Wildflowers: June 08, 2010

We were lucky enough the other day, to find a Bluebead Lily or Clintonia borealis in bloom, a native plant that blooms in June. I rooted around in my archives,  last summer I had photographed the blue berries that are formed. The berries are poisonus.


Indian Paintbrush or Castilleja coccinea is another native plant that we enjoy catching in bloom. There seems to be more areas of this plant blooming this year..last year we had to go twenty miles north to find any at all. People that live in the western part of the US of A are blessed with many different varieties of paintbrush. We are happy to have two varieties. There is supposed to be a yellow flowered paintbrush in Minnesota..I have not seen that one yet.

How about sowing some Wild Oats or Uvularia sessilifolia another native wildflower. This one was single stemmed with only one flower. An elegant little flower easily missed on the forest floor.

Large Flowered Bellwort or Uvularia grandiflora, a native wildflower, only two species of this plant are found in Minnesota. The flower looks a bit droopy naturally.

The Wild Geranium or Geranium maculatum is a native plant, it has just begun blooming in our area. Most references say it just blooms in the spring. I am almost positive it blooms throughout the summer, so that is one plant I will have to keep an eye on all summer.

As most of you know, I love the Conservationist writings of Aldo Leopold..today I will share with you his thoughts on Land Ethic..it was true in the 1940’s when he wrote it, and it is just as true today as I share it with you.

Aldo Leopold and Land Ethic

 "The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.

This sounds simple: do we not already sing our love for and obligation to the land of the free and the home of the brave? Yes, but just what and whom do we love? Certainly not the soil, which we are sending helter-skelter downriver. Certainly not the waters, which we assume have no function except to turn turbines, float barges, and carry off sewage. Certainly not the plants, of which we exterminate whole communities without batting an eye. Certainly not the animals, of which we have already extirpated many of the largest and most beautiful species. A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these ‘resources,’ but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state."

Yeah, I know, I am in love with this guy from long ago, he died before I was born…I wonder what he was like in person. Did his friends and relatives think he was off the wall, weird, quirky?? Whatever..he words inspire me to look around and pause..and perhaps you will pause sometime today to appreciate something in nature before it escapes us all. And No, I do not intend to have you read Leopold’s entire book..but if I keep quoting from it and you keep reading my blog you may want to read it yourself. I am always on the lookout for paperback copies of A Sand County Almanac…to share with others:)

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