Purple Ironweed, also known as wild butterfly weed, is starting to bloom. One of the reasons I like ironweed is that simply when it blooms. In the first blush of spring, lots of tiny and pretty things are blooming, but not ironweed. Perhaps the plant "knows" it can't compete with those blooms. Right now, wild blooming things are in shorter supply than they were earlier in the season. Oh, the daisies and brown-eyed susans are out, but they are sun-loving, edge-of-the-woods dwellers. Ironweed prefers moister, darker areas, like the shady side of a ditch.
Last year I posted a photo of Ironweed on June 27. I don't think that means ironweed is blooming earlier by three days than last year. It likely just means that last year I waited until the blooms were fully developed before I posted a photo.
Can you see the bee in today's photo? It's on the underside of the blooms. After all the talk of honeybee colony collapse disorder, I'm glad to see any bee, though this one is a little bumblee and not a honey bee, but still. I first saw these blooms yesterday evening, and I'm pretty sure they weren't this far along yesterday morning, so the blooms are pretty "fresh."
Last night a thunderstorm rumbled through, though I only caught the edge of it. Missing the worst of this area's storms has been a common theme at the cabin for the past month or so. It's starting to make me anxious. I keep wondering when I'm going to take a direct hit and how bad that will be when it happens. Last night the closest lightning strike was half a mile away but most strikes were a mile or more away. That was close enough to send Dog onto my bed. He really dislikes thunderstorms. They're the only thing I've really seen him afraid of, and he always retreats to someplace safe when one is overhead. They're also the only time I allow him on the bed, and I'm starting to think his fear of them has as much to do with wanting to be on the bed as anything. He's a very tricky Dog.