Spring Floral Collection

Header Image: Field of Purple Passionflowers

We spent a couple of hours the other day ambling through one of our our favorite venues, Colt Creek State Park. Twenty minutes from the house, it is an easy decision to go often. Located on the edge of the vast Green Swamp, the habitat of pine and mixed hardwood forest, a couple of lakes, a couple of creeks, a bit of wetland, some open grassy areas – I mean, if you’re a wild thing, what’s not to like?

As we enjoyed seeing a few lingering bird migrants as well as plenty of resident birds, my very own wild thing piped up to mention how colorful the joint was since our last visit (only a week prior). Indeed, there were patches of color as well as individual blooms standing up to be noticed. As we ventured off a path, our eyes began to adjust to very small bits of color as well. Flowers were hiding, literally, underneath the blooms of larger flowers.

Breakfast in a grove of tall Longleaf Pine Trees was accompanied by Eastern Bluebirds flitting in the canopies, a Downy Woodpecker tap-tap-tapping, a Red-shouldered Hawk screeching as it circled overhead and butterflies and dragonflies hurrying to some nearby appointment.

Spring is a seasoning to be applied liberally to one’s soul.

Our morning exploration included birds and bugs, but it was the blooms which highlighted the day.

(If you can offer any corrections to identifications we would really appreciate it.)

Come with me into the woods. Where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.” – Mary Oliver

Spiny Sowthistle (Sonchus asper)
Spiny Sowthistle (Sonchus asper)
Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)
Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)
Cutleaf Evening Primrose (Oenothera laciniata)
Bulltongue Arrowhead (Sagittaria lancifolia)
Small Venus’ Looking-glass (Triodanis biflora)
Camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris)
Purple Thistle (Cirsium horridulum)
Purple Thistle (Cirsium horridulum)
Mexican Pricklypoppy (Argemone mexicana)
Mexican Pricklypoppy (Argemone mexicana)
Mexican Pricklypoppy (Argemone mexicana) and Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Common Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata)
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) on Florida Hedgenettle (Stachys floridana)
Oakleaf Fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius)

It is all too easy to become excited when we spot something special in nature and in our enthusiasm we can overlook the small bloom, quiet bird or inactive insect. Go slowly, observe, stand still often, kneel (easier for some than others!). There is infinite beauty in nature so we shall always be able to find something new to savor!

Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!

26 Comments on “Spring Floral Collection

  1. Hello Wally and Gini.

    I will excuse the lack of birds this once only. I can only think that in your haste to the outdoor life, your long lens was left on the kitchen table as you packed away the elevenses coffee and cakes.

    There are a number of striking plants there, even dangerous ones too. While Purple Passionflower is very beautiful, both the Spiny Sowthistle and the pricklepoppy looks be apt descriptions for unwary fingers.

    It’s still breezy here, too much for ringing until Tuesday or Wednesday. And then it’s packing the suitcases for our trip to Greece. It’s a hard life, as you know only too well.

    Take care of each other. I hear that there are two full time jobs coming up soon that would be eminently suited to you both. But you might have to move house.


    • Ahhh, ye of little faith. Patience, Grasshopper. The very next posting shall fill in the blanks of the “Floral” edition with birdies and beasties encountered on the very same morning.

      Gini and I hope you and Sue (she is going, too?) have an exciting time packing for the trip. If you are not too tired after that, perhaps you can enjoy Greece, too. (Don’t mind us. We’re just jealous.)

      We were intrigued about the prospect of moving until we accessed one of the internet’s many “on-line dictionaries” and discovered the definition of “j-o-b”. We’ll stay put, thank you very much.

      More coffee as I wistfully view the branches swaying in the back yard as if a hurricane had descended. Sigh.


  2. You know I’m completely knocked out by that Mexican Prickly Poppy. I’ve never seen one, and had thought that they belonged primarily to the desert regions of the southwest. I had no idea they could be found in Florida: lucky you! And bless your heart for providing multiple views. It doesn’t look quite as prickly as Argemone albiflora, but those serrated leaves could do some damage.

    Our Lyreleaf Sage, Yellow Sorrel, Venus Looking-Glass, and Cutleaf Evening Primrose already are blooming, although I’ve yet to see any Camphorweed, Passionflower, or Purple Thistle. They could be out there, of course. The Florida Hedgenettle’s the one that was unfamiliar; it’s very pretty. Your photos are spectacular, and encouragement to try for better clarity in my own. Of course, if the wind could bring itself to drop below 25 mph, it would help a bit!


    • The bright yellow Pricklypoppy is a real attention-getter! Fortunately, a host of pollinators think so, too. Florida also has native populations of A. albiflora, but to my untrained eye it does not seem as common in our area. I’ll be looking more carefully in the coming weeks.

      The Hedgenettle was a new one for us. The spot we found these in was not easy to get close for better photos. We’ll be trying again as I’d really like better pics of this beauty.

      We’ve been having the same issue with that wind. Today is calmer so far, and the forecasters-who-are-only-wrong-fifty-percent-of-the-time promise a less breezy week.


  3. “Spring is a seasoning to be liberally applied to one’s soul” just became one of my favorite quotes about my favorite time of year.

    I’m amazed at how many wildflowers you are finding already and your portraits of them are beautiful. The difference in appearance between closed and open thistle flowers has always astounded me, and your Purple Thistle is no exception. The two stages look like different plants.


  4. I’m so glad you work hard on IDs so that I can learn more of the flowers we see here. We plan a drive over to a preserve this afternoon and hopefully we’ll see flowers….oh and birds! We did see something unusual this week, a big patch of Primrose flowers. They’ll be coming to a blog post near you soon! lol Enjoy your weekend and this gorgeous weather! Diane PD The Thistle is so pretty, when it buds and flowers!


  5. Hurrah for a delightful walk in Colt Creek State Park. So many wonderful blooms you found along with all the other life you enjoyed there. Our time is growing nearer so these are a good appetite whetter, Wally. And the Gulf Fritillary was an enjoyable sight too.
    I’ll be doing a lot of kneeling and a lot of groaning. 🙂 Happy Weekend!


    • As one would expect, with all that blooming going on, the area is a magnet for all sorts of insects. All those insects are a magnet for all sorts of birds. And all those — you, know, Nature at its circular best!

      We counted over 50 Gulf Fritillaries that morning. The Purple Passionflower is a host plant for their larvae.

      Happy Weekend is in full process! Hope yours is the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely collection, and a happy reminder of the little joys all around us every day. I was particularly taken by the Passionflower, which I’ve only seen in garden centers. How wonderful that it should find its way outside!


    • Thank you very much, Sam.

      It’s important for us all to take time to “smell the wildflowers” – or, at least enjoy them while they’re blooming!

      The Purple Passionflower has been around a very long time in the southern U.S. and has been used for food and medicinal purposes. It’s sorta purty to look at, too!


  7. A very different post from you, Wally, but well up to your usual high standard. I now have a suspicion that your secret prime hobby is, in fact, flower photography – the photos are exquisite.

    It’s easy enough to kneel, but I tend to fall over when I try to get back on my feet afterwards. That’s not usually any worse than being a little embarrassing – unless I happen to fall into the water!

    Best wishes to you and Gini – – – Richard


    • Thank you, Richard.

      Just as with birds and odes, I keep practicing and hoping!

      I can relate to that falling over syndrome, and have the wet shirts and pants to prove it.


  8. Thank you. I adore spring. It is such an exciting and vibrant time of the year. Sadly, you can add me to the list of those who find it hard to kneel – and harder to get back up again.


    • I totally empathize with that kneeling thing, EC!

      We’re spoiled as we have something blooming almost year ’round. But when Spring arrives, wow!

      Gini and I hope your weekend will be as pain-free as possible and filled with beautiful things.


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