Monday, June 12, 2006

Wildflowers Galore

We are far enough into June that the roadside wildflowers are everywhere. The most spectacular are the lupine. In the last week it seems like they have all decided to bloom. Purples are, of course, the most common color but there are also lots of shades of pink. I have even seen some that are of an ivory color.

A couple years ago one of our neighbors used to have beautiful yellow lupine. I really coveted the seeds off those plants along the road but did not want to take them without permission. Finally I got around to asking one summer. The next year there were no yellow flowers! A friend of mine who knows a lot more about flowers that I do suggested that the yellows were hybrids. After a couple of generations, the hybrid colors do not come through any longer.

Lupine may be the showest flower along the road, but they are not the only ones. Great patches of tiny yellow flowers herald the arrival of hawkweeds. A few orange hawkweed are sprinkled in. Buttercups are not far behind. The white flowers are shasta daisies. Nestled down along the ground are wild strawberry blossoms.

In the woods the bunchberries are in full bloom. Star flowers and false lily of the valley are two other white flowers that grow on the floor of the forest. The lady slippers are finished but it was nice to see some returning to their pre-blowdown locations. Columbine is doing very nicely. Labrador tea is another flower that is almost finished.

While driving the Trail today, I forgot to look in the iris pond at the junction of the Hungry Jack Road and the Gunflint Trail. Just a bit past the parking lot of Trail Center is a little pond. Every spring we see a beautiful display of wild iris in there. So if you are driving by in the next few days, be sure to look to see if they are in bloom.

This is just a short list of all the flowers in bloom. Mostly it's restricted to those that I can actually recognize or remember. There are a lot more flowers. Get yourself a color coded guide and spend some time looking around as you hike through the woods.

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