Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wildflower Pageant - Purple Gerardia and Friends

Autumn arrived Sunday in the heart of Carolina, and Hoot Owl Karma celebrated with a little ramble along the rural byways of Lee County, greeted at every turn by a veritable pageant of wildflowers.

The glowing golden faces of the tickseed sunflowers greeted us from a dozen dozen sunny ditches, but on this first day of fall, their purplish-pink companions were not to be outshone. 

Known variously as Purple False Foxglove, Purple Gerardia, Agalinis Purpurea or simply Gerardia, on this day it was present in all its guises, glad for a little friendly competition with the neighbors,

Partridge Pea and Goldenrod.

Gerardia in all its glory...

Great Blue Lobelia (with a quick shout out to Lobelia, NC!)...

Purple False Foxglove, again... and an autumn eagle with a bird's eye view.

Gerardia, again. We've encountered it in Septembers past, but never so brilliantly alight or in such abundance. We traveled some ten miles of country road today, and seemingly never lost sight of the next clump of bright pinkish-purple blossoms.

Coneflower strikes a half dozen poses,

as a little red clay rambler races slowly by.

Everywhere purple, everywhere gold, nowhere neglected.

Everywhere gold, everywhere purple, pick your spot.

Our old friend Bidens aristosa, sensing defeat, nonetheless puts on brave faces in this glorious pageant of color.

Tiny long-legged fly, shiny metallic toy-like fly, votes with its feet. 
Gerardia, you rock!

At autumn's dawn, golden yellow Partridge Pea entwines pal Purpurea in a congratulatory embrace.

Pretty cool.


  1. where did you find the newt? He is a beauty. We are walking and enjoying a bounty of wild flowers in the ditches around us.

  2. The newt was rambling across a drainage area on the side of the road between two wooded areas. My brother and I remember finding them very often as kids crossing the roads after a good rain, but I probably only see one or two a year these days. You may very well have some of the adults living in your pond. The flowers make a good walk that much better, I think.