Mysterious Wild Flower

Wild Flowers of Gros Morne

If you have been following my posts during our trip to Eastern Canada, you know I went wild over wild flowers. They were everywhere, in abundance, and beautiful. My husband made a good effort to be patient and I limited the number of times that we pulled over for photo ops. But I took pictures. While he pumped gas, I took pictures. I took LOTS OF PICTURES OF WILD FLOWERS but I only took a small fraction of the photographs that wanted to be taken.

There is one wild flower that drove me to distraction, however. It is that lavender/purple/sometimes pink flower you see in the above photo. It was everywhere and it brought a lot of drama to the fields of other flowers. Sometimes there was just a little of it, sometimes there were very large areas. And I tried to capture the beauty but was always frustrated with the results. I couldn’t get my camera to pick up what I was seeing.

The main problem is that they bloom from the bottom up and when the petals fall the stem is covered with these little bright pink twigs that are very showy until you press the shutter.

Now maybe some of you really good macro photographers could get 5 billion little pink twigs over a deep field all in tack-sharp focus – I couldn’t.

So my husband is talking to the son of the man who took us whale watching and I am photographing wild flowers between drops of rain and strong gusts of wind. They come out of the little building and Jim says to follow them. He had told this young man that I had been trying to photograph this pink flower that is all over. The young man says they have a whole field of them but his mom said no one knows its name and leads us down a short wooded path. A whole field of them is there before my very eyes – but my images are disappointing. Again.

But I keep trying every time I see them and do get some good images when I start taking photos of the parts instead of trying to capture the impact of many.

Sometimes they appear purple and sometimes more pink. It probably depends on the soil.

And then as were driving through Gros Morne National Park on Newfoundland, I saw the most beautiful expanse of wildflowers but it wasn’t possible for us to stop. On the way back I drove so I could watch for them and find a place to stop. I tended to be less fussy about where I pulled off the two-lane highway.

Gros Morne National Park

Latter on the trip we found an information display that identified this wild flower as Wildfire Plant because the little sticks on the stems explode into hundreds of little fluffy seeds, similar to dandelions, and plant themselves where vegetation has burned off. They also spread through underground roots. That explained why I was seeing bright white patches among the purple/pink flowers.

Wildfire Flower Going to Seed

Now I know what it is and by chance had photographed its blooming life cycle. I also found another picture when I searched Wildfire Flower.

http://npccblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/alaska-lake-and-wildfire-flowers/

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6 Comments »

  1. I am an amateur photographer as well as an amateur gardener . I like knowing the native plants of my home province , Newfoundland .
    The plant above is known by locals as , ” Fire weed” .
    I remember as a child my brother and I used to chew on the their 3 inch purple “sticks” .
    I enjoyed reading your big about your photos of NL

    Like

    • We loved our trip around Cape Breton where I first discovered Fireweed, and had a great time on Newfoundland. In fact I was looking at photos from there just the other day as I was cleaning up some files. Thanks for visiting and leaving me the fun note, Andre.

      Like

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