Sunday, May 6, 2012

Swamp Flora and other Sights

There are so many interesting trees, flowers,
ground covers and other flora in the Swamp,
it's difficult to imagine so many plants thriving in one place.
Here are some that I noted during our last outing there.

Sassafrass trees grow in the Great Dismal Swamp.
The leaves and bark are important food sources
 for deer and rabbits and other animals like the one,
as yet unrevealed,  I encountered last week.
Sassafrass tea was once a popular tonic in earlier times,
but now the root--and tea from the root--is considered a carcinogen.
However, the leaves are safe and are still used for making file (fee lay) powder,
an important ingredient for Southern gumbo.
File powder smells very sassa-frassy.
Here is one I call a "woodpecker" tree, the reason evident.
I like the way this dead tree stands out from the others.
Here's an odd specimen I'd never seen before.
It has a straight green trunk like bamboo.
The branches are horizontal; the leaves lacy.
It's only about four feet tall.
And this was an unusual sight for me as well.
Creamy yellow blossoms on a young poplar.
 We saw this next plant and weren't quite sure what it was.
It has a small cluster of pale purple flowers and a stem skirted by tiny ruffled leaves,
so we thought it was henbit at first. 
But the base leaves are deeply veined and look very exotic.
This is a beautiful ground cover. At first I thought it was wild ginger,
but the leaves have dainty scalloped edges
and aren't nearly as thick as wild ginger.
I like this last photo also because of its symmetry.
Even though the leaves have turned brown and died,
it made me think of tiny bells.

Tomorrow, one last trip to the Swamp
and the creature I encountered will finally be revealed.


SecretMae said...

Hello, I was surfing the web for information on honeysuckle vines and came across your blog. I love your background photo and all of your nature photagraphy. They are all beautiful. I like to take pictures of plants and nature too. Where do you live? Do you pictures come from your yard or neighborhood? Have a wonderful day!

I followed your blog lol, to keep up on your updates. I am new to blogspot. My blog doesn't have too much yet, but yours is wonderful.

Love, Melody

Anonymous said...

The third picture is a devil's walking stick (Aralia spinosa).