• Fringed Gentian

Wildflowers of the Pannes: John Lowry

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Canon T4i Rebel SLR camera with a Canon EFS 55-250mm F4-5.6 1/400 sec.   F 7.1   ISO 100

One of the pleasures of tracking wildflowers here in Southern Ontario is what I call the virtual parade of flowers that Nature puts forth throughout the warmer seasons. Beginning in early spring with Coltsfoot, Hepatica, Trout Lilies and Red and White Trilliums, Mother Nature presents a steady procession of different types of wildflowers as we get into late spring, the summer months and even in to late summer and early fall with the emergence of various Goldenrods, Asters and Jewelweeds to name a few.

An intriguing aspect of my annual journey is coming across wildflowers in places that you would not expect them and at times of the year when you would not expect them.

One such example came on the 21st of September as Terry Sprague led a Quinte Field Naturalists outing to Sandbanks Provincial Park, home of the largest freshwater baymouth sandbar in the world. The purpose of the outing was to visit the pannes, low areas located between the coastal and inland dunes that are seasonally or continually wet.

The day was perfect with clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures and the outing participants were treated to a perfect array of seasonal wildflowers in full bloom.

The brilliant display included Fringed Gentian, Purple Gerardia, Hooded Ladies Tresses, Boneset, Kalm’s Lobelia, Gray Goldenrod and Marsh St John Wort. An added bonus was the profusion of New England Asters on the fringes of the pannes, one of which was covered by a handful of colourful Painted Lady butterflies stocking up on pollen or nectar.

To use an oft quoted expression, “The wonders of Nature never cease to amaze me.”

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