Gratitude

snowmanC

December 1, 2019

Snow has fallen and fallen again. Winter has arrived, and we’re thinking about what we’re grateful for in the past year.  Some of what we appreciate:

Searching for native wildflowers and sometimes even finding them

People who help protect native wildflowers and the places they grow

People who share their knowledge with us (you might not even know who you are, but thank you)

Being able to share our (non-botanist) knowledge with others

Talking about our wildflower adventures on Minnesota Public Radio

Seeing narrow-leaved milkweed for the first time

Discovering dragon’s mouth orchids all around the edge of Long Lake

Finding yellow gentianin a city park close to home

Being surprised by white turtlehead

Delighting in lots and lots and lots of whorled milkweed

Driving Wisconsin rustic roads and finding robin’s plantain

Scaling a goat prairie and finding cylindrical blazing star

Almost seeing ball cactus in bloom

Taking a class in Churchill (okay, that was last year, but we’re still grateful)

The chance to do it all again next year, as soon as the flowers start blooming!

Join us!
Annual Holiday Art Show!
December 6, 4-7 p.m.
December 7, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Meet Kelly and Phyllis in Kelly’s studio for her Annual Holiday Art Show! Books and photographs available. All are welcome!

 

 

Summer Unwinding

Author: Phyllis Root
Photographer: Kelly Povo

We are closing in on the end of September, close to the end of wildflower searching season, but the prairie is far from done.  On a glorious afternoon we headed down to Hyland Lake Park Reserve to see what was still in bloom from a visit a few weeks ago and found a brilliance of asters–pink, purple, white, blue all abuzz with bees. Goldenrod, too, some plumes with a dozen or more pollinators on them:  bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies.

Along the path through the prairie Indian grass and big bluestem waved golden in the prairie breeze, a cloud of dragonflies rose up in front of us, and down in the grasses we discovered both  bottle gentians and also yellow gentians, almost done blooming. Although we didn’t see any bumblebees fighting their way into these gentians, the bees are these flowers’  primary pollinators:  no other bees are big enough to pry their way in and out of the closed blossoms.

The flowers we’d seen blooming a few weeks before—monarda, coneflower, spotted Joe-pye weed, prairie onion, butterfly-weed, great blue lobelia, round-headed bush clover– were mostly gone to seed. Fall is ahead, and winter follows, but there are still plenty of days worth of wildflower watching to do.  The bees and butterflies appreciate the late-season blooms.

And so do we.

 

Under Umbrellas

September 1, 2019

Author: Phyllis Root
Photographer: Kelly Povo

We couldn’t stand not to do more wildflower searching on this long holiday weekend, and a chance encounter with an I–naturalist posting led us to Hyland Lake Park Reserve in search of yellow gentian.  We hoped to beat the rain that threatened, but we and the rain arrived at the park at the same time.  Undeterred and under umbrellas, we hunted for the gentian and found it exactly where I-naturalist had marked it.

The rain came down harder, but Kelly had rain gear in her car, including rubber boots and an extra coat for me (who had forgotten everything in my excitement to go find another new-to-us flower), and we followed a trail into the restored prairie area where we saw aster, monarda, goldenrod,  spotted Joe-pye weed, black-eyed Susan, big bluestem, blazing star (one sheltering a monarch waiting out the rain), prairie onion, butterfly-weed, and round-headed bush clover. Making our way back through the tall grass (my pants soaked to my knees and beyond), we came across another yellow gentian, then another, and another and another—maybe fifty different plants in all.  Among plants around the nature center we saw ironweed, obedient plant, and turtlehead, and under a thistle blossom a cluster of three bumblebees waited for drier weather.

Soaked but beaming, we headed toward home in search of dry clothes and coffee just as the rain stopped.