Friday, July 03, 2015

Flickers and Flowers...

Northern Flicker
Yesterday was Canada Day, and the weather was perfect, so in the afternoon Ian and I went for a walk in a local park. We walked to a high point, where we had a view of the entire park, which is a former industrial area that has been cleaned up and left to go back to as wild a state as possible. It's prairie, with grasses, and a bit of marshy area, so the grasses were billowing in the wind. We sat and talked for a long time, and he took pictures of some of the flowers, grasses and vistas, plus a Northern Flicker, a member of the woodpecker family.  

Hackelia floribunda
One flowering plant growing in profusion along the path was so beautiful we stopped and Ian took several picture of them. 

The flowers are hardly bigger than the head of a pin, and the plants themselves were 4-5" or about 11 cm tall. Many were covered with flowers but the little burrs the flowers mature into were already visible. These are Hackelia floribunda, a species of flowering plant in the borage family known by the common name manyflower stickseed. 

Yes, well-named. Walk along a path lined with these later in the summer and your socks will be covered with the little egg-shaped burrs which are covered in velcro-like hooks. Like a lot of bad habits and crazy ideas, they start out looking very attractive, but it isn't long before you can't get the "burrs" out of your life.

We followed our walk with a visit to the grocery store. I had started a yummy chicken soup made from fresh vegetables and roasted chicken in the crockpot before leaving home. So we bought fruit and salad and cat food, and the three of us had a nice meal together and Ian visited with his Dad for a while.

It was lovely to spend time together. He's always so busy, that I miss the long talks we used to have when he was younger and we'd often talk late into the night. Seeing your children grow up into competent, compassionate human beings is the best feeling in the world. 

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