Category Archives: wildflowers

Pipe pollination

  The Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) is an interesting plant — it lacks chlorophyll. Yet, it thrives in rare locations on the forest floor where it has carved out a niche which does not require it to have access to … Continue reading

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Ducks of that ilk

  Sometimes a picture is taken merely so as to delight in a whimsical, but obscure, title. It may be that only a canny Scots botanist will get this one.

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  I had no idea what I was looking at. The plant was the wild rose (Rosa woodsii), but what were those spiky red balls on its leaves? Adjacent clues — spider’s threads, spittlebug’s froth — turned out to be … Continue reading

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Wildflower walk

  A forest walk revealed wildflowers. The Tiger Lily likes sunshine and so favours clearings in the forest. Also a member of the lily family, the Queen’s Cup favours the dappled sunlight of moist woodlands and was strewn across the forest … Continue reading

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Bombus vagans

  The Half-black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans) is a common bumble bee of North America. Its local scarcity this spring has prompted me to wonder about it. However, I am finding it now — not in great numbers, but it … Continue reading

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Fairy slippers

  It was an unexpected experience. I was crouched low (and I thought, inconspicuously) on a forest hillside taking pictures of wildflowers when a family hiked by, paused, saw what I was doing, and asked, “Are you Alistair?” So it was that among my … Continue reading

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Pollen covered

  This spring has been a strange. Insects, usually plentiful, have been sparse — but not absent. In a field of dandelions, both hover flies and solitary bees (but, not social bees) flew from flower to flower seeking nectar. It was fairly … Continue reading

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Purple trillium

  The Trillium is an early-spring flower of the deep forest, which is based on the number three: It has three leaves, three sepals, and three petals. Our local trillium is known variously as the Western Trillium, the White Trillium, and … Continue reading

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Fairy ring

  He wha (who) tills the fairies’ green Nae (no) luck again shall hae (have) And he wha (who) spills the fairies’ ring Betide him want and wae (woe).          Traditional Scottish verse  It is now difficult to … Continue reading

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Window thunk

  The predawn thunk of a window collision reminds one that birds rise early. The collision was a consequence of birds flying to an adjacent rowan tree (European mountain ash). Most of the birds flying to the rowan berries were robins. However, … Continue reading

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