On my last walk, I discovered quite a few swell things, one being a plant I'd never seen before other than in books or online...
Ironweed, not Boneset, Eagle Scout
This is Ironweed, aka Vernonia. It's a native that favors moist areas. Hence, here it is along the river and not in my dry yard.
Since I'm just learning to identify trees, I was excited to find so many Paw Paws growing along the river as well. Now I know why I saw dozens and dozens of Zebra Swallowtail butterflies along the river back in the spring, the Paw Paw is their host plant! Sadly it also favors moist areas and is not likely to find it's way onto our property. Judging by how many I see along the river, I don't think it's necessary anyway.
Paw Paw leaves
Paw Paw fruit
This butterfly landed on my shoulder, then flew up onto this tree, it looks to be an American Lady. I can add it to the ever increasing list of butterflies that we've spotted lately.
When I go for a walk I'm always interested to see what plant is most attractive to the pollinators, as a possible consideration to add to my landscape. The hands-down winner was this mint...
I'm pretty sure it's one the "bad" mints, non-native and escaped from captivity. I couldn't locate it in any of my wildflower books. However, it was literally covered in every kind of pollinator you could imagine, especially honey bees.
Honey Bee and Mint
Just 10 feet away from the huge mint there's a patch of native Joe Pye (Eupatorium). Not a single pollinator on any of it. What does that tell us?
I think the Joe Pye is leaning over because it's sad...
Well, my walk was short and that's about all. Plus, my camera battery died.
*Click the photos above to enlarge them, if your browser allows.