Squawroot, Indian Pipes, and a Great Spangled Fritillary

I hiked up near the headwaters of Little Sewickley Creek on July 4th.  It was a great hike; I started down by the creek and then headed up into the park to the wildflower meadow on Spruce run trail.  After winding around up there for a while, I headed back down to the creek and followed it down stream to my car.

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria cybele) - 
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterflies, like almost all butterflies, have very beautiful colors and geometric patterns that make for great photos.  All I need to do is to get them in focus, which is no easy task since they rarely stay in one place for long.  So I was excited that I got this great picture of the butterfly and I, "eye to eye."

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) -
Common Milkweed and its close relative Butterfly Weed are two of my favorite summer wildflowers.  Plus butterflies, bees, and all sorts of other insects feed on their nectar, so they're gorging themselves now that the flowers are blossoming.


Spotted Touch Me Not (Impatiens capensis) -
Spotted Touch Me Nots are typically found in swampy areas and along streams in our area.  They're in full bloom right now and I've been finding a lot of the Spotted Touch Me Nots lately, but not so many of the Pale Touch Me Nots (Impatiens pallida).

Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma) - 
Oswego Tea, also known as "Crimson Bee Balm," is normally found along stream banks growing in dense clusters.  The bright red flowers of Oswego Tea distinguish it from its close relative, Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), which is nearly identical only it has purplish flowers.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) -
The orange flowers of Butterfly Weed are so brilliant they almost glow with an orange hue when set against the green backdrop of the forest.  The flowers stand out so much that several times I've spotted them across a field from a considerable distance.  Like Milkweed, Butterfly Weed is a favorite of butterflies, bees, and other insects.

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) - 
Unlike most plants, Indian Pipe has no chlorophyll and instead of generating its energy directly from sunlight, it is a parasite that gets its enery from photosynthetic trees.  Since it does not require sunlight to grow, this little wildflower is often found in the darkest parts of the forest.

Thin-Leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) - 
Interestingly, I didn't even notice the spider web encircling this Thin-Leaved Sunflower specimen until I reviewed my pictures on my computer, but it turned out to be a great photo.  There are some wildflowers, this being one of them, that I only find in the wildflower meadows in the park.

Wild Black Raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) -
An easy way to distinguish Wild Black Raspberries from Wild Blackberries is the shape of the berry.  Wild Black Raspberries are "cup" shaped whereas Wild Blackberries are not cupped.  By the way, never eat any berries that you have not positively identified.


Squawroot (Conopholis americana) -
When Squawroot first blooms, its tiny flowers are a bright white that fades into brown rather quickly.  So if you're looking for Squawroot now, most all will be closer to brown and more difficult to find since they rarely get more than 4 inches or so tall.

More Pictures:

Heal All (Prunella vulgaris)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria cybele)

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Spotted Touch Me Not (Impatiens capensis)

Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) Non-Native

Orange Daylily (Hemerocallis Fulva) Non-Native

Thin-Leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus

Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma)