Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Something worth keeping

 One of the things that I missed most when living in Colorado, was the profusion of wildflowers that grow along the roadsides and woodlands here in New Jersey. Anywhere there is a bit of dirt, you will find something growing. These odd looking flowers in the picture were growing out front of the house where we live, but I have also spotted them when driving. It has been a source of delight for me to observe the various comings and goings of wildflowers as they bloom in a carpet of yellow, white, or purple, only to be supplanted a few weeks later by a different variety. An area that seemed entirely covered in buttercups later becomes a field of daisies. More plants inhabit the same square foot of ground then I would have believed possible.
Before I moved west, I used to pick poesies to decorate my bedside table on a near daily basis. Yet I never noticed the amazing variety of blooms until this spring.
One of my greatest delights has been the pure unique fragrances of each; the sweetness of the honeysuckle or the heady richness of peonies.
I am not sure what the name of these pictured purplish pocket blooms is and to be honest I am afraid to find out.  What if they don't belong here?

There are so many invasive species taking hold and once I realize their presence, I see them everywhere about me and feel compelled to pull them out, wherever they may be growing. On a recent trip to a state park I noticed the forest floor being covered in mustard garlic plant. This invasive species has found a niche in our North American forest floors where it has been immensely successful. Instead of enjoying our picnic I felt the need to start weeding. There was no stopping point however, as the weed was coming up everywhere. When my husband gently reminded me that it was Father's Day, I felt guilty walking away from the gargantuan task.
The unbalance humans have bought to the environment is staggering, but the variety and beauty of wildflowers is a soothing balm as well as a reminder that biodiversity is something worth working for.

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