Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cranefly Orchid, Cross Vine, Rattlesnake Plantain

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon to be outside, especially after running errands in town during heavy rain on Friday, and social activities all day Saturday. Daisy agreed (because she'd missed out on hiking too) so we hiked to the lower Meetinghouse Creek. I went there intending to draw the liverworts that grow in the damp shade along the north-facing bluff, but I was distracted by a beautiful Rattlesnake Plantain plant that was shaded by the leaf of a Cranefly Orchid. Next to them grew a Crossvine seedling with purplish leaves. As I settled in for my drawing session, I gently moved some oak leaves away from the plants so that i could see it better. Curious Daisy came over to see what I was doing... and like all dogs, the best way to explore something is to sniff it. She edged close to me as I perched on the edge of the small bluff, and poked her nose around. "No, Daisy... Move, Daisy.... Oh, Daisy!" Naturally, she stepped right on top of the plants and broke two leaves off the Rattlesnake Plaintain.

I dug around in my pack and found peanut butter treats to distract her, and decided right then not to try to draw the whole plant (which considering the complex pattern on the leaves would take quite a long time) but to show leaves of all three that were growing together. Luckily, Daisy eventually lost interest and left me for long enough to get these leaves drawn.

In our later explorations I discovered several new clusters of Round-lobed Hepatica in rocky, shady places. I'll be keeping an eye out for their early spring blooms!


Folk Heart said...

Absolutely fascinating...your sketches are things of beauty and your knowledge of the botany in your particular surroundings is a great learning experience. Thank you for your generosity!

Helen said...

Thank you, Folk Heart!

nancysbaldwin said...

lol - sorry about Daisy stepping on your plant, but the resulting picture is so cool ... maybe it was worth it!

Helen said...

Oh yes. She's worth the little bits of aggravation. She's a great companion. Besides, the plant will re-grow leaves. Glad you like the drawing!