Friday, May 25, 2007
Wildflowers of May
Yesterday I wandered into the bush to see what is growing out in the wild. The only bloom I could find was the tiny Early Blue Violet (Viola adunca). I identified it using my handy reference: Saskatchewan Wayside Wildflowers by Linda Kershaw. The book also points out that the blossoms of this flower have a wonderful fragrance, but that your sense of smell is quickly dulled by a chemical in the scent called ionine. After a few moments, the wonderful scent disappears, only to reappear and then disappear again. How crafty! These flowers are found from Labrador to Alaska and south through the western U.S. I first saw them on a rock bank at the edge of Lac La Ronge, while I was out canoeing. My canoe adventures usually consist of slowly paddling around the margins of the lake looking for wild orchids, harebells, and corydalis. Other canoe club members apparently value speed...those people probably scare the birds...
Speaking of orchids, this is one of the Cypripediums I spotted out in the bush behind our yard. It will bloom in June, when I'll have to hazard the thick mosquitoes that inhabit the bog to get a picture (I think they even tried to steal my camera last summer).