08.13.2019 Well, it ain’t exactly Texas

I am always envious of the wide swaths of wildflowers my Texas friends share in their blogs.  Most of the time here in  Western Massachusetts the flowers are in small patches with a few exceptions like Goldenrod or Buttercups. I found a spot the other day, actually one I spend a lot of time visiting, with a nice large spread of a wildflower.

Atkins Reservoir is pretty low lately.  Despite all the rain we had earlier this Spring, our rainfalls this summer have been few, far between, and of short duration.  My favorite brooks are mostly rocks now and the ponds are lower than usual.  But sometimes that’s an advantage for plants.  In this case, it’s Golden Hedge-hyssop.-Gatiola aurea.

This native wildflower lives most of its time submerged growing to very short heights or even staying below the pond bottom surface.  But when the water level drops it bursts into view, growing to about 8″ or so and giving out bright yellow blooms.

It is wide-spread here and I’d guess that were the reservoir to disappear for a short while the entire bed would be covered with them.

Among all those small wildflowers is another wild shrub, Buttonbush-Cephalanthus occidentalis which you’ve seen as a flower recently.

While we need the reservoir filled back to capacity, this was a chance to see just how prolific Golden Hedge-hyssop is when given the opportunity to bloom.  And, for a change, I got a chance to fill a frame with thousands of native wildflowers.  🙂


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in ecology, Flora, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 08.13.2019 Well, it ain’t exactly Texas

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    Nice to see the profuse flowering. Was there a lot of insect activity?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On behalf of Texas, I welcome you to wildflower swathedom. I’m sorry the price of profusion was water depletion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am surprised that we haven’t had any water use restrictions so far. Although that is not the reservoir we get our water from, it is still concerning and I’ve not seen it that low before. Our water comes from Lawrence Swamp where I photograph grass pink and rose pogonia orchids.


  3. Pete Hillman says:

    The colours are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That IS a beautiful carpet of hyssop, Steve, but I share your hope for the reservoir to refill.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the photos here to show the various stages of terrain and depth of water. Very interesting plant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    It really is attractive. When the freshwater ponds at the refuges dry, we have a lovely crop of dried mud, and not much more. There are times when they mow the ponds, which amuses me. There’s a purpose to it, of course, as it helps to encourage the growth of plants that will serve as shelter and food for the migratory birds this fall and winter, but it certainly isn’t as attractive as this.

    It occurs to me that you’ve not featured many birds in your photos of these places. Are they not there, or has it been a matter of choice and lens-lack?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dried mud is what I expected. It’s nice to know there is more happening on pond bottoms than the accumulation of silt. Mowing ponds…now that’s something I’ve never even imagined. But I can picture it now that you mention what happens when a water body dries up.
      Choice and lens lack, the former because of the latter. We’ll see how much the new lens affects those outcomes. It’s not from lack of interest but frustration when I’d see the results of too much cropping.


  7. Pingback: 10.26.2019 Atkins Reservoir Foliage Reflection | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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