Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter

This week's Wildflowers in Winter challenge is to photograph a winter image of wildflowers. Well, it's definitely winter out here on the northern plains and there's not much in the way of pretty wildflowers to photograph, but I did manage to get the lasting remains of the Curlycup Gumweed that is in the forefront of this picture. To see it in its mature form, click here. It's a pretty yellow wildflower that has a very aromatic smell and is sticky to the touch, whether you're handling the stems, leaves or the flower itself. It didn't get the name "gumweed" for nothing. It is said that plains tribes used it for treating colic, asthma and bronchitis and that early pioneers used the herb as a treatment for whooping cough and as an ingredient for asthma cigarettes (I can't even imagine trying this idea! Whew!)

These aren't flowers yet, but they are the buds of the soon-to-be catkins of the Cottonwood Tree which is a native growing tree here on the plains. It's always fun for me to watch them creep out of their pods like wooly, red caterpillars when the temperatures warm up in May. Click here for a picture of the catkin in "full bloom."


  1. Beautiful pictures Jody. I look out in my flower garden and all I see is 'dead stuff', but here you are making it art. :-P

  2. Yep, that is about what it looks like here today. I like that you linked to the spring version of the flower. I'm going to have to do that too.

    This is really fun.

  3. I love the budding photo. It's a very hopeful shot! It's great to be able to really experience 4 distinct seasons...

  4. I love the blue sky as a backdrop to your winter wildflowers. We have heavy clouds again today, so there is no color in my photos at all. I'm going to get outside and take more photos the very next day that the sky is actually blue! You've inspired me! *grin*

  5. You are having very blue skies, where you are lately. We are too, but it is supposed to change to rain/snow overnight. As much as I enjoy cozy, "weather" days, it's been nice to have some sun, and has brightened everyone up in this part of the world.
    I love the beautiful quiet colors in your first photograph.

  6. Thank you everybody for your kind and thoughtful comments. We've been under a cloudy gray sky with sub-zero temps for a week or so, but the last few days have been sunny and glorious for being out-of-doors and enjoying the fresh air again.

    The blue sky behind the cottonwood twigs really does at dimension and warmth of color in winter, doesn't it?


  7. Your photos are both lovely -- it's very "beige" here today as another winter storm approaches...your blue skies are beautiful.

  8. Your plants have such fantastic names...Gumbo Lily and Curlycyp Gumweed. I like that included a link to the summertime version and the history.


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