Thursday, November 17, 2011

Canada Goldenrod with Purplish Copper Butterfly

In late September, we saw Purplish Copper butterflies feeding on Canada Goldenrod at the Last Mountain Lake Wildlife area. There were many butterflies that day — on the goldenrod, the Many-Flowered Asters, and the thistles.

Memories of summer... 

This warm gold and copper image, the prairie wildflower and the butterfly, reminds me of summer... A good memory, on a mid-November night with icy streets and thick blowing snow.

Prairie Wildflower:  Canada Goldenrod with Purplish Copper Butterfly 
Location: Last Mountain Lake Wildlife Area,Saskatchewan. 
Photo dates: September 17, 2011. 


Monday, November 14, 2011

Purple Blue Flowers: Prairie Asters

These blue-purple prairie wildflowers were blooming in late August in a park north of Regina. The plant has a reddish stem, with narrow pointed leaves, and those I saw grew to about 18 inches high.

I'm not sure which kind these are; for me, all composites of every colour, are tricky to identify. Perhaps these are Smooth Asters, which are common  in moist prairie areas.  

Picture showing the whole plant,
stems, leaves and flowers. 

Close-up of flowers. 

Prairie Wildflower:  Asters   
WhereCondie Nature Refuge, Regina, Saskatchewan. 
Photo Date:  Both taken August 27, 2011.  


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Skeletonweed: Lygodesmia juncea

Tiny skeletonweed flowers were just starting to bloom when we were in Grasslands National Park last summer. These prairie wildflowers are so small, they appear almost magical, floating on slim green stems above sand and stones. They have leaves, yes, but all but the lower leaves are very tiny.

In Wildflowers Across the PrairiesVance and Jowsey describe this plant as a "jungle of bare, rigid, tough stems, topped by a few flower heads."

The colours I saw were pale lavender and pink. Apparently the main flowering time is August.

Close-up of Skeletonweed flower 
Skeletonweed plant tangled with other wildflowers

Prairie Wildflower: Skeletonweed (Lygodesmia juncea) 
Where: Grasslands National ParkSaskatchewan. 
Photo Date:  Close-up: July 27, 2011; plant, July 29, 2011. 


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dried field flowers

I don't know the name of these dried prairie wildflowers — are they one of the small asters, perhaps the many-flowered aster pictured earlier? —  but their golden beauty stopped me.

Dried fall field flowers. Where those of us with allergies like them to remain. In the field.

Dried wildflowers

Prairie Wildflower: A kind of aster? Many-flowered, perhaps? 
Location:  Condie Nature Refuge, Saskatchewan. 
Photo Date:  October 10, 2011. 


Friday, November 11, 2011

Eriogonum flavum: Mystery flower found

Eriogonum flavum, or Yellow Umbrellaplant — that's the name of my mystery prairie wildflower..

These small flowers peeked out from grasses and rocks in Grasslands National Park in late July, but were nowhere to be seen in any of my growing collection of flower books, so I am grateful to have the name.

Here are two more of my images from July, 2011:

A close-up of my now-identified mystery flower

Eriogonum flavum, yellow umbrellaplant, 
showing growth pattern on dry sandy soil

Prairie Wildflower:  Eriogonum flavum, or Yellow Umbrellaplant  
Location:  Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada, and buttes near Val Marie, Saskatchewan.  
Photo Date:  July 27, 2011. 

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