Ashamedly, I have to admit that it took me living here for over 10 months to get off my duff and go back out to the nearby wild area for a walk-about to look for native plants. Even then, my friend Anna had to initiate the outing. I can't believe I waited this long - and I'm kicking myself about all the interesting sights I have been missing.
On Monday morning, Anna and I sallied forth to the same road/trail that my family and I visited 18 months ago. I blogged about our finds in "We're Not in Kansas Any More!" as well as two subsequent posts about specific plants. Walking on Monday, I actually recognized the American holly tree that I talked about in that original post, but otherwise my attention was generally drawn to very different plants this time.
We were scouting for lupine, which Anna had seen along this sand road just a week or two earlier. Unfortunately, in the intervening time, some "maintenance" had been done on the trail by a bulldozer, carelessly and messily widening it, and we found no trace of the lupine. We did, however, discover some other treasures.
One of the first plants we noticed was Pinewoods Milkweed, Asclepias humistrata.
Another attractive plant that we noticed was this little white-flowered beauty with its beautifully shaped, dark green leaves.
Silphium is a genus that I became somewhat familiar with on the prairie, where one of its most famous members is Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum. As soon as I saw the leaves of this basal rosette, my mind yelled, "Silphium!", and I think that instinctive reaction is probably correct.
There were two flowers that we found that I haven't been able to identify yet. First was this pinky-purple little beauty.
Second was this yellow-green, almost abstract bloomer that I suspect is in the Euphorbiaceae family. We saw several; they seemed to run about 15-18" tall.
Another plant we noticed was this silvery, quiet-looking plant.
Reindeer moss, sparkleberry, blooming yaupon, black cherry, beach rosemary..... We saw a lot of other things that entranced us. I'll leave you with a photo of the sky through the pine trees - a slice of heaven.