Category Archives: Flora

Fall Color

Fall Color

The Fall color this year is amazing! It is enough to dazzle the senses and ease those thoughts that we are about to loose another glorious mountain summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the wildflowers are getting in on the act.
Look at the Witch Hazel →

and the Purple Asters ↓

 

← and the Goldenrod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

← and the Iron Weed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have firewood stacked and are ready for winter.

BRING IT ON, JACK FROST!

Blackberry Pickin’

Blackberry Pickin’

In all the profusion of spring wildflowers, there is a simple white blossom, and though it may be plain, it hints of the glorious berries to come later.

As spring is winding down and summer approaches, the tangles of prickly Blackberry bushes get so thick along our road and any meadow that was not earlier bush-hogged, that I would be tempted to curse the gosh-awful stuff if not for the promise of the berries. Then somewhere near the 4th of July, just when you think it would be nice to just torch the whole thicket before it can scratch one more bare leg, or the side of a passing car; we arrive for our weekend at the cabin and our world is covered with juicy, sweet, bumpy, Blackberries.

The nice thing is they don’t all get ripe at once. There will be ripening berries for several weeks to come. And just about the time the berries in the hollow begin winding down, the berries in the higher elevation up on the ridges are in full swing. This year, we have had ripe berries to pick for over a month and still picking.

 

 

 

Blackberries make wonderful pies and I have enough in the freezer to make pies all winter long.

 

 

 

Wildflower Collection

Wildflower Collection

The variety of wildflowers just gets better and better. I am amazed and thrilled every time I spot something I have never seen before. Here are my photos of a few of those I found since my last “wildflower” posting ……..

Turk's Cap Lily

 

Mountain Mint

 

Black-eyed Susan

 

Fire Pink

 

Ox-eye Daisy

 

Flame Azalea

 

Sweet Shrub

 

Pale Yellow Jewelweed

 

Jewel Weed

 

Thistle

 

Horse Nettle

 

Virgin's Bower

 

Heal All

 

Rhododendron

 

Joe Pye Weed

 

Passion Flower

Wildflower Collection

Wildflower Collection

I found some amazing new flowers blooming this week to add to my collection. To show just a few, here are my photos…….

Trout Lily

Dwarf Iris

Pink Lady Slipper

I decided to NOT collect a specimen (just a photo) from the Lady Slipper since there are so few of them and removing a bloom would mean even fewer next year.

Collecting Wildflowers

Collecting Wildflowers

The mountains are alive with a profusion of wildflowers most of the year. I have read that there are well over 3,000 varieties found in the southern Appalachians. Every week we come up here there is something new and different blooming. Wanting to learn the names of each, I started a new project.

Mike made me a flower press out of plywood scraps, with nuts and bolts on the corners to create “press”.

I layered cardboard scraps with unprinted newsprint paper (it’s absorbent and cheap in the children’s art section at Staples).

I made a “field press” out of cardboard and heavy rubberbands, small and light enough to fit in my ruck sack.

                

Then armed with the field press, a notebook to jot down descriptions, locations and sketches, an assortment of wildflower field guides, and my camera……..

  

I am off to loose myself in the blissful solitude of this new hobby. In the early spring, I don’t have to go far to find an abundance of colorful blooms carpeting the cabin clearing and sprouting on the path to the creek. Just to name a few, there are some of my photos…….

Common Blue Violet

Halberdleaf Violet

Canadian White Violet

Solomon's Seal

Catesby's Trillium ranging in various shades of white and pink

I am mounting the dried specimens along with their photos, labels and descriptions in an ever-growing album.