Thursday, May 02, 2019

Over in the meadow in the sand in the sun

A sign at Oyster Bay Shoreline Park tells walkers to respect the sensitive plants' meadow. "Keep Off!" in polite Canadian terms. So I hunker down in the sand at the edge of the path, with my camera on the ground and my chin barely above it, while other walkers pass by, looking at me oddly. Because the spring flowers are down there at shoe height and they're worth the effort.

Small-flowered blue-eyed Mary, aka maiden blue-eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora. The big leaves are wild strawberry; the feathery ones are yarrow.

With an ant. Smaller than the redheads, but just as busy.
They turn entire patches of the ground blue.

These are a little taller. Not much, though. From standing height, they look like white dust spots.

Shepherd's cress, Teesdalia nudicaulis

Inflorescence of slender, divergent, 4-8 mm long stalks; petals about 1 mm long; sepals often purplish-tinged, about 0.5 mm long. (From E-Flora)
The whole flower head is less than 1 cm across. (I have very small fingernails: this one is 1.1 cm across the widest point.)

The basal leaves. I needed these to identify the plant. The white fuzz is haircap moss.

A bit bigger, but still down to earth. A wild strawberry. They bloom plentifully here, but I've never seen a ripe strawberry. Probably the slugs beat me to them.

Woolly sunflower and yarrow leaves, with blue-eyed Mary. The woolly sunflower may or may not produce yellow flowers in mid-summer, possibly depending on the weather. The threads around the top leaves are not spider webs: they're the reason for the name. The "wool" may help protect the plant from overheating.


  1. I've only seen wild strawberries fruit a handful of times. They are incredibly tiny even when ripe (the ones I saw were no larger than a huckleberry). Maybe a combination of poor soil and genetics.

    1. Yes, the ones I've found (not here, up north in the Bella Coola valley) were really tiny. But so sweet! They more than make up for the small size.

  2. So much beauty around us. And we often just pass by, because we have no time ...


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