WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Dec 23rd, 2010

nothing new but a map

Dec 23

I continue to play in the cloud. While this blog has a limited number of posts it still provides me with an abundance of materials to fool around with. Right now Google Maps is favorite ‘tool’ and I’ve started a Roadside Wildflower Map. I’ll be changing that to just a wildflower map that also includes wildflowers off the paved path.

I’ll have to make another ‘marker’ to personalize my map but I’m sure I’ll have another Looney volunteer to point the way. The whole process is a work in progress but Google Maps makes it easy to update while continuing to ‘publish’ the map as I go along my merry way. For example the Title will change shortly after I finish this post and Google Maps will take care of the geek details for me and republish the whole nine yards as I save my updates. There will be no returning to places I’ve embedded the map and updating the code used to do so.

Want to see the map in progress – it’s now on the sidebar for anyone to use. I think what I really like about it is that I figured out a way to link back to the original blog post and the photos of the specific wildflower. It’s not just a map – it’s another way to organize my wildflower collection.

Ah what the heck. As long as I’m here I might as well add my canoe and hiking map to the sidebar too. There’s not much too it yet. It’s really going to be next years summer project as I play on the rivers and hiking trails

Meanwhile I have to remember when creating a slideshow to save the photos in a new gallery that will not be updated. Seems like they break when I update the original photo gallery in Picasa. I’m not sure what the problem is but I did notice that the slideshow broke again on the post from a couple days ago. Oh well, live and learn.

Sorry – I still have nothing new to post unless I get out of my easy chair and go to the desktop and dig out another photo to use. I’m not ready to get up yet so I’ll just dig into the old posts and post once again one of my favorite images from my glorified bird bath / pond.

Is that food I see on your face?

Posted by WiseAcre on Jun 20th, 2009

Ragged Robin

Jun 20

This European introduction has become naturalized in the northeastern US and prefers moist fields and meadows. The bright pink – purple (sometimes white) flowers are easily spotted while driving around the St. Lawrence River valley and these caught my eye on the Potsdam – Morley Road.

Lychnis flos-cuculi

Ragged Robin Flowers

Ragged Robins get their name from the flower’s appearance. Each of the 5 petals are deeply cut into 4 parts giving the flower a ragged look. The plant is not much more than a slim stem – 1 to 3 foot high with opposite, lance shaped leaves that grow smaller as they go up the stem.

Ragged Robin flower

Ragged Robins are a member of the Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae). The species name – flos-cuculi – means cuckoo flower.

I spotted more than the Ragged Robins on the Potsdam – Morley Road.

Fox Kit

This is what a Fox Kit looks like when fully assembled.

OK, that was groan worthy.

Garter Snake

I still can’t imagine how Garter Snakes got their name.
How many women do you know that use them to hold up their stockings?

Posted by WiseAcre on May 31st, 2009

Dame’s Rocket

May 31

This wildflower looks like Phlox but it’s easy to tell them apart. Start pulling Dame’s Rocket flower petals with ‘She Loves Me’ and you’ll find ‘She Loves Me Not’ when you get to the last one. Your garden phlox will always love you because it’s odd. Dame’s Rocket has 4 flower petals compared to the 5 of Phlox.

Hesperis matronalis

Dame's Rocket
click image for a larger size (1024 x 768) suitable to use as descktop wallpaper

Dame’s Rocket is an invasive alien wildflower that has escaped from garden settings. No spaceships where involved in their dispersal, it is native to Europe and was brought over to the new world to be used as an ornamental plant. Their aggressive nature is actually a family trait. When it goes to seed Dane’s Rocket gives away it’s family identity. The long seed pods mark it as a member of the mustard family. It is a prolific self seeder and can quickly form dense stands that crowd out native plants.

Dame's Rocket along road

Flower colors range from deep purple, lavender, pink and white. Dame’s Rocket is a fairly common sight along roadsides in St. Lawrence County, NY. These were spotted along the Black Lake Road in the Town of Morristown.

Purple Dame's Rocket

I caution anyone who wants to stop along Black Lake to get a close look, take photos or collect seed to watch where they go. Poison Ivy hides in the unmowed areas along the road.

Dame's Rocket leaves

At one time Dame’s Rocket seeds were included in ‘wildflower’ mixes. Since Dames Rocket is considered a noxious weed by many states I certainly hope they’re no longer added to the mix.

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