I remember being a little startled when I first saw a Dandelion up here. There isn't, after all, a lawn to speak of within hundreds of kilometres of here.
I was even more surprised to learn that the Dandelion species that are up here probably are not one of the common introduced species seen in the south, but native species. Uluksan in the fall is one of the best places to find them, which is exactly where we found many this past weekend. (And while unrelated to the rest of this post I couldn't resist this clump of Prickly Saxifrage and its patterns and colours). Of course where there are Dandelions and children together two things are required: picking some for mom, and blowing Dandelion seeds everywhere.
Last night, I sat marveling at the scene before me. Stretched out on a steep hill, lazily picking blueberries while Hilary sat beside me, eating the blueberries I was picking and nattering away incessantly. Below was Marcil Lake and beyond that Adam's Sound. There was barely a breath of wind, and in the late evening the light shifted and changed before my eyes. Not a soul was in a more beautiful spot than I was in that moment.
Travis was off exploring and soon I could hear him calling from above. When I didn't appear, he came to me, telling me he had found a Bumble Bee. We climbed up to the road and across it he searched briefly for the insect, until his eyes caught it again. I had expected to see Bumble Bee flying amongst the few remaining flowers, instead I had to follow his pointing finger to a bee sitting under a flower, not moving.
To get a decent photo I would have had to lay in water and mud, so instead I set the camera near the bee, and took a photo using the timer. Then I'd look at the photo, adjust the focus, and the zoom, reposition the camera, and then repeat the process until I was satisfied with the result. The bee was so motionless that I thought it was dead, but when I gently brushed its back, it slowly moved. It seemed to be in a state of torpor, waiting for the sun to return and warm the air, and it. Once warm it could return to searching for ever scarcer flowers, before the return of the inevitable snow.
The detail is worth clicking on to see at a higher resolution.
While out blueberry picking this weekend, I discovered another, larger, patch of Large-flowered Wintergreen. The habitat appears to be quite different, the common denominator would be a large snow cover in the winter.
At any rate, here are a couple of rather nice (I think anyway) photos of a small patch of them. And because the other posts I was planning on posting these photos to are getting rather large, I'll include photos of...
Just above the high tide mark on the beach I was walking today I found a few scattered Nodding Saxifrage (Saxifraga cernua). The pictures don't do it justice but I wanted to show this flower for, like Viviperous Knotweed, Nodding Saxifrage has a second reproductive strategy in addition to seeds. Nodding Saxifrage also propagates itself asexually by bulbets. The plant essentially produces little clones of itself which break off and, if soil and conditions are right, set root and grow into a plant.
This is the only photo in focus showing the flower, and it is a pretty, typical, saxifrage flower. This shot I meant to show the bulbets, which are the reddish "buds" on the stem in the crook of the leaves. The cool thing about the photo though is until I blew it up, I never realized that there are tiny grains of sand stuck in the hairs on the stem of the flower.