Thursday, April 21, 2011

Up A River and Through the Woods

Ahhhhhh, springtime in the South.  As we drive around here, so many fields and meadows are full of Blue Cornflowers and Red Clover.  Picture perfect!

I am thinking of getting some Cornflower seeds and scattering them in our drainage field where I planted the river of Daffodils this winter.  

The other day was a beautiful day in South Carolina and so we decided to take a boat ride upriver.  As I mentioned before, we live on a lake that is fed by two rivers, the Saluda and the Reedy.  We live on the Saluda branch.  Last summer we only ventured downriver, save for a couple short trips around the bend.  After chatting with the plumber, apparently you can travel quite a way up the Saluda.  And that we did. 

In the shallows where the river takes the biggest bend there were tons of turtles sunning themselves on various logs or rocks.  Of course as we approached, they slip into the water.  I was able to get a few good shots.

We kind of felt like the African Queen, slowly exploring the wilderness.  We saw one boat early in the trip... after that ---no one. 

Oh sure, there were a few more turtles..... it was a quiet ride, in deeper than we expected water.  We kept going upstream until we came across a tree that blocked the way.  Going DOWNSTREAM was like Huck Finn on a raft.....what a current!! 
When we rounded a bend we had just past a little earlier, the cows were coming down to water.

The cows (and they are all cows to me) were lowing...getting the attention of our two passengers---

I thought one of them was going to go in~~

If we aren't out on the water, I am in the garden or in the woods, exploring.  I have found some of the best native plants in my wooded area.  While sadly looking for a place to bury a bird that hit our picture window, I found a Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium , then another and another....right by my compost bins in the woods!

Also in my wooded area are some ferns.  I believe them to be Christmas ferns, Polystichum acrostichoides, though I thought the fronds were larger....

The little leaflets look like little boots, my way of making the ID of a Christmas fern. 

As I was looking at the ferns, trying to get a good picture I saw something else---

Yes, a native Heuchera!!  There were a number of them in this little gully.  I was not really prepared to get into the gully with my sandals..... right next to the Heuchera was----

some of the biggest leafed poison ivy I have seen. 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. That is a good picture of the poison ivy and makes it easy to identify. We do have some of that in our foothills and I always try to avoid it. ( plus the rattlers!)
    I love cornflowers, they are easy to grow and I think it is a good idea to plant some in your drainage field.
    I did order some bachelor button seeds for this year because they were one of the flowers that stood up to several frosts for me.

  2. I couldn't be more jealous of all you've got going on "down there". My wife and I vow to move down south one of these years and this helps explain why. Thank you for sharing.

  3. It is always fun introducing a dog to horses or cows. They act like they have seen the biggest dogs in the world at first, but soon it is old news. Then they discover manure.

  4. What a wonderful float, leisurely on the river close to home.
    The beauty & the beast. Most times there is some not to admirable plant growing close to a beauty. Do keep us up to date on the wild heucahura? & let us know what color it is.

  5. Sounds like you had a great day cruising the river and finding native plants in the woods. Hope you didn't get to close to that Poison Ivy. The pic of the dogs staring at the cows cracked me up, lol. ;) My little Spaz would of lost her mind.

  6. Your river ride sounds so leisurely and peaceful! Great that you're finding all those wildflowers. Richard dug out some poison ivy for me this week as it was strangling my favorite buddleia!

  7. What a wonderful find on the heuchera! Not so on the poison ivy. I can see where your boat ride felt like a trip on the African Queen with the water so muddy. Those cornflowers are sure a lovely blue.

  8. What a beautiful, winding river ride. And the dogs were in doggie heaven - would have only been better if they'd been allowed to take a dip! Your cornflowers from a distance could be bluebonnets -- I'm sure you thought of that! Happy Earth Day

  9. Hi Janet, I enjoyed the boat ride! My dogs would have standing right beside your watching the cows. It was neat to find the native heuchera and not so neat to find the the giant poison ivy! Have a great Easter!!

  10. What a lovely reflection about your explorations of your new surroundings!

    And I'm glad our Southern woods and rivers are proving interesting. Lots to explore!


  11. The fern is Ebony Spleenwort. We have a lot of that and Blue-Eyed Grass growing wild here too. Isn't it wonderful what treasures you can find growing in your own woods?! And a native Heuchera too, how nice. It's lovely.

    Thank you for taking us along on your boat trip, and sharing the magic of the water.

  12. Ha, I would have been tempted to check out that heuchera...until I saw the poison ivy, that is:) What a wonderful location you have, Janet! Thanks for taking us along on your boat tour--it did feel a little like Huck Finn floating down the Mississippi. I bet the dogs enjoyed exploring the waters, too.

    Happy Easter!

  13. PS I saw a beautiful local roadside planting of Red Clover. Now I must try it in my meadow up top. It'd look great in your field with the daffodils.

  14. OK, I am now officially jealous. I was OK - just - with you living on a lake, but being able to go up and down not one river, but two?! Seriously, how fabulous to be able to potter about on the water. And yes, do sprinkle cornflowers in your meadow - I was pricking some out to plant up at the allotment today, but they look so much better au naturel.

  15. Good thing you didn't get into that ivy with your sandaled feet! could have been disastrous. How lucky to find so many wonderful native plants right on your doorstep.

  16. Thanks for sharing the glorious day with us!

  17. wow, how lucky you are to have those natives!

    I have already had a terrible case of poison oak this year. I have really got to learn how to ID poison ivy. maybe you can do a post about that since you've got it down? :-)

    Have a great weekend!

  18. Hope you are coming through this recent rainy weather safely. My gardens are saturated today.

  19. You must really be enjoying exploring the lake and rivers around your new home. It's just beautiful there. Your native heuchera looks like one I bought at a nursery here.

  20. Looks like you are having some fun times doing some exploring! The cows come down into the water when we're on our boat at Lake Anna, as well. I will have to get pictures of them this summer. Our dogs go nuts, too;-) Great native plant finds in your woods! Love the blue flower;-) Sorry about the bird AND the poison careful in sandals. I hope you can stay clear of it!

  21. It looks like a great way to enjoy spring! those meadows look amazing

  22. Ah, poison ivy. Such a wonder 'native.' It grows 50-feet tall on thick hairy vines in nearby Huntley Meadows Park. I will need to post my photos so we can compare who's is bigger.:-)

  23. Great finds and the dogs only thought the cows were big dogs to play with. hee hee...

  24. Hi Rosey, I would be more afraid of the rattlers! I really like the bachelor buttons, just a pretty blue!

    ONG, This IS paradise!

    Les, this was pretty funny. You know these two dogs...goofy!

    Lola, I will keep you up to date on the Heuchera.

    Racquel, it was a great day, just perfect. You should have seen when the dogs started barking.

    Cameron, it was peaceful. I have found so many nice native plants, just great.

    Tina, when it rains the water is really muddy. I love the blue cornflowers.

    Diana, you know it!!

    Jennifer, We enjoy the boat so much. Lovely way to spend the day.

    Lisa, I think my exploring time is just about up for the season....ticks and chiggers..and lots more poison ivy. In the meanwhile, there have been wonderful findings.

    Lola, thanks! Hope yours was a Happy Easter as well.

    Sweetbay, thanks for the ID! I am really enjoying finding the treasures in the woods.

    Rose, I was just about to get closer when I saw the poison ivy! The dogs love the boat, at least the two younger ones. Our old dog isn't keen on the boat ---she is 17.

    Sweetbay, it is Crimson clover, and just lovely!

    Janet, glad you are jealous! :-) We have had a lot of fun exploring. I am going to do the cornflowers, they are wonderful.

    Marguerite, I do not want poison ivy!!! We have a lot of it.

    Chris, Glad you enjoyed it.

    Ginger, thanks! I may just do a poison ivy posting...good idea.

    Tracy, thanks for stopping by, we could stand more rain...still behind in total rainfall.

    Catherine, we are having a blast! I was surprised to see the Heuchera growing in the little ravine.

    Jan, we are having fun! Have gone up river a couple more times, no cows in the meadow. I plan on staying clear of the poison ivy.

    fer, the meadows in the spring are such wonderful colors.

    English Shepherd, thanks!

    Swimray, once it goes up a vertical surface it will flower and berry.

    Skeeter, my dogs are not too smart....hard to tell what they would have done if there wasn't water around.

  25. Janet ~ I really think you picked an excellent place to retire. So much to do and see around you. I could keep myself busy for a long time there not to mention how beautiful it is. I haven't seen poison ivy in so long, I would have it all over me before I realized it. Thanks for the reminder!


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