|Driveway, looking east at sunset.|
The Creek Field is on the left and
the Creek Buffer is on the right.
In June 2015, the Creek Field was a good place to watch the sunset in reverse.
|Creek Field, looking southeast,|
with waves of white flowers in the foreground.
|Hedge Parsley (Torilis arvensis) starting to bloom.|
Annual. Weedy volunteer.
Hedge Parsley, that aggressive, non-native annual, appeared to cover every inch of the Creek Field. It was a sea of green until it started to bloom--and then it was a sea of white.
Swelling the waves were other white-flowered species: Daisy Fleabane, Elderberry, Yarrow, and Foxglove Penstemon.
|Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)|
|Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)|
in the Creek Buffer
Perennial Shrub, Volunteer
Perennial, in our Seed Mix
Once again, the annual Hedge Parsley only seemed to dominate, as other species joined in. In addition to the white flowers, splashes of color appeared in the sea of white.
For example, as this photo shows, the pink-lavender flowers of Bee Balm contrasted delicately with the white Fleabane in the foreground and the billowing Hedge Parsley flowers in the background.
|Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)|
Native perennial, in our Seed Mix,
with Daisy Fleabane in the foreground
and frothy waves of Hedge Parsley
flowers in the background.
in our Seed Mix
One of the beautiful things about the early stages of a restoration is that annuals get to show their power!
Clasping Coneflower, an easily germinating annual, covered the Loop Path.
The leaf is the "clasping" part.
|Dracopsis amplexicaulis leaf|
|Dracopsis amplexicaulis inflorescence.|
The fringe of lovely dark marks on the yellow
ray flowers do not appear on every blossom.
Native annual. In our seed mix.
perennial. In our Seed Mix.
|Rudbeckia hirta inflorescence about to open.|
"Hirta" means "hairy!"
A prairie coneflower.
In our Seed Mix.
I have often thought that the "cones" of coneflowers provide nice landing places for pollinators on windy days!
|Eastern Gama Grass|
In our Seed Mix.
Eastern Gamagrass also bloomed in June. Cattle like it so much it is grazed out of most pastures. I like it so much I once wanted an entire field of nothing but Eastern Gama Grass.
However, I am happier to have it as part of a native polyculture.
Its flowers are gorgeous!
June was also the beginning for me of Sunflower Studies--a very tough course. I spent a lot of time turning flowers upside down and pondering the bracts (modified leaves that sub-tend a flower cluster). I learned that moisture-loving Sawtooth Sunflower had long stringy bracts, while edge-hugging False Sunflower had squat, pudgy bracts.
|Sawtooth Sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus) has stringy bracts. It seems always to have a wind-blown look as well. Native perennial. In our Seed Mix.|
|False Sunflower. Two things to look|
for are the squat bracts that form a scalloped
cup and the inflorescence sitting atop a
long naked stem.
|A katydid lands on the|
disk florets of False
In our Seed Mix.
Other sunflowers came on the syllabus later in the summer!
I don't know if I passed the course. I do know I'll be taking it again!
|Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca )|
Native perennial. Volunteer
The leaves of the Common Milkweed have stems, while those of Sullivant Milkweed are mostly stemless.
Milkweeds are wonderful!
There was trouble in paradise, however. Some Musk Thistles bloomed and set seed before we could remove them, and Crown Vetch continued to invade the Creek Buffer. It also hop-scotched into the Creek Field. We pushed both species back, but we know that was just one skirmish in a long war.
|Musk Thistle blooming.|
Carduus nutans is on the Kansas list of Noxious Weeds.
Non-native biennial. Sneaky volunteer!
|Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia).|
Some butterflies don't mind!
In our seed mix.
Still, the beauty kept coming.
The amazingly lovely Gaillardia continued to bloom throughout June.
In the green sea with the white foam, the yellow-orange-brown Gaillardia joined many other multi-colored flowers bobbing on the waves!