So wild


On a recent hike at the Tillinghast Pond Management Area, a Nature Conservancy-managed preserve, (that’s the pond in the photo) my friend and I were blown away by the beauty and diversity of the wildflowers.


It had rained a couple of days earlier, a proper soaking rain, and maybe that did the trick. This clearing in the above photo didn’t look particularly interesting, until you paid attention. What looked like an area in recovery suddenly became a very beautiful spot, dotted with Aquilegia Canadensis: Canadian, or Wild Columbine. We saw one, then a few more, then noticed them all over.


Here’s a wider shot, to give you an idea of how many there were.



These are known locally as “bluets.”


I couldn’t identify these lovely yellow flowers. I couldn’t even find them on the USDA list. I thought they might be “butter and eggs,” but they don’t have the darker centers. Then I thought “turtlehead,” but I have only seen those in pink. Maybe somebody can come to my rescue. HerbDoc? Andy?


How about this gall? It looks so much like a skull – or an alien out of the movie “Mars Attacks”-  it kind of creeped me out.


I will end with a final look at Tillinghast Pond from the other side. The trees were full of Baltimore orioles, and it was definitely one of those “good to be alive” days.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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9 Responses to So wild

  1. Andy Brown says:

    Wow, nice columbines! I’m going to get out on the Pawcatuck river this afternoon once the heat o f the afternoon passes. I’ll have to keep my eyes open. As for the yellow flower, it looks like birds foot trefoil to me — a pretty weed.


  2. CJ Wright says:

    Beautiful pics of a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing them, dn. That tree has a lot of gall.


  3. herbdoc says:

    I agree with Andy that your yellow flower is birdsfoot trefoil (also called deer vetch). The Latin name is Lotus corniculatus, and it loves wet places and is good for erosion control. It might have been planted as a food source for deer and geese, and pheasants use it for cover around ponds.


  4. What a great area. Conservation areas are always enjoyable. We have many of them where I live, which is fantastic. Humans destroy so much of nature, so it’s a relief that we are conserving some of Mother Nature’s lovely (and natural) masterpieces.


    • dirtynailz says:

      I agree, Martha. There are many of these places in RI, thank goodness. Despite its small size, this state has some great open spaces (with hiking trails!).


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