Thursday, September 7, 2017

Butterfly, Part III: New Discoveries (for me)

I've never seen this flower before my recent trip out to Butterfly Valley Botanical Area.  That's because I've only visited the place during Spring and early Summer.  One common name is Grass of Parnassus.  Interesting name to research.  Even more interesting to me was the family affiliation.  It has been a member of at least a half dozen families over the years.  Some of those names are now extinct, superseded by other names.  In some cases the plant has been switched from one family to another, both families continuing to exist according to botanists.  My most-often used field guide, the one by Jack Laws, lists it as belonging to the Saxifragaceae.  No other source I've found places it in that family.  The "ground" keeps changing under my feet.  I find this flower exceptionalyl beautiful.
The greenish veins in the white petals are special.  Quite often I find white petals difficult to photograph because of what digital photographers call noise.  But I'm satisfied with these two photos.  I hope you are, too.  Click on them for closer views.
These next two photos were also a new experience for me.  The dried up flowers of Darlingtonia, the Pitcher Plant, or Cobra Lily, or.... the list goes on.  In late summer in this dried up condition, I found them intriguing.  My lack of text when I first posted the photos had nothing to do with a "guess what this is" contest, but a few people did guess and asked me what they were.  Everyone guessed wrong, but that's OK.  After all, I've often mistaken a paper bag for a fox or bobcat while driving late at night and not fully awake. 
I'm intrigued by the annual life cycle of these flowers while at the same time the cobra-like leaves are always green, or, while some dry up and turn brown they are continually replaced by fresh green ones - sort of like evergreen trees.  Anyway, I hope to get back to filling out some of these recent posts that lacked texts, but now I have to take a break and do some lesson plans for tomorrow.

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