Native Wildflowers And A Turtle

Yesterday afternoon, Harland and I paid a visit to the summer pasture to check on the cows. The cows and their calves, along with the bulls are all fine (post to come later). While there, I took some pics of the native wildflowers, and also found an adorable reptile who posed nicely for his picture. First, the flowers:

This is White Wild Indigo:

White Wild Indigo

White Wild Indigo

Indigo is a member of the bean family. The blue variety of Indigo was used as a dye by the Native Amercians, who in turn taught the early settlers about its dye properties. They also used Indigo for an eye-wash, a purgative, and for treating nausea.

This is a Wooly Verbena:

Wooly Verbena

Wooly Verbena

Plains Indians used the leaves of Wooly Verbena to make a tea for stomachaches. It is very drought resistant as its roots descend 12 feet.

This is American Germander:

American Germander

American Germander

American Germander is a member of the mint family, so as we drove through the pasture we were surrounded by a minty smell.

This is Wild Bergamot, also known as Mint-Leaf Beebalm:

Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot

The flowers are especially attractive to bees, hence the name “beebalm”. Native Americans used it for the treatment of colds, fevers, stomach pains, respiratory problems, and acne.

Harland was driving the truck through the pasture and stopping when I pointed out a flower I wanted picture of, when he suddenly stopped on a dime and said, “You want to get a picture of him”.

“Him” was an Ornate Box Turtle, the Kansas state reptile. He was kinda shy.

Ornate Box Turtle

I loved his bright red eyes. Only the males have the red eyes.

Ornate Box Turtle

I finally was able to get a clear view of his face. He was cute in a reptilian way.

Ornate Box Turtle

Ornate Box Turtles may spend their entire lives within just a few acres. They eat insects, spiders, worms and berries, and can live up to 30 years. In the fall, they dig a shallow burrow, and then hibernate until spring.

When he was done posing for his picture, he walked away, and got back to the serious business of looking for food.

After our visit with Mr. Box Turtle, we drove on to visit with the cows. I’ll have a post tomorrow about them including pics of the growing calves.

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Suzanne

Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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19 Responses

  1. Nice tall wildflowers. I love finding turtles.

  2. Glyndalyn says:

    I enjoyed the wild flowers. Different than what we have in Appalachia and Middle TN. We have the same species of box turtles (terrapins) here.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Glyndalyn,
      I’ve been to Appalachia, but it was in the winter. Would love to visit again sometime.
      Thank you,
      Suzanne

  3. Teresa says:

    I love that last picture of the turtle. He definitely looks like the strong silent type. I’m glad you had the wooly verbena pictures. I was just admiring some here today and racking my brain to try and remember what it was. You are truly like a walking encyclopedia with all of your herb/flower knowledge.

  4. Janet says:

    I agree, the turtle IS cute. We have one visit our compost pile sometimes, I’m always tickled to see him (?) ~now I’ll know, him/her~ My recent visitor was a garter snake eating an unlucky frog/toad…I know it’s just nature, but I didn’t enjoy that. At all. I much enjoy your flower photos, I feel as though I’m getting an education! Looking fwd to your calf post :o)

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Janet,
      I don’t care for snakes either, but they serve a purpose, and are part of the whole package deal.
      Take care,
      Suzanne

  5. Maegan says:

    Thanks for the wildflower information. Learning about their herbal uses is just as interesting as looking at the pretty pictures. I love plants.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hello Maegan,
      Seems that the Native Americans had a use for every native plant. Pretty neato.
      Thanks for stopping,
      Suzanne

  6. I loved those pictures, they were just beautiful! And I think I might have even seen some of those names in herbal teas.. but I had to giggle at the turtle. For some reason I wasn’t expecting him! LOL

    Tracy

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Crazy,
      We weren’t expecting the turtle either, but he was a cutie.
      Thanks for visiting,
      Suzanne

  7. Doe of Mi. says:

    Love your post today. Beautiful and informative. Thanks.
    And I think your turtle is so very handsome!

  8. Melanie says:

    Fun post to read!! Our harvest is over now too. A time of year that nothing compares to for sure! By the way, I loved your daylilies–beautiful!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Melanie,
      Our harvest will be finished today. I ran around the wheat field last evening taking pictures knowing they would be the last I would get this year. Will do a post tomorrow about it.
      Thanks for stopping,
      Suzanne

  9. Glenda says:

    I loved the first photo the best! Great to have those rolling hills and beautiful sky to remember my weekend with.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Glenda,
      So enjoyed your visit. On your next visit, we will have to take a trip down to the pasture. It’s a beautiful place.
      Take care,
      Suzanne

  10. Earthyman says:

    Good to know what is blooming down there in Kansas. What about the Indian Paint Brush? Do you ever collect any seed from it? If so would you sell me some? I am way up in the Northeast Corner of Iowa and quite a ways from you. Indian Paintbrush is not common here but I saw you strolling through a field of them on you “ABOUT” page. I just wrote a similar blog yesterday and you can check it out if you wish

    You live in a very special place and it’s great that you still have native prairie on your ranch.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hello Earthyman,
      The scarlett Indian paintbrush we found was actually out in Missouri. Unfortunately, we’ve not seen any growing around here in NE Kansas.
      Thank you for stopping by, and I will pay a visit to your site,
      Suzanne

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