The Watchtower

Tim Devine

Central Pennsylvania, United States

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Tirelessly on guard, watching for any threat…err…I guess it’s just wild blue phlox, but it sure seems as though it’s on guard, keeping watchful eyes in all directions.

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) have flowers that are in a rounded flat cluster about 3 inches across at the top of the stem. Each flower is about 1 inch across with 5 pale blue to blue-violet petals fused at the base, forming a tube, and has a hairy bract. The petals are narrow at the base; the tip end is wider and round or slightly indented, but not notched. Flowers are occasionally white. A plant usually has 1 cluster, but may branch at the top of the plant and have more than 1.

Leaves are slightly different between fertile (flowering) plants and infertile plants. On fertile plants, leaves are 1 to 2 inches long and to ½ inch across with a rounded base, tapering to a blunt or pointed tip, and no leaf stem. Leaves are finely hairy, with short fine hairs along the toothless edges, and are widely spaced along the stem. Attachment is opposite. The main stem is more or less hairy, and may be somewhat sticky. On infertile plants, the leaves may be wider and rounded at the tip end, and less hairy overall.

Shenks Ferry is an amazing place, at least 73 species of flowers bloom from mid-March until the end of May. More than 60 other species of flowers bloom during the summer and fall.

Every year I take many trips to Shenks Ferry, what a wonderful way to forget winter and greet spring.

Best viewed large in a color managed browser such as Firefox or Safari.

Canon 5D
Voigtländer SL Macro APO-Lanthar 125mm
1/200 @ f/5.6 (ISO 400)
Single RAW capture converted through DxO

Taken 4/22/11 at Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve near Pequea Pennsylvania

Plant description taken from Minnesota Wildflower website

Artwork Comments

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