During the spring I often teach wildflower classes or lead field trips to some of West Virginia’s most remarkable spring wildflower locations; often in the mountainous counties. My students are captivated by the trilliums, bluebells, wild geraniums, bloodroot, buttercups, fire pinks and other obvious dashes of bright color wowing us from the sea of green foliage. After exhausting the identification and appreciation of these larger wildflowers I often take out my hand lens, find a previously unnoticed plant and show everyone its tiny, seemingly invisible flower. It’s an entirely new world! All photos (c) Bill Beatty
Bishop’s Cap..normal view Bishop’s Cap through a hand lens
Deptford Pink…normal view Deptford Pink…through a hand lens
These tiny flowers present a different perspective to looking at wildflowers. They are the ones often trampled on the way to see the larger, more visible color creations.
Hiking boot and Yellow Corydalis False Mermaidweed and penny
Even at home, growing as weeds in our gardens, these tiny wildflowers make an appearance only to be pulled and composted for future use as nutrients and soil conditioners. Even though their beauty is apparent to those familiar with using a hand lens, when they grow unwanted as weeds in a flower or vegetable garden, they can still be removed, but with a much greater appreciation.
Ground Ivy…normal view Ground Ivy through a hand lens
Dead Horse Nettle…normal view Dead Horse Nettle through a hand lens