Friday, July 10, 2009
Friday’s flower is a native species—one with many names. I think this is Philadelphia fleabane, also known as Philadelphia daisy and sometimes also daisy fleabane. All are from the aster family, and many species are similar enough that differentiating among then is challenging. Just when I think I’ve got it, another similar species makes me wonder. This patch was particularly thick with flowers yesterday afternoon, basking in the warm sunshine.
The individual flowers are about half an inch across or perhaps a bit larger, and the plants are 2-3 feet tall. Yesterday afternoon the patch was alive with honey bees, a welcome sight. Before colony collapse disorder was in the news, I can’t say that I paid much attention to the number of bees around, so I can’t be sure what a ‘normal’ number of bees should be. That said, my impression is that I have a decent number of bees around this year, so I think at least the very local population of them is doing okay.
Here on Roundtop, the forest is starting to look a bit dry. It’s been nearly two weeks since any rain has fallen, after weeks of near-daily rains in June. Rain is predicted for tomorrow, so the dryness won’t last much longer. It’s interesting to me how little time it takes for a soaked forest to dry up, but that’s what’s happened. Wouldn’t you think that nearly 10 inches of June rain would keep things moist for longer than two weeks? Guess not.