Flowers Along the Way

Every so often we see wildflower planting projects along highway corridors, state and federal programs aimed at the beautification of “scenic byways”. Mother Nature does this too, but in a cheaper, more sustainable manner. Ironically, I took most of these photos on a rainy Sunday in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the road maintenance crew.

Locally, Queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory dominate roadside ecotones. Knapweed is a prolific associate. All are extremely hardy aliens that colonize the most inhospitable places!

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Queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory

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Roadside corridor dominated by Queen Anne’s Lace

Unfortunately, these flowery scenes can’t be fully appreciated from a vehicle. Close examination reveals an impressive variety of flowering plants and associated wildlife activity.

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Queen Anne’s Lace and daisies

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Daisies

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Chicory

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Birdfoot Trefoil (surrounded by Knapweed)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

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5 thoughts on “Flowers Along the Way

  1. Wonderful photos! It’s unfortunate that most of us are always in a hurry and almost never stop along a highway, even when it is not dangerous, to admire beautiful flowers, plants, and their insect, avian or animal hosts.

    • Thanks Hien. These were secondary roads in farm country but I still had trouble setting up for the landscape shots due to traffic. There are a couple of images that I might risk my life to capture; not this one. 🙂

  2. Your roadside wildflowers are so lovely. A favorite of mine is the chicory. Unfortunately we have a lot of counties spraying along the edges of our roads. I suppose it might be tempting to try to tame the blackberry vines that take over whole cars and houses, but it’s sad not to see very many flowers. There are places where the Queen Anne’s Lace blooms (unused fields) and the poppies and sweet peas do seem to hang on the grassy fields farther in from the spray. I remember fields in California literally covered with the California poppies and lupins. They were simply heavenly.

  3. Mother Nature always gives us a beautiful supply of wildflowers,especially along the roadsides. It always makes my drives so cheerful….and slow since I often stop to snap a few photos!!! It would be wonderful if the highway crews would stop trying to destroy them. (it would also save a lot of gas and exhaust pollution)
    Thanks Nick!

  4. I certainly agree with you. The chemicals they use seem to kill everything but the target species, which are lovely. It is true that in high quality nature preserves I have seen these plants move in and utterly overwhelm the natives. This is sad, but I do not believe spraying chemicals is the answer. IT may be that nature is ready for a change. Just look at the diversity represented by these plants. Certainly they provide much needed nectar, and don’t require life support.

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