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Meadow Flowers

One day in the summer of 2002 as I mowed my lawn I got to thinking. Each time I mowed it I would stop for any toads or snakes I saw in the grass, but that there were just too many grasshoppers, bees and other insects to be able to save them all as I chopped up their habitat.

All of a sudden maintaining a lawn like that seemed to be a very odd thing for a vegetarian to do.

I decided that I would instead maintain the lawn as a short plant habitat, allowing the clover which made up the vast bulk of the yard to grow unhindered for most of the season along with whatever other random assortment of plants managed to take seed. Once per year, when the flowering season is through, I'll brush-hog it to keep out any tree seedlings and hopefully keep it as a short plant field while the meadow down below supports the taller plants. I'm kind of new to trying to maintain something like this, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will have to see how it goes.

This seems like a win-win-win situation all around. My neighborhood animals get a more constant habitat; I'm not feeling bad about repeatedly churning their environment, running them off or possibly killing them; I'm not maintaining a lawn mower, paying for its fuel or polluting the air as I run it; and I'm saving myself a couple of dozen hours of mowing time over the course of the growing season.

Below are photographs of the many wildflowers that now grow in my yard and meadow. I've tried to identify them as best I could, relying heavily on the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to Wildflowers. If you stumbled on to this site while searching for photographs of a particular flower, don't count on my identification being accurate. Notably absent is a common Vermont sight, Tiger Lilies. I love those flowers, I'll have to throw down some seed. I also have found growing along the roadside in my town Purple-Flowering Raspberry, Chicory, Joe-Pye Weed, Blue Vervain, Canadian Thistle, Snowberry, Spreading Dogbane, Steeplebush, Purple Loosestrife, Moneywort and Yellow Wood Sorrel. There are also three different plants with very small, densely clustered white flowers, and a purple or white and purple ball of small four-petaled flowers that are escaping identification. Hmm. Of those, I know that at least Purple Loosestrife is a exotic invasive species, I should find out about the rest before I encourage their reproduction.

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The front yard ... er, clover patch
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White Clover
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Knotweed (aka Smartweed)
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Daisy Fleabane
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? Grass
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Common Mullein
Indians used its velvety leaves to line moccasins
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Common Mullein
Romans used the dried flower stalk to make torches
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Sweet Goldenrod?
(Looks like it, but doesn't give off the anise scent when its leaves are crushed.)
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Cow Vetch
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Oxeye Daisy
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Common Milkweed
The most aromatic of all the flowers at my home, it has a wonderful scent which can be detected from several feet away.
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Common Milkweed
This plant is home to Monarch buttefly larvae who depend on it as their sole source of food before beginning their transformation into butteflies.
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Cinquefoil?
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The Wild Lawn
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Musk Mallow, Daisy, Clover and Cow Vetch
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Musk Mallow
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Bull Thistle
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Bull Thistle
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Curly Dock
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Black-Eyed Susans
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Black-Eyed Susan with bee
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Spider on my deck door
He is about as big as my thumb
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Indian Paintbrush
... at least in Vermont. Most folks call a totally different plant Indian Paintrbush, and this flower either Orange Hawkweed, Red Hawkweed or Devil's Paintbrush.
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Two-flowered Cynthia
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Ferns
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Heal-All (aka Self-Heal)
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? Grass, a little further along in its life-cycle
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Milfoil (aka Yarrow)
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Rough Cinquefoil
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Queen Anne's Lace
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The lower meadow is densely populated with Common Milkweed, a ripe Monarch Butterfly breeding ground
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Wild Lupine, a bit sparse
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Wild Lupine, gone to seed. Vermonters regularly propagate Lupine by collecting the seed pods and scattering them in fields and roadside ditches.
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Lance-leaved Goldenrod?
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Willow Herb (Thanks to Kathy Bilton for identifying it.)
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English Plantain
(UKGBNI-expat Plantain!)
Songbirds like the seeds and rabbits like the leaves
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Willow Herb
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Northern Bedstraw
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Northern Bedstraw
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Bee on White Clover
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Hop Clover
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Red Clover
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White and Red Clover
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White Clover with grasshopper
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St. John's Wort
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St. John's Wort
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White Sweet Clover
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Red Clover
(Why, yes, it is purple.)
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Dandelion, gone to seed
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Bladder Campion
This blooms at night and is polinated by moths
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Queen Anne's Lace
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Queen Anne's Lace
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Meadowsweet with beetles
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(Showy?) Goldenrod
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Black-Eyed Susan
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????
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White Campion
Like Bladder Campion, it blooms at night and is polinated by moths
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Rough-fruited Cinquefoil
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Common Buttercup
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Hop Clover
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Two-flowered Cynthia
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Oxeye Daisy
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Lance-leaved Goldenrod? with spider
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Indian Paintbrush (Orange Hawkweed) with dandelion-like seeding

There's some plant I have which has all the tops eaten off of it. I didn't take any pictures but I want to figure out what it is and what's eating it. This note is here so I remember!

A few months later I took some more photos of flowers around my house, but I haven't yet captioned most of them.


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Last modified: Wed Jul 12 18:01:26 2006
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