Posts Tagged ‘McDowell Forest Preserve’

Although this might not be what you think of when you think of flowers, thistles are flowering plants.  Providing nectar for some insects and butterflies, they also furnish food for one of my favorite birds, the goldfinch. I love the purple topknot that looks like a funky little hat.

© janet m. webb

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I have no idea what this is (input invited), but I love the delicate little waxy flowers and the graceful curves of the stem.  And doesn’t this quote from Shakespeare make you want to lie down on the bank he describes?

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine. 
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream 

© janet m. webb

A flower blossoms for its own joy. 
~Oscar Wilde

During the walk where I found all the flowers featured in my recent blog posts, I also found one plant with beautiful red flowers. I’ve never seen one before and there was only this one (and maybe one other in another spot), so I was curious whether it was rare.

Not only is it rare, it’s royal. The US Wildflower site says:

Silene regia – Royal Catchfly. Royal Catchfly – Silene regia is a plant of rocky prairies, glades, and open woods with attractive scarlet red flowers. It appears similar to Fire Pink – Silene virginica – but Silene regia has a much smaller distribution – 12 states, and in 6 of those states it is protected due to its rarity, having Rare, Endangered, or Threatened status. It is possible that it has no longer survived in Knox County, the only county in Tennessee where it was found.

There’s no mention as to whether it really catches flies, but it certainly caught my eye.

© janet m. webb

There aren’t just flowers in the park, there are also the natives.  On the morning of all the flowers, there was a plethora of rabbits as well.  This one was eating, but you can bet his/her little eye is well-fixed on me.  🙂

© janet m. webb

Sometimes flowers stick to their own kind and sometimes they party hearty with their neighbors.  This is an example of the latter, combining a number of the flowers I’ve been featuring into a photo that can’t even begin to convey the beauty of what I saw.

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

Nancy, you’ve put up a challenge I can’t resist today: “Birds.”  Since you’ve posted a hummingbird shot, I won’t.  Instead, I’ll share a photo of a belted kingfisher that I took several years ago.  On my way back from watching some fishing birds, egrets and herons, I happened to look up.  There at the end of a bare branch surrounded by green was a bird.  I had my telephoto and snapped the picture with no idea what bird it was.  For some reason, I had an idea that a kingfisher was much larger, but this little guy looks as if he has enough attitude for any bird of any size.

© janet m. webb