Monday, April 13, 2009

A Sunny Easter Sunday Pays Off with a Rare Find

I was planning on taking it easy on Easter Sunday, but after seeing how nice a day it was, and how turbulent the weather was to be the rest of the week, I decided to head out to shoot a few images. I started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. but the wildflowers are still a bit scarce at elevation, so I headed to Franklin County to see what was blooming there. That would turn out to be a good decision, as I was lucky enough to see a rare five petal Bluet. These can be found, but not very often, and most of the people I have talked to have never seen one. Well, below you will see some of the images I captured, including the rare Bluet. Enjoy.

This image of the Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) was taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was the only bloom on a very large embankment next to the BRP south of Roanoke.

This wildflower is everywhere in early spring, growing in fields and any open area. This is known as Wild Mustard or Field Mustard (Brassica campestris).

This wildflower is often called the Money Plant (Lunaria annua). This image was taken in Franklin County.

This is a Bluet (Houstonia caerulea). This specimen has the typical four petal design which makes Bluets easy to identify.

This wildflower is called Epimedium, also known as Barrenwort and Horny Goat Weed. Legend has it that it is an aphrodisiac, and was discovered by a chinese sheep farmer that noticed an increase in humping in his herd after the sheep would eat the Epimedium. Science has shown that this it partially true.

Although not technically a wildflower, I could not resist the chance to photograph an Apple Blossum.

A bunch of Bluets (Houstonia caerulea). Sometimes they will grow in groups like this, and sometimes they will be alone. These are beautiful wildflowers.

This is the image of the extremely rare five petal Bluet. From what I can find, the odds of this growth is one in millions. This little beauty is in Franklin County.

I have shown images of Periwinkles or (Vinca minor). This one is known is a Big Periwinkle, or (Vinca major). This bloom is between 1 and 2 inches across.

Here we have some Vinca Minor, or Periwinkle. But this is a variegated Vinca minor. If you look at the leaves, the variegation of white defines the species.

I cannot let the Apple have the only tree blossum. Here is a beautiful Pear Blossum.

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