Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pink Houses and Ironweed

Ain't that America
Something to see, baby
Ain't that America
Home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses
For you and me.

   -- Pink Houses, John Mellencamp

I took these pictures today at Lilypons, Maryland, where I picked up a few fish (why not?) and a new pump for the pond. I've dug a few groundhogs here in the past, back when there was a 96-year old fellow working on the place. He's gone now, but he loved my dogs.

The Lilypons business is for sale for $2.6 million.  It's been in the same family for the entire 30 years or more that I have been going there.

The weed at top, and above, is ironweed, which is any of several purple-flowered plants in theVernonia genus. Ironweed is among our most beautiful wild flowers, but a sure sign that you are in the wrong area for terrier work. The reason: Iron weed is almost always found in very wet areas -- areas that even if dry right at that moment, are wet often enough to be places where no self-respecting den-dwelling animal will set up shop.

Iron weed blooms in July and August, and often has large numbers of butterflies flitting about from flower to flower. One of the most common butterflies associated with ironweed is the American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) for whom it serves as a larval host.

In late fall, the stems of this plant will get rust colored -- the source of the name. The plant itself stands waist to shoulder height and has leaves very much like a Viburnum, another plant often called a "butterfly bush".

1 comment:

Karen Carroll said...

I've done many visit to LilyPons looking for tadpoles, frogs, snakes and just enjoying the area and the wild things there. A lovely place, hope it does not change too much, when it changes ownership.