roadside wildflowers

When my husband and I lived in the suburbs of Maryland, the roadsides were mowed religiously throughout the growing season. The vigorous mowing schedule meant that any wildflowers that happened to show up in the spring usually got mowed before they had a chance to go to seed and produce new plants the following season. Rarely did I see more than the most hardy and common wildflowers.

Here in rural southwestern Virginia, mowing along the back roads is less a priority and wildflowers are abundant. Whenever I drive anywhere I’m always on the lookout for a wildflower that I haven’t seen before or one that is uncommon in this area. A few days ago I spotted this patch of fire pinks – my first ever sighting of this dainty spring ephemeral.

Here are a few other wildflowers that I spotted on the back roads and took the time to photograph.

Goatsbeard

Dame’s rocket

Lady’s slipper

With so many wildflowers to see, a 25-minute trip to the grocery store can (and often does) turn into an hour-long excursion, with me stopping every few miles to take a picture. I could leave my camera at home, but then it’s a sure bet I’d see some species I’ve never seen before. The spring wildflowers will only be with us for a few short weeks, so I’m going to keep on looking and enjoy the show. After all, I won’t see them again for another year!

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