Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wet Meadow in Autumn

 I have to make a confession.  The photos you'll see in this blog were taken over a year ago.  That's right, I shot these when Lori and our friend Karin and I went for a walk on September 14, 2010.  I don't know why I never got around to posting them.  I may have been in the middle of something else, writing about our Ontario trip perhaps, but whatever the case enough time went by that I came to feel like they were no longer timely.  I have waited for the season to come around again so I could post them.

 I never tire of nature.  There are always, ALWAYS, new things to learn, places to discover.  Even people who have studied biology in school don't know everything.  I remember being out on one of the DNR's invasive plant removal workdays a few years ago.  Our team leader, being a botanist, was not very familiar with birds, and she asked me what kind of bird was making the raspy noise we could hear off in the woods.  I stopped and looked at her and said, "Uh, that's a tree frog."  So all of us have lots of room to learn from our explorations.

I had never heard of fringed gentian until we camped a few tears ago at Hog Island, up on the southern shore of Michigan's U.P., next to a wet meadow that was filled with the stuff.  I was blown away by this gorgeous little flower, even though we had to leave before the sun warmed the meadow enough to open them fully.  I was further unaware that we had it growing right here, practically in our back yard, until Karin found it while out for a walk.

 A lovely little plant with squarish buds, it opens up in a whorl, almost like an upside down umbrella.

 I crawled around in the mud for some time, studying and photographing it.

There were other plants in the meadow as well, such as boneset,

greater coreopsis,

and grass of Parnasis.

 But I kept getting drawn back to the gentian.

I must further confess that I have not returned to this place since last September.  I regret this, and the fact that I have gotten out very little at all this year.  Feeling a bit peckish, I am taking the RV out next week and going...somewhere.  North.  Not sure where yet, not sure I am feeling like going at all, but I know I need it.  I have to get out of The Compound (our home, so named because we rarely leave it) and stretch my legs.  I have not felt like writing, or hiking, or even reading the blogs that I follow.  I know that I need some space and some time to air out my brain and get excited about the world again.

So look for some new stuff beginning in October.

Happy Autumn!


  1. Hej Marie! I hope you'll get out in the world again and get some air! The story about the tree frog is funny.
    I'd like to tell you of the variations of your flowers here in DK if I may? Well, you cannot stop me!! The beautiful blue gentian is found in DK but in another variation ( named Ensian, in meadows) and it's very rare. I know the Boneset in a red variation, it's called Hjortetrøst (meaning Comfort for the Deer!) I have never seen the Coreopsis, and it's not growingd wild in DK, but we've got a name for it: Skønhedsøje ( meaning Beautiful Eye). The guys who chose the names are romantics I guess! Parnassis is rare in DK, it's found in calcereous soil, and it might be extinct because of the farming. We call it Liver Wort, because it was used for liver diseases in the old days.
    Are you tired of listening to me now? I'll stop. I hope you are alright and that you can get out in the good autumn weather.
    Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of the flowers. I understand why you love that blue gentian. It's a lovely flower.

  2. Thanks Grethe! I enjoy hearing about other places.