Posts Tagged ‘wild flowers’

Revisiting Favorite Places

June 10, 2013
A field of Lupine near Plainfield, Wisconsin.

A field of Lupine near Plainfield, Wisconsin.

I photograph what I know best, the landscape about me. Based on my knowledge of the area, the time of year and my best estimate of light conditions, I typically plan to visit a half dozen places during a morning’s photographic venture. I have visited many of these places multiple times before, you could call them my favorite places. I often take a new route to a favorite place and at times am reward by finding an additional favorite place.  Such is the case with today’s image.

The location is near Plainfield, Wisconsin not far from a Wisconsin State Natural Area containing a federally endangered plant. Visiting this SNA over the years, I began to notice this field of lupine becoming more impressive over time. Lupine is an important flowering plant in these parts as the Karner Blue Butterfly (a federally listed endangered species) is totally dependent on lupine for it’s life cycle.  Central Wisconsin hosts a health population of Karner Blue’s.

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Marsh Marigolds Announce Spring’s Arrival

April 17, 2013
Marsh marigold along a small stream in Whting, Wisconsin

Marsh marigolds along a small stream in Whiting, Wisconsin

Based on the calendar, one would think spring starts in March.  Here in Wisconsin we typically see snow well into April. In fact we just were treated to an April snowstorm.  It’s actually Mother Nature who announces the arrival of spring.  We have been seeing her early announcements lately; the arrival of sandhill cranes, snow geese and the ever beautiful marsh marigold.

Also called “cowslips”, marsh marigolds are found in wet meadows, marshes, swamps and along sluggish streams. They grow abundantly in the wetlands around Stevens Point. The marigold’s bright yellow blossoms always brighten my day.

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

It’s common name “marigold” comes from the word marsh gold, an appropriate name for its appearance and typical habitat. Cowslips is said to be what happens when cows step on them on the way to take a sip in a nearby stream. Despite the plant’s common names, it is neither a marigold nor a cowslip, but rather a true member of the buttercup family.

Marsh marigolds only bloom for a few weeks. If you are in Stevens Point, take a drive on the rural roads heading north.  You will be likely to find marsh marigolds in the ditches and wetlands along the road.

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Late Summer Blooms on the Buena Vista Grasslands

November 9, 2012

Late summer blooms in the Buena Vista Grasslands, Portage County, Wisconsin

The grasslands south of Plover are managed as Prairie Chicken habitat. The year before the Department of Natural Resources mowed this acreage. Active management may seem out of place for maintaining wildlife habitat, but without it, woody plant growth would soon take over. Prairie Chickens are more partial to grasslands than woody acreage.  Mowing the previous year resulted in a proliferation of wildflowers this year.  Some may consider the growth to be primarily weeds, but the colors are impressive none-the-less.

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Spring Ephemerals at Powers Bluff Wisconsin

May 17, 2012

Image

Spring ephemerals are wildflowers that grow and bloom early in the spring, before trees leaf out and block the sun.  They quickly vanish (hence the term ephemeral) within the undergrowth of the forest floor. This image was captured several days ago at Powers Bluff, a Wood County Park.

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