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In These Otsego Hills

September 19, 2013

Some of the best wildflower sightings

There is enough color along our roadsides to fill any painter’s palette.

On a recent walk, I noted 25 species of wildflowers in my journal, but that is a scant representation of what is out there.

Take Goldenrod, for instance. I just jotted down the word “goldenrod,” but there are oodles of varieties. Some are elm shaped, others likened to plumes, wands, clubs, and there is even a flat-topped variety. If one is patient enough to check each species out real close and personal, the variations are striking. I am lucky enough to have been spared allergies, so my nose to blossom inspections do not drive me to the medicine cabinet later on. Seeing fields of goldenrod gently dipping windward en masse is a glorious sight to see. Color aside, there is music in the rhythms of wind stroked grasses and flowers. It brings to mind the ancient and still compelling notion of the music of the spheres.

Among our most beautiful roadside residents this time of year are asters and chicory. There is something about the latter’s cornflower blue flower that fills me with indescribable pleasure, as if it somehow had a key to my soul. At one point on the way back home I stopped, took out the camera, and kneeled down to take a few close-ups of several closely bunched flowers I did not recognize and could not readily identify with my usually reliable guidebook. A neighbor had been getting her mail and looked down the road to see me kneeling down. When we met she wondered if something was wrong. Her property line ended right at that spot. She thought I might have spotted some sort of mischief and was relieved when I told her it was just me taking a few pictures. Her eyes lighted up when I said I had been out cataloging wildflowers.

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In These Otsego Hills
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