Recently I made a spring jaunt over to southeast Louisiana to visit the Bayou Sauvage and Fort Pike State Historic Site ($4 and no pets allowed in fort). My husband and I only saw a couple of alligators, from far away (see photo above).
Below are images of a few flowering plants and a few critters I saw throughout the day. The first image is a member of the Rubus genus, commonly known as dewberry (Rubus trivialis). The fruit were advancing quite well.
At the Bayou Sauvage we made three different entrance stops. Each area had its own unique attribute, whether a good spot for setting in a kayak, outstanding birding, or a a lengthy boardwalk that traversed a unique ecosystem of the Gulf Coast. I had not been to Bayou Sauvage since Hurricane Katrina, in fact I hadn’t been since spring of 1998, long before I ever thought I’d live on the MS Gulf Coast. We were so happy that leashed dogs were allowed. Our pups had a great time and will be back.
Realizing that most folks will find thistle nasty or hideous, please take a second look. Its gorgeous. In fact it nearly looks like something out of a horror movie or space novel.
Just a few steps away, this thistle plant had a different look, but still very pretty. So much detail and texture. Wildflower.org reports that these thistles are important to both native and bumble bees. You might now believe how many thistles there are just in the Cirsium genus alone! I thought perhaps at first the image below might be C. horridulum, but I am not positive. Actually, I really wanted to include that species name. HORRIDulum. LOL Exactly what I can image some tiny lady saying a long, long time ago: (Hmm HORRID plant). Next to this group of thistle were flowering Salix (willow) and you can see the pretty yellow flowers in the slideshow below.
After our first Bayou Sauvage stop, we then drove to Fort Pike. The day was mostly cloudy and cool and it seemed we fought rain off and on all day. The sign below sits outside the tiny visitor center where admission is paid.
This view of white-flowered crow poison (Northoscordum bivalve) is from the top of Fort Pike overlooking the water.
A low growing groundcover, Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) was flowering atop the fort in the grass. Don’t be fooled by the mixture of species when you view the leaves. Yeah, fooled me too! The orange petals with inner purple marking is very distinctive. I had never seen this plant before. I am really glad I got to know this flower because the name Scarlet Pimpernel has been very familiar to me as a novel, play, and movie, although I confess that I don’t think I have ever read or viewed it.
Technically this next image of a fern isn’t “flowering”, but I am sometimes just amused at the cracks and crevices that plants will grow in when they put their minds to it.
The Fort was really cool and I was glad to get to see it. The Gulf Coast sports many wonderful, historic forts so be sure to look them up if you are in the area.
Next we headed back for our second and final stops at the Bayou Sauvage, both of which had boardwalks that afford opportunities to see and photograph alligators, waterfowl and other aquatic birds and animals.
At several places we noticed the pretty blue flowers of Tradescantia, the native spiderwort. We weren’t the only ones to take note though (see image in slideshow of butterfly on Tradescantia)
View these images and more in the slideshow below:
Thank you Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Service (and for allowing Bayou Sauvage to be leashed-dog friendly) and the State of Louisiana Historic Sites.
Keep on Growin’
The Garden Maiden
All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden