The trees on the hills are bare gray skeletons. Vultures have flown south replaced by juncos from the north. I am spending part of the winter revisiting summer through wildflowers.
This past summer was amazing here for wildflowers. The roadsides, hills, pastures and riverbanks were full of plants I recognized and many I didn’t. My camera got a workout.
Time is finite. Downloading hundreds of pictures takes a lot of it. Trying to identify unfamiliar flowers takes a lot of time too.
Some groups of wildflowers are difficult to sort out. Sunflowers and beggar ticks are cases in point. So I dump them into an Unknown category.
Now the wildflowers are gone for the winter. My camera is used less in a month than it was used during some summer days. Instead I am revisiting summer through wildflowers as I sort through all of those pictures and try to identify those many unknowns.
Several years ago I planned a Dent County Flora. I had lots of pictures and even started looking up and writing about many of the 2000 or so plants growing wild in Dent County. Except I am not a botanist, only an avid amateur. The project languished.
Then I came across “Missouri In Flight” and saw a way to reshape my botany project.
Forget the botanical descriptions I almost understand. Instead I can focus on my pictures. And the pictures can be as much about what I see as beautiful about a flower as an illustration of the flower.
Wildflowers don’t exist as garden subjects, pristine in their shapes and colors. They exist in the world with pollinating visitors, herbivores taking bites out of them, spiders and others using them as hunting grounds. And these make it into some of the pictures.
The best reasons for doing the Dent County Flora project are: having an excuse to go out hiking; taking pictures; and revisiting summer through wildflowers all winter.