A journey into the eyes and mind of a naturalist.

Survivors

A Year in my Yard has been successful and challenging thus far.  I have been challenged to be aware of the changes of each plant and to keep a keen eye for flowers that may not be as large or colorful as I would expect.  This first flower I spotted while mowing the lawn.  I mowed around it and came back to identify and photograph the tiny flower that almost met my mower blade.

 

Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia

May 15:  Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia

 

This is amongst the most diminuative and modest flowers I have found this year.  Dispite their small size and unassuming color the flowers are quite attractive.  Each bloom is about 3mm wide and can easily dissappear in the lawn.

 

This next flower is still small but a bit more showy.

 

Anemone

May 16:  Anenome

This is a true wildflower native to my yard.  Off the manicured lawn I have a small parcel of oaks and aspens.  There are several oaks that are easily 150+ years old.  This tells me that this land has not been plowed and the soil has been relativlely undisturbed since European settlement. This small flower is the decendent of the same flowers that bloomed when the oaks were saplings, when native Americans inhabited the area and followed the oaks north, chasing the retreating glaciers.  Today these wildflowers struggle to keep up in the ever changing ecosystem with human disturbance and invasive species.  This individual has held on.

 

May 19: Dwarf Crested Iris

Another small but showy flower on my property has a unique method of propagation.  It grows in a slowly increasing ring year after year.  This particular ring is about 4 feet in diameter bloom sychronously creating a purple flare in my front yard.

 

Ohio Buckeye

May 19:  Ohio Buckeye

The Ohio Buckeye is not a native tree to Minnesota but it has adapted to the climate.  I have several buckeys around my property most likely all related to largest and oldest tree in my front yard.  Trees have a problem with reproducing.  If thier offspring grow too close to the them they may be inadvertently shaded and killed.  To overcome this setback many trees produce fruits, nuts or other modes of transporting thier seeds away from the parent.  In the case of the buckey it produces large nuts that serve as a food source for animals of all kinds.  Inevitably a squirrel will bury a nut and forget about it.  Those forgotten stashed become new trees and the population spreads.

 

Wild Geranium

May 19: Wild Geranium

Survival doesn’t always involve playing by the convential rules.  As the name suggests the wild geranium is a relative to the domesticated geraniums we see in a greenhouses and flower gardens.  Despite the differences between the wild and domestic flowers they share many characteristics physical and genetic.  In a way the wild gerenium has survived by being domesticated.  It’s genetic legacy lives on through gardens and greenhouses.

 

Columbine

May 19:  Columbine

The columbine is a delicate flower that is one of my favorites.  I have found it very difficult to photograph due to its unique shape and structure.  I found an angle that worked with this picture and I think it captures the flower’s personality well.

 

Mustard Family

May 19:  Mustard Family?

Here is a flower that I’m not exactly sure of.  I think it is a member of the mustard family but I’m not entirely sure.  This flower could have come from a wayward seed from my bird feeder or my vegetable garden.  Wherever it came it from it eeked out a niche in one of my gardens.  I let it go through its lifecycle to reproduce more seeds to explore the reaches of my yard.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 responses

  1. Hi Jim … sure looks like a sunny mustard plant (four petals are typical of the family). Your purple geranium looks similar to Bicknell’s geranium (Geranium bicknelli), a wild woodland plant where I live.

    June 26, 2016 at 08:21

    • Thanks for the input! I’ve been challenged to identify all the different flowers and there are some that are just plain difficult to figure out.

      June 26, 2016 at 08:51

      • Ain’t that the truth!

        June 26, 2016 at 09:02

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