Confessions of a Street Walker – part 31

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It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last five years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

My walking project affords me an interesting glimpse at the wildflowers of our area throughout the year. I confess that I have long had an interest in wildflowers and try to educate myself using one of my Audubon Field Guide or by asking Google. I can so easily appreciate God’s creation when it is so colourful and interesting. I am certainly not an expert but ask me sometime how well I shared my wildflower expertise with a group of Grade 5 students on a class trip. I don’t recall ever being asked to chaperone a class trip after that.

My walk this past Monday included a section of meandering down a short section of a local trail.  I typically stick to paved sidewalks and roads but sometimes a trail just calls. I decided to pay some attention to the flora. The Chippewa Rail Trail used to be a railroad line but is now a wonderful way to travel a good number of miles with a limited amount of road crossings. My android camera did a decent job most of the time but there were some focusing issues and it is hard to clearly see just what you are taking a picture of, especially when it’s sunny. I confess that I was surprised that when it did get a good focus, how really quite clear it was, especially close up

20200817_111631A first-year Common Mullein. I love the velvety leaves. These plants have Latin names and more common names and then some of them also have nicknames. This one is also called ‘Cowboy Toilet Paper’ which I am pretty sure is not it’s Latin name.

20200817_111553 mothmullenA second-year Common Mullein. They do not get the tall spikes until their second year.

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20200817_105229_HDROntario has lots and lots of Queen Anne’s Lace – some of them have the tiny purple flower in their center.

20200817_112002The not-yet bloomed Queen Anne’s Lace.

20200817_112204_HDRHere is a Queen Annes Lace that looks more like Cow Parsnip but the leaves are a giveaway that it’s not.

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20200817_111121A first or maybe second-year Milkweed. The distinctive pink flowers do not appear until the third year.

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20200817_105352This looks like Burdock but I call it ‘Sticks-To-Your-Clothes-If-You-Come-Any-Closer’.

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20200817_105305_HDR (1)Daisy Fleabane – now that sounds like the name of a dame in a detective story from the 1940s.

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20200817_105934_HDRStaghorn Sumac – again texturally soft and velvety

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20200817_105147I think this is bright, yellow wildflower is Hawkweed.

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20200817_110543Spotted Knapweed

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20200817_111508Vipers Bugloss

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20200817_110709This looks like Goldenrod. Very lucky to catch a bee busy at work.

I also saw Birdsfoot Trefoil, Cattails, White Sweet Clover, Ragweed, Butter and Eggs, Crown Vetch, and Chicory. I will confess that I saw other flowers but I have no clue as to what their names are.

The time of year makes such a difference in variety. Flowers you can find in the spring are long gone by the time fall rolls around. I saw asters just starting but they typically arrive in the fall which tells me that summer days are waning and fall is approaching. I will enjoy this weather while I can. I hope you can too.