Holiday snapshots, botanical and otherwise

View from the Raven’s Nest, Schoodic Peninsula

One of the reasons why posting has been sparse here recently is that we took our annual beat-the-heat trip to Maine a couple of weeks early this year.  For the most part, not much was different between late July and early August.  The friendly snowshoe hare who lives in the garden of the little house we rent was still there…


…and the local eagle stopped by to say hello again:


As in previous years, we spent our time fishing for mackerel, jigging for squid, cooking the mackerel and squid, and hiking along the intensely picturesque eastern Maine shoreline.

Quoddy Head State Park.  Lubec, Maine is in the background and Campobello Island, New Brunswick is at far right.  This is as far east as you can go in the United States.

What was different, if only subtly so, was the array of flowering plants.

In August, I have seen a few Campanula rotundifolia (harebells) flowering on cliffs and headlands.  In July, there were many more plants in bloom.

Campanula rotundifolia

At Quoddy Head State Park, I saw a single white specimen:

C. rotundifolia, white form

Also at Quoddy Head, the last flowers of Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel) could be seen in the bog.  In previous years, there have been only seed capsules.

Kalmia angustifolia

In the woods, I found another member of the Ericaceae. Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipes) lacks both leaves and chlorophyll and is parasitic on the mycorrhizal fungi of various tree species.

Monotropa uniflora

Like the sheep laurel, I have seen Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) in previous years, but always in seed.  This year, plants were still blooming.

Silene vulgaris

I finally was able to identify some of the Iris plants that grow near the sea.  On the headlands near the splash zone, I find very small irises that I assume are Iris hookeri (beach head iris).  A little further back, at the edge of the trees, I often find much taller irises growing where little streamlets are blocked by rocks or sand and form miniature bogs.  I wasn’t sure if the taller plants were the same species, growing larger due to the local environment, or a completely different species.  This year a few of the larger plants were still in bloom, and I could see that they are Iris versicolor (northern blue flag).

Iris versicolor

And I never get tired of photographing Chamaenerion angustifolium (fireweed), one of my favorite wildflowers.

Chameanerion angustifolium, Rosa rugosa, and Spiraea alba growing beside the Quoddy Narrows.

7 thoughts on “Holiday snapshots, botanical and otherwise

  1. You have your holidays in a glorious place. The idea of going to the same place every year never occurs to us, but I can see there’s a lot to recommend it. I guess we just haven’t found the perfect place yet. It must be lovely to see all those wildflowers as you walk- and impressive that you can name them all with their Botanical names!

    Liked by 1 person

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