It's been a long time since I've shared some pictures from my walks in the field and woods!
The field is just overflowing right now with Goldenrod, Asters, and Joe Pye Weed. None of my pictures have been able to do it justice.
I didn't even realize that we had Joe Pye Weed until this year!
All the differences between the many species of Goldenrod are so fascinating, although I am far from being able to identify them!
This one is probably me favorite. I just love how the flowers branch out. Again, the picture doesn't do it justice! The main difference I noticed about this one though, is that the leaves are quite rough.
The same goes for the many species of Asters! But I think that the Heart-leaved Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) is my favorite.
Interestingly, one of the synonyms for Symphyotrichum cordifolium is Aster cordifolius L. var. furbishiae. It was named in honor of Kate Furbish, an artist and self-taught botanist who traveled all over the state of Maine recording the plants she saw. She is most famous for her discovery of the Furbish Lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae) which grows only along a 130 mile stretch of the St. John River. Wikipedia says that she also discovered this Aster, but I haven't been able to find out anything more about it, and it is so common now that I am rather surprised that it would have been a new discovery then either.
I actually just read about Kate Furbish because of an article a friend told me about the other day. Unicorn Root (Aletris farinose), which has not been seen in Maine for over 130 years, has suddenly turned up in a field in Bowdoin! Apparently it was a rare plant here to begin with. There are only 3 known specimens, two of which were collected by Furbish in 1874 and 1879. If you're interested, you can read the article here.
About half a mile out, on the other side of the potato field, I found a patch of Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). As its name suggests, it is an excellent flower for drying. I want to write more about this plant in another post when I have more time, so for now I'll just hint that it has been used to symbolize Immortality, and that there is at least one beautiful story connected with it!
Quit a few Red Osier branches had been nibbled at. Some of them were out of my reach, so I'm guessing it was a moose! I never know what I'll see on these hikes. One day last week a small coyote ran out right in front of me! Of course it was the day I didn't take the camera along!
You might recognize some these plants from my earlier woods posts! Here's the Bunchberry Dogwood (Cornus canadensis)...
I didn't realize that Canadian Lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum canadense) had such an unusual looking fruit!
Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis)
Mountain Woodsorrel, or Wood Shamrock (Oxalis montana)...such a tiny, charming plant!
Here it is in bloom around the beginning of July.
There is a large, marshy area in the woods that is absolutely covered with Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). The plant isn't much to look at, but it is an incredible sight when in full bloom like this!
The same area of the woods earlier this summer. Jewelweed is supposed to be an excellent remedy for Poison Ivy. I've never found any around here though, so I haven't had an occasion to try it...I almost wish I did!
The flowers are very unusual and beautiful when viewed up close...
Coming back out of the woods. If you look closely you can see the huge Japanese Knotweed is in bloom now.
I never paid much attention to the flowers until this year and was surprised at how beautiful they are!
They smell nice too, and the bees seem to appreciate them.
Oh, and here's my collection of keepsakes to get me through the winter! I bring in an armload almost every time I'm out! :D Goldenrod and Joe Pye Weed both keep their color nicely if picked before all the flowers are fully opened.
I recently checked out a book at the library titled "Medicine of the Earth", by Suzanne Fischer-Rizzi. I was just skimming through it yesterday when I came across the chapter on Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis and Melilotus alba) which immediately caught my attention because we have quite an abundance of the White Sweet Clover and I love its fragrance. But I didn't realize that it could get even better with drying! She writes, "the one thing I regret about the German Alps is that the Jasmine of warmer climes cannot grow here. Sweet Clover, however, consoles me because her perfume is nearly as sweet and lavish". Well, Jasmine is one of my favorite scents too, so I rushed out the door to see if there were any plants left in bloom! The plant contains coumarin, which causes it to become even more strongly fragrant as it dries. I sure wish I had known about this earlier in the summer, but at least I was able to find a few plants still in flower. I have two bunches hung up over my bed (the bedroom smells wonderful already!) and also gathered some to dry for the herbal pillows I'm making.
I guess that's everything. I hope you enjoyed the little walk! :)
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.