A Day in the Life…Part 31

Creatively altered photo by Nora
Sunny edges and deep shade typify the landscape at Wahkeena as we enter August. In those sunny areas the Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is bursting into full splendor. I had to put on knee boots and wade out into the swampy area of the boardwalk (pictured above) to get some photos.
 Today I was in the right place at the right time, as I was setting up the tripod a Black Swallowtail butterfly flew in and began necturing on the brilliant red flowers. 
Another lobelia that has been in bloom for a while is Indian Tobacco (Lobelia inflata)  which can be seen below.
“Inflata” refers to the expanding seed pods that develop once the flower has been pollinated. The typical arrangement of the flower in the lobelias is two petals above and three below.
A plant with a fun name that is found in the drier wooded areas is Naked-flowered Tick Trefoil (Desmodium nudiflorum). The leaves and flowers of this plant are borne on separate stems- thus the flower stock is “naked,” having no leaves. The tick trefoils typically has leaves in threes. But you can also see a reference to three in the triangle shaped seeds. Many a hiker has come home with these hitchhikers clinging to their clothing- a clever strategy that the plant uses to disperse its seeds. 
And finally, sometimes creatures in nature can be elusive. But often signs are left behind to mark their presence in an area. Below a freshly molted turkey feather lays nestled on a bed of pine needles.

Posted by tuckered out Tom

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