Tag Archive: Wildflowers

Autumn = Asteraceae!

September 10, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator Virginia’s forests in fall are showstoppers, dazzling us with their vibrant colors. But my eyes are often drawn to the weedy roadside ditches and field edges, where fall wildflowers paint the landscape in an Impressionist haze. Fall-blooming flowers aren’t just for looks. They provide an important late-season food source for bees, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinators. Keeping these insects fed and happy is... Read More

Flower Power

April 28, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator As a botany enthusiast, I spend a lot of spring hikes looking down, seeking out flashes of white and pops of color from early spring wildflowers. Fortunately, when I get tired of staring at the forest floor, there are blooms to be seen at eye level and above, thanks to our spring-blooming native trees and shrubs. I should first note that all of... Read More

Field Notes: Milkweed Magic

September 18, 2020 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator For a plant with ‘weed’ in its title, milkweed is a pretty awesome plant. It contains toxins called cardiac glyphosides, which deter feeding by most insects and mammals. Despite this trait, a milkweed plant is a little universe unto itself. In fact, one study documented more than 450 species of insects visiting milkweed in a single midwestern field. You probably already know about... Read More

Field Notes: When Volunteers Go Bad

May 21, 2020 - by Sarah Parmelee, Area Forester Last fall, a little seedling popped up in my yard. It was too young to be readily identifiable, so I left it on the off chance that it was something cool. This spring when it leafed out, I realized that it was a butterfly bush. Now, I do not have any other butterfly bushes in my yard, but other folks in my neighborhood do, and... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods? Daffodils!

February 25, 2020 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Daffodils, Narcissus spp., are always a welcome sight — they are nature’s colorful announcement that spring is near! When we encounter daffodils in the middle of the woods, they are often a sign of an abandoned homestead. In the photos below, the flowers appear to surround an old shed or well (left), and these blooms near an old brick foundation (right) have thrived under 70... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods? Best of Summer 2019

January 16, 2020 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton A Round-up of Interesting Moments & Encounters in the Woods from Summer 2019 When a local deadline for forest land use reports passed in late fall, I had time to share photos from the past few months. Note:  Land Use Assessment is available in many Virginia counties (but not all) for property owners with 20 or more acres of woods.  You can check with your... Read More

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? September 2, 2019

September 13, 2019 - By Project Learning Tree Coordinator Page Hutchinson Look A Little Closer… Although I work for the Virginia Department of Forestry, my job doesn’t actually allow me much time in the forest. Being a tree hugger from way back, I take as many opportunities as I can to get in the forest. On the recent Labor Day holiday, my friend Karen and I went for a hike on the Graves Mill... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Flowers, Birds and Bugs When the songbirds and wildflowers reappear each spring, it feels a bit like a reunion with long lost friends.  The migratory songbirds fill the air with familiar songs.  The month of May brings many beautiful wildflowers, including its namesake, the Mayapple (below). Golden ragwort (top photo) is a common wildflower in cutovers, and this large patch of ragwort (below) provides some... Read More

Field Notes: The Beauty of March

March 23, 2018 - by DOF Area Forester Richard Reuse March and April are the most beautiful months in Virginia. Relative humidity is low, the spring ephemeral wildflowers are blooming and the bugs aren’t out yet….except for the ticks. Here are some of the things I’ve seen this month. These are trout lilies. It’s very unusual to find them in eastern Virginia. Oh deer…there’s a fungus among us. A nice loblolly pine stand that... Read More