I’m still recovering from my procedure. Aside from yesterday, I’ve had a migraine every day for the last 2 weeks, and that was still a headache day. I’ve seriously had this post written up for nearly a week, but I’ve been unsure what to do with it.
In my last entry, my excitement had been primarily related to taking pictures of frogs and toads. However, as I sloshed my way back to the car, I did manage to find something new since my last trip to Astico two weeks earlier.
The Shooting Star (Prairie Pointer, Prairie Shooting Star) likes to grow in a variety of areas, like open deciduous woods or prairies, but it is most common in southern Wisconsin, and specifically southeastern Wisconsin. It is interesting to note that the Jeweled Shooting Star is also found in Wisconsin, but it is rare; this situation is reversed in Minnesota, where the Shooting Star is much rarer than the Jeweled Shooting Star. These, to me, seem white in color, but I’ve read that white flowers are much more common in the southern part of its range, like Missouri and Arkansas, while lavender and magenta flowers are more common in the north. At any rate, they are not nearly as rich in color as the Shooting Star shown in Stan Tekiela’s Wildflowers of Wisconsin. The name shooting star comes from the downward-pointing, star-shaped flower with a cluster of five yellow stamens that form a point, which gives it the appearance of a star shooting down from the sky. According to legend, early settlers called this a prairie pointer because they believed the flowers pointed to the west. There are certain plants that can aid in finding direction (the Compass Plant comes to mind) but I guess I didn’t pay much attention to the direction all of the flowers faced, but I can say that the ones in the photo above did, indeed, point west. These flowers are dependent on bees for pollination, and especially bumblebee queens, who use buzz pollination to obtain pollen from the uniquely-shaped flowers.
My next post will be more of a photo dump – more wildflowers!