Saturday, May 16, 2015

Flowers of the Day

 I had the pleasure today of leading two nature hikes for students and parents of Oakland's Aurora School.  I love to walk with bright and curious people of all ages, and today was perfect that way.  We saw over 25 different species of wildflowers blooming.  After two nature hikes and ,owing my front lawn, I'm too sleepy to say much about what we saw or to give a full report.  That will have tow ait until tomorrow.  However I'm posting two flowers that made a lasting impression on me.  Above and below we have Fringe Cups, Tellima grandiflora, a member of the Saxifrage family along with the Woodland Star Flower and the Umbrella Plant which I've featured here during the past month.
 When I first spotted the Fringe Cups among the dew-covered tall grasses, I thought they were Mountain Jewel Flower.  While they have a similar overall look from a distance, they are actually quite different when viewed close up.  Tomorrow I think I can find some blooming Jewel Flower in nearby Boyle Ravine.  If I succeed, I'll post them side by side.  The short story is the Fringe Cups have five petals that are fringed.  The Jewel Flower has only four petals and is in the Mustard family.
 The flower I was hoping to see during the afternoon hike was the Leopard Lily.  I found them, but they aren't blooming yet. Shown above and below here, they are quite beautiful even before they bloom.  These were by a deep pool along Berry Creek, just a few yards from the Fringe Cups.
During the afternoon hike, we also saw the Mountain Lady Slippers, and they always make a strong impression.  However, I've already posted them a couple of times this past week, so that's all for tonight,

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