about the commonest wildflowers that many would not even notice. My clover are looking a little ragged after the cold and rain we've had this past week (we saw our first snow flurries and sleet Saturday!) but like the poem says, they don't even seem to be aware of defeat!
I'm joining Cathy at rambling in the Garden today for IAVOM. You can visit her blog to see all the lovely flower arrangements shared today! Have a great week! 😊
It's so funny sometimes how one thing can lead to another. I just googled 'creeping snowberry' yesterday and came across a plant list for the Orono bog. I hadn't even heard of this place before, but it just so happened that my father and I were planning to be right in that area today! It was just in time too, since the bog's boardwalk will be closed for the winter in a few more days. We got to spend a couple of hours there this morning and it was really wonderful. I got to see some plants I've wanted to see for a long time, and many more I didn't know before. The trail to the boardwalk starts out in the Bangor City Forest, which of course was absolutely beautiful!
We were very impressed by this grand old white pine!
And now we are entering the bog!
Signs were posted at the start of each new habitat, pointing out some of the plants and animals to look for. I'll let them speak for themselves, since they explain everything much better than I ever could. The only fault I could find was that I could have wished for a more comprehensive list of the plants found in the surrounding areas!
The first stretch of the boardwalk...
This little fellow didn't seem too concerned about our presence!
I was so excited when I spotted the first pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea)! It turned out to be extremely common in the bog, but I had never seen it before except in pictures.
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)...
I get so confused when trying to identify all the different aster species, but since flat-topped white aster (Doellingeria umbellata) is the only possible match on the Orono Bog website, I will venture to say this is it!
I really enjoyed this part of the bog, especially since tamaracks are one of my favorite trees. But for some reason I didn't take many pictures here. But this was something new for me...in fact I thought it looked more like it belonged at the bottom of the ocean! Now I'm thinking it is some kind of coral fungus (Ramariopsis).
The scene changed dramatically as we left the woods behind.
All the stunted trees reminded us of the Alaskan tundra!
Bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia var. glaucophylla) was another plant I've really been wanting to see...
These pitcher plants reminded me of some kind of fish!
Knowing how rare and fragile some of these plants are, I know better than to pick them. But I'm sure they are tempting!
Red peat moss (Sphagnum rubellum)...if you look closely you can see more pitcher plants poking through.
I think the red bushes are blueberries...
Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)...
More beautiful scenery along the way...
Cotton-grass (Eriophorum)...there are 3 species listed for the bog, so I'm not sure which these are!
A "zoomed-in" picture of the stunted trees in the background...
If I understood it right, the water is about 6 inches below the surface right now.
Hopefully you aren't getting too tired of pictures of pitcher plants! You can still see the spent flowers on these. I'd love to see them in bloom!
Just one more!
One of my favorite scenes...I really could have spent all day out here!
Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)...
Back into the wooded fen...
It turned out to be all I had hoped for and more, considering how late in the season it is. I would love to go back again next spring and again in summer to see some of the orchids that bloom there!
Our trees are at peak foliage now, or maybe just a little past it, and it's hard to resist the temptation to spend a couple of hours each day just wandering around the woods!
With all these leaves on the ground, I'm a little surprised there are still any on the trees! It almost looks like the ground has been strewn with rose petals, doesn't it?
Moose tracks are a common sight...
We have several patches of Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). One of the folk names for this plant is "Son-before-the-Father", because the flowers bloom and set seed very early in the Spring, before the leaves emerge. I can hardly wait to see it in bloom next year!
My most exciting find this week (in my opinion anyway!) was this Arctic Sweet Coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus var. palmatus). It, too, has beautiful blossoms in Spring which I will be on the lookout for!
I was surprised by a few lonely Pearly Everlastings in a small clearing...
I think this is Creeping Snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula), but please correct me if I'm wrong! The odd thing is that I've never seen any flowers or berries all summer. But then I'm noticing a lot of new plants now that many of the bigger plants have lost their leaves or died back, so maybe this was just in hiding? Or maybe I wasn't as observant as I thought I was! LOL
I think my favorite spot in the woods is the hill where I found all the Pink Lady's Slippers this summer. I've decided to call it Cypripedium Hill! 😁
And this is my favorite area on Cypriperdium Hill! It's hard to see in the picture, but it almost looks like someone had made a path through here at some point.
Looking back up the "path"...
I have no idea what this little plant is, but I think it's pretty!
An unknown shrub...
I love how these Club Mosses look like little trees!
My pictures don't do this old Cedar stump justice--it is huge!
This uprooted tree was fascinating! I'm amazed it survived as long as it did, growing on top of that rock!
A patch of Whorled Wood Aster (Oclemena acuminata)...
Self-Heal or Heart-of-the-Earth (Prunella vugaris) ...
Oh, and this isn't in the woods, but I wanted to show you this interesting plant. I've been seeing it growing along the roadsides and even at the edge of our lawn for awhile now and just recently found out that it is called Red Bartsia (Odontites vulgaris), and it is partially parasitic on the roots of some grasses! Mrs. Grieve says it hasn't much to recommend it in appearance, but I'm inclined to disagree with her for once!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little trek! Now I meant to make this a complete surprise but I can't keep a secret--I'm leaving early tomorrow morning on a quick day trip and hope to return with more pictures and new discoveries to share! 😊
In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying these beautiful Fall days too!
A motley bunch of flowers in my vase today--the last survivors of my gardens. The days are becoming decidedly chilly...the high yesterday (when I picked these flowers) was only 45F, and it's 27 this morning. I've begun cleaning up the gardens and doing the fall planting, so there isn't much to choose from, but I did find a few bright blossoms here and there...
I only had a few echinacea flowers in my garden this year, but someone very kindly sent me some seeds so that should be remedied soon. ;)
The toadflax didn't do much all summer since it was so hot and dry, but it revived as soon as the cool weather set in and that 24 degree night didn't seem to concern it a bit!
Evening dame's rocket is a late spring-early summer bloomer, but one of my plants has been determinedly putting out a few flowers all summer and fall!
French mallow keeps putting out a stray flower here and there...
Most of the nasturtiums were killed by the frost, but there were a couple of plants hiding under other flowers that made it.
'Emperor William' bachelor's buttons continue to bloom sporadically too...
But the petunias! I can hardly believe how hardy these are...they also survived that 24 degrees and are still blooming beautifully!
Here they are, still bringing color to the "seed garden".
A view from above...
IAVOM is hosted by Cathy@Rambling in the Garden. There will be many lovely arrangements shared today on her blog, so please do go have a look! And have a great week! 😊
A Visitor in Marl --
Who visits in the Night--
But whom his fingers touched--
OK, hopefully that's my last poetical illustration...for a little while anyway! 😊
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading.