Thursday, September 23, 2010

Truly Blue

Whether it is faded denim, the big skies of Texas, a cobalt colored Kingfisher or the twinkling eyes of a loved one, blue will always in style. These last days of summer are a prime time for scouting out a few of the best shades of blue found within the Gentian family.

Soapwort Gentian, Gentiana saponaria

This Soapwort Gentian is a major find. Listed as Probably Extirpated in Michigan and Endangered in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, it was well worth the trip to the Oak Openings.
One alias is "Harvestbells," fitting enough as its bloom-time corresponds with our recent harvest moon. This rare species was found in a wet sedge meadow, a regular hot-bed of biodiversity, which hosts numerous rarities- like Spotted Turtles and Frosted Elfin butterflies.

Lesser Fringed Gentian, Gentianopsis procera

Springville Marsh, just outside of Carey Ohio, boasts a readily accessible population of this wet-footed species. Take your tripod and camera along and you should be able to score excellent photos from the boardwalk.



Lesser Fringed Gentian, Gentianopsis procera - take two.

Sorting gentians may take more than I bargained for. It seems the Fringed Gentians, Lesser and Greater, are tough to sort out. And while the lower photo has obviously less "fringe," it is still the same species (G. procera) as the Springville Marsh gentian.
Let's leave all that work to the botanists. Our energies are better used to compare "cornflower" to "delft" blues. Just to savor a fall day, especially in the favor of these radiant blue blossoms, is enough for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment