Journal archives for June 2020

June 01, 2020

Weekly Wildflower Feature for the week of June 1, 2020

Hey there iNatters! June is here and that means warm weather and sunshine is upon us!

Let's celebrate that sunshine by looking for Buttercups in CVNP! We’ve got nine species of Buttercups in our park. The most common ones include the small-flowered, meadow, creeping, and swamp buttercups. Here are some pictures of those, respectively:

Oh, and just a friendly reminder, please don’t pick those golden blooms. Let other people find a little sunshine in their day too!

Happy iNatting! 😊

Image Credits: Frank Mayfield, G.D. Bebeau, David G. Smith, and Charles Pierce (respectively)

Posted on June 01, 2020 14:43 by mklein1216 mklein1216 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 08, 2020

Weekly Wildflower Feature for the week of June 8, 2020

Hey all, happy Monday! This week, we’re going to talk about the Mustard family, Brassicaceae.

Quite a few of our nation’s food crops are members of the Brassicaceae family; broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard (obviously), and more! Still, many members of the mustard family are not cultivated and thrive in natural habitats.

CVNP is home to 22 members of the Brassicaceae family. About half of our mustard species live here naturally (a.k.a. native), while half of them were brought here by humans (a.k.a. non-native)! Regardless of their unique origin stories, the flowers of Mustard plants share certain characteristics. Here are 3 characteristics to check for if you think you’ve found a Mustard bloom!

1) The flower has 4 petals and 4 sepals

Left: Dame's Rocket petals (credit: Arthur Haines). Right: Dame's Rocket sepals (credit: Katy Chayka)

2) The flower has 6 stamens: 4 tall and 2 short

Left: Black Mustard 4 tall stamens in the middle, 2 short stamens on the right and left (credit: Jouko Lehmmuskallio). Right: Spring Cress 4 tall stamens in the middle, 2 short stamens on the right and left (credit:SRTurner)

3) The seed pods that attach to the plant stalk in a “spiral staircase” formation

Left: Shepherd's Purse triangular seed pods (credit: Glen Mittelhauser). Right: Spring Cress thin, oblong seed pods (credit: SRTurner).

These are just a few examples of Brassicaceae family flower characteristics. Here is a great resource that explains these characteristics in more detail: https://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Plant_Families/Brassicaceae.htm

Feel free to respond to this post with any questions you have. Happy iNatting!

Posted on June 08, 2020 15:49 by mklein1216 mklein1216 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 15, 2020

Weekly Wildflower Feature: Positive Vibes with Daisies and Fleabanes

Hey there friends and family! We hope you all had a great weekend. What’s one thing you did this weekend that made you or others around you happy? Leave a comment about it below!

Let’s keep spreading those positive vibes this week by sharing pictures of Daisies and Fleabanes in CVNP. The Daisy’s symbolic history is focused on spreading positivity. Daisies are symbols of healing, happiness, persistence, patience, and most importantly, new beginnings.

With everything we’re going through right now, positive vibes are something we all need. When you see a Daisy or Fleabane in your National Park, let it share its positive vibes with you and remember to share those good vibes with others too!

Some of the Daisies and Fleabanes in CVNP look very similar and identifying them can get tricky! Remember that the iNaturalist community is here to help you out! To get you started, here are CVNP’s five most common species of Daisies and Fleabanes!

Oxeye Daisy:

Photo credit: D.J. Reiser

Horseweed Fleabane:

Photo credit: John Gerrath

Annual fleabane:

Photo credit: Mark Turner

Philadelphia fleabane:

Photo credit: Jonathan Foise

Daisy fleabane:

Photo credit: JJ Prekop Jr.

"When times get tough, we don't give up. We get up." -Barack Obama

P.S. Please don't pick your park's daisies for your loved ones! Let other people find them so they can feel those positive vibes too. If you really want to give someone a bouquet of daisies, try purchasing blooms from your local floral business instead!

Posted on June 15, 2020 20:04 by mklein1216 mklein1216 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 29, 2020

Fire it up this week with Firewheel, Fire Pink, and Scarlet Bee Balm!

It’s prime time bonfire season out there! What’s your favorite part about a good bonfire? Is it the ‘mallows and the s’mores? Or the good times with friends and family? Feel free to share in the comments below!

This week in CVNP, find your own bonfire in the daytime by checking out some of our fiery red blooms! Bright red flowers aren’t very common in Northeast Ohio, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find any. However, here are some blushed blooms you might spot in CVNP this time of year:

1) Firewheel (Gaillarda pulchella, also known as Indian Blanket)
This flower is a member of the sunflower family. Firewheel flowers are a red-orange color with a yellow outer ring. Each petal has yellow tips and usually has 3 teeth, giving it a sun or flame-like appearance. Firewheel is not native to Ohio. But don’t worry, it’s not an invasive plant either. We call it “naturalized” in Ohio, which means that it can survive here outside of its natural range without help from humans.


image credits: Randy Heisch and Joyful Butterfly: https://www.joyfulbutterfly.com/product/indian-blanket-seeds/

2) Fire Pink (Silene virginica)
Fire Pink, or Royal Catchfly, is a member of the carnation family. Its flower has a tubular base with five red petals, each with two teeth at the ends. This red bloom is native to Ohio and is pollinated by a crowd favorite, the ruby-throated hummingbird.


image credits: Stephanie Brundage and Betty Truax

3) Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Scarlet Bee Balm is a member of the mint or deadnettle plant family. Its bloom looks like a bright red case of bed head, if you ask me! However, what look like individual flower petals are actually single tubular flowers. Many tubular flowers are clustered onto one flower head, creating this charming messy mop. Scarlet Bee Balm is rare in Ohio. If you find some in CVNP, you should protect the plant by obscuring its coordinates and adding it to the Ohio Watch List project on iNaturalist (link: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ohio-watch-list ).


image credits: Alan Cressler and Stephanie Brundage

Stay safe out there this week, iNatters. Good luck finding your own bonfire in the day time in CVNP!

Posted on June 29, 2020 18:26 by mklein1216 mklein1216 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 22, 2020

Blue Belly Flower Week

What does being a Naturalist mean to you? Does it mean you can identify everything in your natural environment? Or, does it mean that you notice things that other people don’t?

A good Naturalist is a keen observer. They have trained their senses to notice specific hints and clues about the world around them. You don’t become a Naturalist overnight either! Becoming a good observer takes time and practice. In fact, a good Naturalist is always learning. They are constantly curious about what’s out there.

The best way to stay curious is by keeping a fresh perspective on things. That’s why this week, we’re highlighting Blue Belly Flowers! Belly Flowers is a term used to describe low-growing wildflowers. These are the wildflowers that are so tiny, you have to get on your belly to see them! Here are some Blue Belly Flowers to hunt for next time you come to the park:

Speedwells: CVNP is home to six species of Speedwells. Here are a couple to get you started:

From left to right: Thymeleaf Speedwell, Slender Speedwell, and Birds-eye Speedwell.
Image credits: Nelson DesBarros (x2), Mallory Klein, respectively.

Blueeyed Grasses: CVNP has only one confirmed species of blueeyed grasses:

Narrow-leaved Blue-eyed Grass.
Image credit: Mallory Klein.

Have a great week out there! Remember to be observant, stay curious, and most importantly, have fun!

Posted on June 22, 2020 20:00 by mklein1216 mklein1216 | 3 comments | Leave a comment