Wildflower Adventure

My mother is visiting this weekend so she and I took a trip south on the River Road along the St. Croix River. (with a quick detour in through Fish Lake Wildlife Area) in search of wildflowers and birds. We found some nice flowers and a few good birds. Here are my flower shots (taken with my iPhone!) Most of these were taken by lying on the ground next to the flowers, only pulled off a couple ticks afterward.

A single Pasqueflower opening to the morning sunlight.
Pasqueflowers are really hairy.
Pasqueflowers were covering a west-facing hillside near Fish Lake Wildlife Area
Prairie Buttercups are mixed in with the Pasqueflowers

Trout lily plants carpet the forest floor along the river with their mottled gray-green and brown leaves and are blooming profusely right now.


Our illustrious Wisconsin State Flower, the Wood Violet, is just starting to bloom.
Bloodroot is a fairly common sight along the River Road.
This was the only wide-open Trilliium that we foung today.  There are a lot of them coming up, and there should be more blooming soon.
Bloodroot has a large leaf that surrounds and protects the flower until it opens, then remains after the flower is done blooming. It is named for the red juices that run from broken stems, leaves and roots.
Sessile-leaved Bellwort is a diminutive flower, often missed on a quick scan of the forest floor.  It used to be in the lily family, but, according to minnesotawildflowers.info (my favorite online wildflower guide), it was recently re-classified as a member of the Autumn-Crocus family.  Considering it is a spring flower, this change seems strange.
This is a shot from the underside of the downward-facing flower.  The plant is less than a foot tall, so I had to lay flat on the ground to get this shot. 
This cute little flower is Virginia Spring Beauty.  It is thought that the veins that run through many flower petals are designed to lead pollinating insects to the center of the flower where the stamens are.
A nice group of Spring Beauty flowers.
These Small White Violets were  treat to see.  The flowers are about half the size of the Wood violet, and are nowhere near as common.  They like the moist soils of the river valley.
There were not many hepatica found today – these Round-lobed hepatica can be either a purplish blue or white (see next photo).


One last Spring Beauty pic. I liked the setting for this photo.
Our bonus wildflower of the day is these Dutchman’s Breeches that we encountered along the MN side of the river north of Stillwater.
Dutchman’s Breeches covered a hillside along highway 95 north of Stillwater MN.

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