|mountain rosebay or great laurel|
I was already in love with the mountain rosebay after seeing one at Goodell Gardens in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, a few years ago. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who were both enamored of native plants, grew mountain rosebay in their gardens Monticello and Mount Vernon. It is late-blooming and features one of my favorite things: lime green polka dots. I like how the pink buds are all crinkled up. The buds look grumpy, like the flowers on the turtlehead.
spotted salamander, but didn't get a photo (too busy trying to catch it). I't supposed to be a very "shy" animal, so I guess we should be happy that he even saw one at all. I also saw an amazing butterfly, which I tried to creep up on, so I could get a good picture. I was quiet as could be, but it kept flittering away. Back at the bottom of the mountain I googled it . . . a diana fritillary, the state butterfly of Arkansas. Doesn't it look like velvet? You can see another picture here. Lily and Jack found a black rat snake and Lily got this fantastic picture (at right). Apparently Lily is afraid of butterflies, but had no problem with this huge snake. You learn amazing things about your kids in the woods.
I'm toying with the idea of putting all these things together in a quilt, although I can't quite figure out how it would all go together yet.