Saturday, June 28, 2014

But Who Tends the Wildflowers?

So if you read my post yesterday, you already know that flowers are on my mind. It's very early summer here in southern Wisconsin, and I realized that I had not been down any of my favorite trails since spring arrived. Shame on me. I got up early, grabbed my new lens and drove across town to Viking Park.

Wouldn't you know it. I was all pumped up about my flowerbed and then I find a whole forest full of perfect little jewels. 

Nobody mulches these flowers. Nobody pulls the weeds that steal their water and block their sun. It hardly seems fair that I spent hours covered in mud.
Oh well. I decided to enjoy the show. Then I stumbled upon this new flower (at least new to me). The flower spike was about four feet tall (1.1 meters). At first, it just looked like most other wildflowers, but the striking color combination drew me closer.
Strangely the yellow "petal" is a single piece so that tells me it is not a petal, rather a bract. It would seem the fuzzy purple center is the true flower.
I would like to know what kind of plant this is. Notice how prominent the purple flower is, and how about the stubbly little stalks on the flower spike. 

Even the bud is dotted with the strange little white pearls. This is not dew, but I don't know what it is. 

I like the odd, love the unique, and find inspiration in nature. This is just the kind of thing that eventually ends up in my novels. So here I am documenting the day, and this interesting wildflower. 

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