When you watch a garden, day by day, it can seem like little changes in it, but if you go away for a week or two, when you come back, it's obvious how big the changes are.
The same phenomenon occurs when you walk a wild area regularly. Greg and I went for a walk on Eglin AFB this morning, following the same trail that Anna and I took almost 2 weeks ago. We had both dogs with us and only limited time available, so Greg and I didn't walk as far as Anna and I had, but we still got to see quite a few of the same plants, as well as a couple new bloomers.
Some plants are harder than others to identify, even when they are in full bloom. This little cutie caught my eye 2 weeks ago and it was even prettier today, but I still have no idea what it is. It's about 6-8" tall, found in a sandhill/mixed pine and oak forest along a roughly maintained road.
Not too far down the trail from my mysterious, little, pink charmer, we came across this healthy looking Gopherweed, Baptisia lanceolata.
Next on our wildflower discovery tour was a repeat specimen from my last visit, a pinewoods milkweed, Asclepias humistrata. This individual was one of the only pinewoods milkweeds with fully open blooms 2 weeks ago - now it is developing a couple seed pods, but the blooms appear to be almost done.
Beyond the milkweed was a small, but extremely attractive, bloomer who was almost hidden behind a small, fallen branch and some other foliage.
Providing a sudden change from the spring-like colors of pink, white and yellow that I'd been seeing so far along the trail, the bright scarlet blooms of Red Basil (Calamintha coccinea) actually surprised me.
With our truncated walk, we didn't see much wildlife: tracks of deer, boar, and raccoon, a male towhee, and the lacy spider web....