sessile bellwort; straw lily; wild oats
Colchicaceae [formerly Liliaceae]
And back to the Potomac Gorge…
Thanks to a tip from a fellow muddy-kneed photographer, I was able to (finally!) get some decent pictures of sessile bellwort. This is a dainty plant, standing only a few inches tall, with a few narrow leaves and an inch-long, pendant, pale yellow flower. It can be found in moist woodlands in the eastern US and Canada, the Midwest, and parts of the Great Plains states. Like so many of the other plants now blooming in the Gorge, it’s an ephemeral: in about a month it will be done for the year, and die back to the ground.
In 2012, I hiked the Billy Goat trails for fun and to see the flowers. In 2013, I started taking pictures of them with my iPhone, so I could identify them at home. In 2014, I bought my first real camera (Nikon D3200) to use as a tool for better identification and study, but my goal was finding the plants. Midway through 2015, I bought a better camera (Nikon D750), because my goal had shifted from finding plants to getting better pictures of them. Now, in 2016, I find I’m no longer hiking in search of plants. Rather, I’m hiking to places where I know certain plants can be found, in order to spend time taking pictures of them. I’ll be posting about another one of those soon.
Funny where a trail can lead you if you let it. I had never been interested in photography before.