280/366: 160th Flower of Spring & Summer: Tiny Stalk of Lilies

The Flowers of Spring & Summer!

I have decided to have a counting of each kind of flower that I find on our property this spring and summer! I saw the first flower in early February and it's the smallest flower too! Next I found a little white flower that looks ready for a mouse's wedding bouquet! Number three were the crocus flowers that popped out in one big clump of loveliness! Then I discovered the Henderson Shooting Star, b…  (read more)

Hairy Bittercress: The 79th Flower of Spring and S…

02 May 2012 135
I've always loved tiny flowers, and when I was a little girl, I would collect itty bitty flowers in the cracks of our sidewalk and make little mouse bouquets! :) I was always surprised that so few people knew about these tiny beauties, so I made sure to show everyone I could as I grew up. What I didn't realize is the vast number of different tiny floweers out there!! On our property alone, I've taken pictures of dozens of tiny flower species...and here is another one! Looking at this flower from a standing position, it's just a fleck of white and hardly there at all! Isn't it nice to see a big view of this dainty beauty! :) Hairy Bittercress is a common, widespread, invasive weed with a very interesting way of distributing its seeds. Do you see the "sticks" all around the blossoms? Those are called "siliques". You can them emerging from the flower heads as well. After the flower is pollinated, the petals fall off and the seeds begin to grow inside this capsule of seeds, which becomes longer as the seeds mature. When the capsule is dry, pressure from inside (or being touched) causes it to explode, causing seeds to spray as much as 10 feet from the plant! That's some feat, considering that each capsule is only about 1" in size! WOW!!! Native to Europe and Asia, this member of the mustard family is now found all over North America. Contrary to the "bitter" in its name, bittercress is edible and it's mild-flavored leaves make nice additions to spring salads! If you would like to know more about this flower, Wiki has a good page here: Wiki: Hairy Bittercress: (Cardamine hirsuta)

Unidentified Beauty: The 80th Flower of Spring & S…

02 May 2012 76
This is yet another extremely tiny flower I discovered on our property, while exploring the darker area of our lower forest. It's only about 1/3" in diameter! I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to identify it and after hours of looking at zillions of pictures, I have to throw my hands in the air! I've noticed that when a flower is a very pale color and tiny, I know I'm in for trouble. So, I may not know what this flower is called, but it's certainly pretty!! :)

Western Serviceberry: the 81st Flower of Spring &…

02 May 2012 164
(+2 insets!) :D This is one the most beautiful flowering trees on our property, and like other fruit trees, the flowers come and go very quickly. Last year I meant to take pictures with my older camera and I missed the flowers, but this year I visited every few days to make sure I didn't miss the show!! Such a beauty...I didn't realize how elegant the blossoms were until I took a close look! I also had no idea what it was until I began my research tonight. When I saw pictures for Serviceberry flowers, I knew I'd found the right one! Just to be sure, I ran out the door to see how it was doing, and sure enough, there are beautiful blue and red berries growing now!! I'll be taking pictures tomorrow to share soon! :) The Western Serviceberry is in a group of about 20 species, all of which are shrubs or small trees and is in the rose family! Serviceberries are found all over the Northern Hemisphere in temperate areas. They are edible and are said to taste a bit like blueberries with almond-flavored seeds! The berries can be made into pies and jam! I'm so excited...if there are enough ripe berries, I'll pick them and we can make a pie or put them into muffins!! :D YAYYYY!!! If you would like to know more about Serviceberries, here are two sources: www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Juneberries.html en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier

Thank You All for 22k Visits!!

24 Apr 2012 2 1 173
I wanted to say THANK YOU to every one of you for coming to my photostream, looking at my pictures, leaving comments, and extending your friendship to me through our comments back and forth. It's been such a wonderful experience for me!! I've grown so much as a photographer through all of your talent. I have learned so much about the world through your images. I have laughed, I have squealed, I have shed tears over your pictures. You have all brought so much to me with your images, and you have all made me feel wonderful with your comments. You've helped me to be a better phographer, and a better person too. Thank you all. And Thanks so much for 22,000 visits!!! YAYYYYYY!!!!!

Grassland Saxifrage: The 82nd Flower of Spring and…

02 May 2012 80
When I saw this flower, I was really surprised because it looks so similar to the "8th Flower of Spring", Northwest Saxifrage, except that it's much taller. Looking in my flower books, I discovered that it is another specie of Saxifrage! I will update this entry tomorrow when I have more time to do my normal research! Sorry for the quick post!

Great Camas: the 83rd Flower of Spring!

02 May 2012 95
(please scroll down for 3 more pictures!) Our property has two seasonal streams, and the larger of the two has some our most beautiful flowers growing along its edges throughout spring and early summer. I was so excited when this one began blooming! The Great Camas grows in the Pacific Northwest and has a white variety as well as this lovely blue-purple flower. Its bulb were a food source of Native Americans, but today its beauty has elevated it to that of a exquisite and sought-after garden flower. It's no wonder this is one of my favorites! :) NOTE! I'll be taking Saturday off but will have more pictures up on Sunday night...have a great weekend!!

Greene's Hawkweed: The 84th Flower of Spring & Sum…

06 May 2012 98
Did you know there are more than 10,000 recorded species of Hawkweed flowers?!! WOW!! The name Hawkweed comes from folklore that said hawks ate these flowers to improve their eyesight--though they would do better to eat carrots! :D This flower can be found all over the world and though they are similar to dandelions, they aren't in the same sub-family. Hawkweeds are considered an invasive weed in most places because it spreads so easily and is hard to get rid of, once established. This flower is, however, a favorite food for many insects including moths and butterflies. If you would like to know more about this flower, Wiki has two sources: Wiki: Hieracium Wiki: Hawkweed I've uploaded two other pictures today and I hope you'll visit them too! Thanks to all of you who have visited and have left comments and favorites! I try to go to all of your pages within a day or two and is a highlight for me to see your beautiful photography! :)

Bearded Iris: In Full Bloom

06 May 2012 220
Here are two of the four flowers in full bloom! Aren't they magnificent?! In fact, Steve and I are going to buy an assortment of other colors to plant this fall so we have more lovely flowers to enjoy next spring! :) Irises grow from a kind of bulb called a rhizome, and they look a lot like a ginger root, which is also a rhizome. Many flowers which bloom in the spring or early summer are planted in the fall. This is important because the bulb, rhizome, or corm must have a "resting" period of cold temperatures before they will grow. In the springtime, the soil begins to warm up and the bulbs, rhizomes and corms "wake up" and begin to send a stem up and roots down! If you would like to see an amazing assortment of Bearded Iris in a zillion different colors, I found a wonderful farm in California which has an endless variety to see! :) Pleasant Valley Iris Farm

Bearded Iris: Beginning to Open

02 May 2012 1 1 156
It's nice having this flower right outside the front door because I could just step outside to see its progress as each flower began to open! (You can see the drying daffodils and jonquils that form the bokeh in the lower right! :D) Bearded Iris comes in every color of the rainbow except true red, and has been cultivated to grow in many different sizes from miniature to tall. Ours is a Tall Bearded Iris! :)

Bearded Iris: The 85th Flower of Spring & Summer!

02 May 2012 1 2 171
There are only a handful of flowers that were planted on our property, and this is one is among our most magnificent. For a couple of years after moving here, there were about half a dozen Bearded Iris flower stalks that bloomed, but unfortunately this area gets flooded when it rains heavily and I'm afraid the bulbs rotted. The plants seem to be making a come back, but this is the only stalk of flowers that bloomed. I made the most of it though, so tonight I'm showing the pictures seperately and not nested together as I have with other flowers. I hope you like them! :) The Bearded Iris is native to Germany, and gets its name for the fuzz or "beard" that grows on the three lower petals, which are called "falls". The inner upper petals are called "the standard." This flower was so beloved by the king of France that it was chosen for their national emblem, the fleur-de-lis! (Conflicting information states the Yellow Flag Iris--Iris pseudacorus--was the flower used for the stylized emblem.) In any event, the Bearded Iris is an extremely popular flower. Like daffodils and crocus, once you plant irises, you'll get beautiful flowers every year without doing anything, and they will also multiply over the years! These flowers are also very adaptability to different soils and climates, and can tolerate droughts too! :)! If you would like to know more about Bearded Iris, The American Iris Society has a great page here: Bearded Iris Classifications . For more information about irises in general, Wiki has a great page here: Wiki: Iris

Yellow Hawkweed: The 86th Flower of Spring & Summe…

04 May 2012 144
This flower should look a bit familiar, since it's another species of Hawkweed similar to the Greene's Hawkweed I posted just a couple of days ago!! If you take a look below, you'll see how different they are. Like I mentioned in my previous post, there are more than 10,000 recorded species of Hawkweed flowers, and it's likely that there are several growing on our property that I can't tell apart. Unfortunately, I have no idea which species this is, but it's obviously not a Greene's Hawkweed! Hawkweed flowers can be found all over the world and though they are similar to dandelions, they aren't in the same sub-family. Hawkweeds are considered an invasive weed in most places because it spreads so easily and is hard to get rid of, once established. This flower is, however, a favorite food for many insects including moths and butterflies. If you would like to know more about this flower, Wiki has two sources: Wiki: Hieracium Wiki: Hawkweed

Sticky Blue-eyed Mary: The 87th Flower of Spring &…

04 May 2012 149
Say hello to the third species of Blue-eyed Mary on our property! In April, I presented the extremely tiny Smallflower Blue-eyed Mary , which was #27 on the Flowers of Spring and Summer. Then, in May I found the lovely Giant Blue-eyed Mary , weighing in at #71! And here we have the lovely Sticky Blue-eyed Mary! All three species were found in different places on our property and I was surprised to find this one growing on our ridge! I love its pure colors of purple contrasting with white. Sticky Blue-eyed Marys are in a genus called Collinsia, which includes about 25 specie and is native to the Pacific Northwest from Washington to northern California. While looking around for more information, I discovered a company which sells seeds for this flower! Silver Falls Seed: Sticky Blue-eyed Mary If you would like to know more about this lovely flower, Wiki has a page here: Wiki: Sticky Blue-eyed Mary

Wavy-Leaved Paintbrush Close-Up

Wavy-Leaved Paintbrush: The 88th Flower of Spring…

29 May 2012 1 190
I'll never forget the first time I saw one of these flowers last year, when Steve and I were on a group hike. I saw it and stopped dead in my tracks, saying, "WOAH! What the heck is THAT!!!" These flowers, with their strangely-shaped, fiery orange petals, are unforgettable. They look as if they were dipped in paint, which is exactly why they got their name! :D This flower is one of about 200 species, one of which is the state flower of Wyoming ! :) Paintbrush plants are actually parasitic, living off the nourishment of roots from plants around them. They are also edible, and the flowers were often eaten by Native Americans as a condiment with salad greens. As well, it was used as a hair wash, a treatment for rhumatis, sexually transmitted diseases, and to enhance the immune system. And yet, the fact that this plant absorbs selenium easily makes the roots or green parts poisonous! Fascinating, isn't it?! :) If you would like to know more about this flower, Wiki has a great source here: Wiki: Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja) I've uploaded two other pictures today and I hope you'll visit them too! Thanks to all of you who have visited and have left comments and favorites! I try to go to all of your pages within a day or two and is a highlight for me to see your beautiful photography! :)

Poison Oak Blossoms: The 89th Flower of Spring & S…

19 May 2012 196
(please scroll down for 2 more pictures!) It is simply amazing to me that a plant that I hate so much has such an incredibly beautiful, tiny flower! Measuring only about 1/8" in diameter, poison oak blossoms are so small and plain looking that most people don't even know that poison oak has flowers. Steve, in fact, was amazed when I showed him these pictures! It's almost irritating that such a noxious plant should have a lovely flower! :D They are beautiful though, aren't they! Western Poison Oak only grows along the Pacific Coast of North America and can be found from Canada to Baja, California. It produces a toxin called "urushiol" which causes an itchy rash which makes itself known a few hours after contact. This rash will last for up to three weeks depending on how allergic you are and the severity of contact. Most people are allergic, but there are a few who are not affected by this toxin. Also, if there is continued contact with Poison Oak, most people will become sensitized to it. Handy tip!! If you get a rash from poison oak (or any sort of itch, actually!), put the affected area under hot water--as hot as you can stand--for 10-15 seconds. This will burn out the histomines in the area that cause the itching sensation, and it takes hours for your body to rebuild the histomines again. Try this the next time you get a bug bite or rash. You'll be amazed how well it works. I only wish I'd learned this when I was a kid, not a year ago! If you would like to know more about Poison Oak, Wiki has a great source of information here: Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)

Yellow-Leaved Iris: The 90th Flower of Spring & Su…

06 May 2012 1 1 126
(By the way, the latest news about Lucky's Pond is my third picture tonight, and picture two shows the frogs that are living at the pond! :) I love irises and their interesting shaped petals, but when it comes to photographing the small wild ones that grow here on our property, they are a real pain. They grow low to the ground and are always in the middle of their sword-shaped leaves with lots of other plants around them. In short, they are quite a challenge. I suppose I could just PICK one and turn it into a studio shot, but I don't want to do that. So, in the case of this flower, I did some heavy Photoshop work to separate the flower from the background and also used selective color. I hope you like the result! The Yellow-Leaved Iris is native in the Pacific Northwest from midwest and southern Oregon to northern California. On our property they are a cream color with yellow, but they can also be pale yellow as well, with butter yellow in the centers of each petal and lavender veining. If you would like to know more about irises, Wiki has a nice page here: Wiki: Iris I've uploaded two other pictures today and I hope you'll visit them too! Thanks to all of you who have visited and have left comments and favorites! I try to go to all of your pages within a day or two and is a highlight for me to see your beautiful photography! :)

Howell's Pussytoes: The 91st Flower of Spring & Su…

06 May 2012 1 128
These flowers grow only along our ridge line and I found only about half a dozen plants on my walks. Hard to see, these flowers only grow about a foot off the ground and have small clusters of flowers that are about the size of a dime. They are part of a genus of about 45 species that grows in the northern hemisphere. This species is found only in the Pacific northwest and is uncommon. The name comes from the resemblance of some species flowers to that of a cat's toes! :) If you would like to know more about this flower, Wiki has a page here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antennaria

California Groundcone: The 92nd Flower of Spring &…

06 May 2012 140
This is one of the strangest, coolest wildflowers that I have ever seen! In fact, the first time I saw one, I thought it was a weird pine cone sticking out of the ground, and I certainly wasn't surprised when I found out that it's actually called a Groundcone! :D I was very excited last year when I discovered that these bizarre flowers grow along the top of our ridge line, and this spring I hunted for them every time I went up there until I found them growing! Like the Yellow-Leaved Iris I posted a couple of days ago, this flower is a pain to photograph because it grows very low to the ground and is usually surrounded by vegetation. I'm not happy with the full size images at all but didn't have a chance to retake them so I'll have to wait for better pictures next year. However, I hope my other views will make up for the not-so-great full size shots! The California Groundcone is parasitic, getting its nutrients from the roots of its host tree, which, for this species, are either Madrones or Manzanitas. Because this plant is parasitic, it doesn't depend on chlorophyll in its leaves for energy, and therefore has almost none. They can grow up to 12" tall, though most I have seen are 6-7" tall. Groundcones grow in two areas in the world: from British Colombia to California (this species only grows in California and southern Oregon), and in northeastern Asia!!

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