08-28-13 Field Note

Rebecca Durham's Field Note shows penstemon flowers, mariposa lily, and a bald faced hornet nest.

Golden sedge displays plump orbicular perigynia. (Carex aurea).
With one petal smaller than the rest, veronica flowers exhibit bilateral symmetry. This native veronica, American speedwell, thrives in moist soil at the edge of Home Pond’s outlet (Veronica americana).
Ragged lichen adheres to bark beside Cooney Creek. Abundant in moist coniferous forests, this common foliose lichen displays a greyish upper surface and a variable lower surface composed of black, brown, and/or white. (Platismatia glauca).
The global distribution of point-tip mariposa lily fills an area smaller than Montana. It’s found across a small portion of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Alberta, and British Columbia. In 2006, botanists discovered a disjunct population in the northeast corner of Wyoming. A northern crescent butterfly gives meaning to the common name mariposa lily (mariposa = butterfly in Spanish) (Phyciodes cocyta upon Calochortus apiculatus).
A polypore mushroom affixes to a birch tree. The underside of the conk is composed of tiny pores where spores release. Polypores break down woody material and recycle nutrients.
Trumpet shaped and purple-blue, penstemon flowers erupt from dainty recurved sepals (Penstemon sp.).
Pink flowers cluster in leaf axils, adding a splash of pastel to the tangle of green marsh. Wild mint follows a circumboreal distribution, occurring in the boreal regions of North America and Eurasia (Mentha arvensis).
Water parsnip resembles the poisonous water hemlock in flower, but its stem lacks the swelling and purple spots characteristic of water hemlock (Sium suave).
High up in a lodgepole tree, bald faced hornets fashion a giant nest with two inch thick walls. Only used for one season, the abandoned nest may become a home for other insects. (Dolichovespula maculata in Pinus contorta).
A wood nymph is camouflaged by umber culms (Cercyonis pegala).
A fallen paper birch delineates the flow (Betula papyrifera).
Beauty crackles in vegetative decay, trillium reminisces spring’s nascent day. Three fading wings, brittle and pale, curl into a mottled death-like veil. Yet corms thick, plump and sound, await, fortified deep underground. Another summer past, two more seasons of sleep, then wake-robin will return, upon spring’s impossible leap (Trillium ovatum).
Who dares to stride upon the sky, where nothing’s constant, yet nothing’s awry?
Posted on 8/28/2013 by sbradford