These wild places are my sanctuary
Yesterday, I hiked about a mile into a WildLand, in hopes of capturing a single species I’ve been seed stalking.
I flagged Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia) a couple months ago, blooming beautifully along the swampy edge of a pond.
Back when I flagged it, my dear friends and Seed Team members Bob and Florence Middleton made a human chain with me, so I wouldn’t fall in the water. I remember it was hot enough I thought I wouldn’t mind taking a dip.
The seed was in fact ready yesterday, so I carefully scaled the slope and cut the stalk, the gorgeous blue flowers now faded into tan tissue paper capsules full of powdery fine seed.
I stopped for a brief moment there on the edge, marveling at the change of seasons.
Appreciating this gorgeous plant which is biologically generous enough to produce so much seed that I can borrow a little to spread around and hopefully foster more to grow.
What a great example the plant kingdom offers to us this time of year, displaying that dormancy and rest are just as beautiful as the big energy show of blooming and growing.
Compass Plant: cupped hands clutching a heart
My second observation comes from a quick study of Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant), the dark, bristly beings that stand fiercely against the cold winter sky.
So much plant material curls and furls as it dies back, but the large pinnatifid leaves of Compass Plant so sweetly embrace the stem.
They clasp right around, like cupped hands clutching a heart.
I suppose their shape is comforting to me, because it looks like the perfect place to spend the winter.
A rib cage.
A human hand.
A little nest of sorts, perfectly engineered to cradle.
Here are some photos, in case you’re wondering if I’ve totally lost it.
Do you see what I mean?
My general trajectory in life is to become a crazy plant lady, so if this is evidence, I’m proud, not ashamed.