The flower showing off in abundance this week is the fireweed. A common late summer flower in Minnesota, it is flaming in the ditches everywhere (well, almost). From a distances the flower groups do look like pink/purple flames blowing in the breeze. Up close, they are delicate looking flowers that are a popular hangout for many honey bees, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects. (click images for full-sized version). It grows best in areas that have been recently cleared or burned and it seems to thrive near areas of moisture found in the ditches along wooded roads.
Fireweed is the only type of fire Smokey Bear is okay with. In honor of Smokey’s 70th birthday this weekend (August 9th)… Remember.
Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!
This is a wild flower called vetch .. there are a number of different varieties that grow in Minnesota. I hear it is from the pea family and I am sure it has a more scientific species name, but I simply call it “the purple one”. It is easy to find a yellow/white variety and a pink one in the area, also. However, “the purple one” is growing like crazy this year. It is everywhere, it’s colors seem extra bright, and they seem to be larger as there are more individual flower pods making up each grouping (maybe the brightness of color is due to the fact that we are still under cloudy gray skies most of the time).
Like the lady slippers, these flowers obviously like our wet conditions as they are flourishing, too. (click to see full-sized images)
** NOTE: I found a “NEW” Wildflower yesterday … Well, new to me! It is the Wood Lily! If you would like to see my pictures of the bright orange Wood Lily, visit my home blog BEAR IN MIND and then take on my “NEW” Challenge!
“None can have a healthy love for flowers unless he loves the wild ones.” ~ Forbes Watson
It finally stopped raining and dried up enough so that I could cut the grass around my house (it had grown about a foot high during all of the rainy days). I appreciate the shorter grass as it keeps the bugs back a bit and flowers that were hidden shine brightly. The robins appreciate it, too as they are back to hopping around the yard.
The Wild Flowers of Minnesota are blooming everywhere. The fields are full of them and some of these I found in my yard yesterday. (some of them are considered “weeds”, but they are wild flowers to me). All are extremely common and bloom in abundance making them very easy to find.
“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Rain, mosquitoes, more rain, more mosquitoes … My Latest Post at Bear In Mind: “Trapped, Send Help”
“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” ~ Jim Carrey
The Fall flowers are at their peak this week. There are huge clumps of asters (mostly purple and white) sprinkled with goldenrod just about everywhere you look. If you take a closer look, they will appear to be moving and a loud buzzing noise will accompany the sight … they are covered in bees. It is a gorgeous sight along the roads and fields … though a bit hazardous if you are allergic to bees or pollen (the air is sweet smelling, too).
The wild sunflowers are also blooming like crazy. There are several varieties of these in the State of Minnesota that are quite similar so I am not sure which one this is. They are only 2-3 inches in size and some are 4-5 feet tall.
If you need a “bear” fix …I wrote a bear post at my home blog “Bear In Mind” with the latest bear news.
The fireweed is blooming…. from a distance it is a bright, beautiful brush of color along the edges of the forest, roads, lakes and rivers. I find them very pretty. Sometimes I wish I knew who had the privilege of naming things so that I could register my complaints.
Fireweed is a “flower” not a “weed” and it is definitely not the color of fire (it is a pink/lilac color) … so, where is there any logic in its name? I had to find out more about fireweed ….
My research …(wikipedia – the quick source)
- It is named fireweed because it is one of the first plants to grow after a forest fire.
- It is considered an herb and is eatable although bitter if not harvested at the right time and prepared properly.
- In the past, it has been used as a topical treatment for pus-filled wounds.
- Young shoots were often used in salads and the leaves in making teas.
- Currently, in Alaska it is used to make candies, syrups, jellies and even ice cream. The honey made by mostly fireweed nectar has a unique spiced flavor.
Here are a few more Spring sights found in the northern Minnesota woods this week … after the sun finally broke through our wee of gray rainy skies: