Touch Me Nots, Forget Me Nots, and another Turtlehead

This year has been strange year.  We had cold weather at the beginning of August and then hotter temps recently so there's quite a few wildflowers still blooming that aren't typical for September.  Although the leaves are starting to fall in earnest now, so it won't be long before Autumn is here regardless.

Spotted Touch Me Not (Impatiens capensis) - 
This bugle-shaped orange, yellow, and red flower is one of the most beautiful flowers in our area and I've noticed over the years the plant is a favorite for deer and other browsers.  I do believe I read one time that its stalks when young are edible, but I've never tried them.

Pale Touch Me Not (Impatiens pallida) - 
Every weekend I hike I think it's the last of the Pale Touch Me Nots, but then there they are each week looking healthy and more beautiful than ever.

Touch Me Not Seed Pod (Impatiens pallida) - 
A green bean-like Pale Touch Me Not seed pod ready to burst.  I can remember hiking by the creek as a kid and throwing these at buddies just to watch them burst open.

Touch Me Not Seed Pod (Impatiens pallida) - 
I laid the seed pod in my hand and then rolled it along my palm to trigger it.  You can see the spring like mechanisms that are released when the seed pods are touched as well as a couple of the seeds.

Tall Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea) - 
This has not been a very good year for Tall Ironweed, at least not around the Little Sewickley Creek valley.  Last year, I saw Tall Ironweed and its purple blossoms practically everywhere, but this year I've seen very little.  I love the purple blossoms on Tall Ironweed though, they are actually a very deep purple hue that doesn't seem natural because it's so rich.

Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii) - 
There are a few species of Turtlehead in our area and last week I photographed White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) in a different part of the park.  This week I found this Pink Turtlehead specimen next to an especially muddy section of the creek's floodplain, so they are around more than I realized, even though I rarely find more than a few plants each year.

Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) Non-Native - 
I found this specimen of Queen Anne's Lace along the fence line of the American Chestnut orchard in the park.  Queen Anne's Lace is not native but is quite pretty and is vaguely similar to White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima).


New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) - 
New England Aster is one of my favorite wildflowers since it blooms when the rest of the forest is starting to decline in anticipation of the coming winter.  Its beautiful bluish purple blossoms are about the size of a half dollar with yellow centers that really standout against the petals.  I've actually seen entire fields overtaken in the fall with New England Asters and the purple flowers really do add some much needed color at this time of year.

Small Flower Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis laxa) - 
I was surprised to find these Small Flower Forget Me Nots down by the creek but as I said, this has been a weird year. There was only this one specimen though, I didn't see any others on my hike. 

More Pictures:

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima

Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia)