On a recent trek around the edge of the hayfield on horseback, I spotted an unfamiliar flower. I snapped a few photos with the camera on my cell phone, not the greatest quality but it gets the job done. I won't take my good, heavy camera on horseback, but when I go riding at the lake I usually take the little point-and-shoot model. I haven't taken it with me on my recent forays around the hayfield and out the old oil road though.
I checked a few of my favorite wildflower links and I think it's wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). I'm excited - I love finding new plants!
Evidently I found this patch of flowers a little earlier than most of the photos I found online of the plant; the online photos show a disk in the middle that will eventually become the seed head. I'll have to venture out there in a few more days to see the flowers' progress.
Since our neighbor cuts and bales our hayfield in August or so, I'm wondering if I should dig up some of the plant and move it to a better spot, or if it will have died back by then. It's a perennial, so it should come back again next spring. I just have to remember where it is.
An ongoing project in my house is the compilation of a field guide to local plants and their uses. I haven't printed any of the pages yet, but I've been taking photos and composing a page for each plant in Word, with the photo, any info I've found in books or online, and the location of where I've spotted it. The 8.5"x11" size is too large to tote around with me, but by snapping a photo I can look up the plant when I get back home.
Oklahoma Prairie Country
Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses