Photo Submissions: Native Plant Appreciation!

Hello Nature-led friends! Welcome to the beginning of June!

Native Plant Nerd (Oxalis Oregana with digital glasses and mustache stickers) By Melanie Reynolds

I recognize and appreciate that some of you struggled to find native plants in your area. I hope this endeavor was not too frustrating and that you came away with a new understanding and appreciation for the native plants in your area. I wanted to do this submission request because I feel like most people don’t give native plants much thought. I feel like the poor things are stuck in a 1990’s era high school romance-comedy where the smart nerdy friend is actually a hot babe once she takes off her glasses, gets plucked, and wears a dress. Me too Oxalis oregana, me too. Like any native plant, I’m only exotic when I’ve been shipped off elsewhere.

The other reason that I care about the native plants is that they’re part of a much larger ecosystem with specialist insects, other plants, and animals that depend on them. None of this mattered to the rich Colonialists who were determined to make English Gardens on every continent aside from Antarctica. Back when wealth was portrayed by the upkeep of exotic plants and large swaths of green lawns. We still live with that legacy today. It didn’t just disappear; a lot of behaviors carry on without thought because that’s the way things have been more or less for over 200 years now. The mailers I get from landscaping companies show perfectly coiffed bushes and low-cut strips of sod. They threaten to mow, prune, fertilize, and eradicate the unwanted for a fee. Driving into a neighborhood with a militant Homeowners Associations (HOA) with their cookie cutter houses and landscapes make me feel like I’m trapped in an adaption of The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin (with two movies by the same name.) I see the kids. I see how they hunger for the freedom at the edges of the play yard straining against the fence to reach into the wild spaces. Now it’s the native plants that have become exotic.

I had a wonderful History teacher in high school named Mr. Ayers. We would have a lot of funny banter between us. He showed me that history was not some boring dead thing, it lives all around us. One time before the start of class he asked with mock exasperation, “Why are you such a contrarian?” “I’m a woman.” I said. The whole class roared with laughter including Mr. Ayers. I didn’t set out to be rebel. I just am, by the nature of existing as a woman with strong opinions.

So, without further ado, let me share the wonderful collection of native plants across the world that many of us can appreciate thanks to our fellow community members who help this site grow! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

We’re starting with New Zealand, because I said so…

New Zealand

Aotearoa By Dinah

Eucalyptus flowers (Eucalyptus Spp) By Dinah

Foxtail Palm fruit (Wodyetia bifurcata) By Dinah

Powder Puff Lilly-Pilly (Syzygium wilsonii) By Dinah

Europe – England

Roadside Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) By Ms Scarlet

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) at the allotment North Norfolk England 29th May 2023 By Inexplicable Device

Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) By Ms Scarlet

North AmericaUSA

New York

Southern Arrowwood (Viburnum Dentatum) By Kerfe &

Wild Geranium, Cranesbill (Geranium maculatum) By Kerfe &

Mystery plant, Kerfe guessed maybe Milkweed?, By Kerfe &

We’ll call this an honorable mention in the category of “Not native but plays well with others” I’m fairly confident this is a Japanese Skimmia (Skimmia Japonica). Milkweeds are herbaceous plants which means they have “non-woody stems” that largely die back in the winter. This plant has woody stems, flowers or berries on new grow and thick wide, non-serrated leaves. My first guess is always a rhododendron because there are so many varieties and it’s a common plant in North America especially where I live, but the growth habit of these flowers or berries leads me to my second guess, Japonica.


Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) By Mistress Maddie

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) By Mistress Maddie

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) By Mistress Maddie


Florida Swamp Lily (Crinum americanum) By Marika Stone
Firebush (Hamelia patens) closeup of flowers By Lisa Troute

Pond Apple (Annona glabra) By Marika Stone

Here’s an interesting article about Pond apple which is a good source of food and nesting habitat for birds.


Wooly Locoweed ( Astragalus mollissimus) in Penitente Canyon, Colorado By Tracy Abell Another Day On the Planet

Photographed while hiking in Penitente Canyon (Colorado) on May 24, 2023. When I went to identify it, I was dismayed to learn that while it is native to Colorado, this Woolly Locoweed is the most widespread poisonous plant in the western U.S. Because it’s native, locoweed is not covered by the Colorado Noxious Weed Act. 

Sugarbowl Clematis scottii By Tracy Abell Another Day On the Planet

On the same hike, we came across this lovely native wildflower that’s a type of clematis. It’s known as “Sugarbowl.”

Thank you to everyone who contributed!

My apologies for the brevity of captions and any errors. I pulled a muscle in my shoulder and it really hurts. Several people sent multiple pictures, so I didn’t share them all, but I do make sure at least one picture from each person is posted.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

June Submissions – Water

Show me your bodies – of water that is! Ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls, fountains being appreciated by wildlife, your favorite puddle or bog.

Due: June 30th

To be posted on July 1st.

The Fine Print:  Photo Submissions Guidelines

Email to:, Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.) Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file preferred. Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one.) 

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with your photo. Pictures must be your own or you have permission from the Photographer to share it. All copyrights belong to their respective owners. This is a free, fun, community site about nature. Non-commercial and ad free.

Photo Submission Request: Favorite Native Plants

Hello Nature-led Friends!

Let’s see some of your favorite native plants from your country or region!

I know I’m not giving you very much time on this month’s photo submission request, but let’s see what we can pull together, eh? When asking for topics on the next three months of photo submissions there was the recommendation of “pretty weeds”, but alas, this is just not a frame of mind I can put myself in. I spend too much time pulling out invasive non-native plants that someone once thought was “pretty.” So instead, I’m doubling down on my love for native plants. If you are not familiar with native plants in your region now is the perfect time to get to know some of them!

I hope this request won’t be too difficult for anyone. Some native plant are so prolific they span entire continents! Try doing an internet search to the effect of “Native plants of [your county/prefecture/township name].

Here is one of my favorite plants native to the Pacific Northwest region where I live.

Western Columbine (Aquilegia Formosa ‘Blue’) Western Washington USA By Melanie Reynolds

same species different color…..

Western Columbine Red (Aquilegia Formosa ‘Red’) Western Washington USA By Melanie Reynolds

Here is a native plant that I’ve only seen in my yard so far, but I’m sure there must be colonies around here. I’m proud to say I’ve been a good steward to these little Starflowers that also help support native bumblebees.

This year’s emerging blanket:

Starflower Blanket (Trientalis borealis Raf) Western Washington USA By Melanie Reynolds

Closeup Western Starflowers (Trientalis borealis Raf) Western Washington USA By Melanie Reynolds

Unwelcome interlopers…

I regularly fight Himalayan blackberries which while edible, are just “okay” when it comes to flavor. Better varieties can be found in the store during blackberry season which is usually July and August around here. The ones in my yard often have little white worms that I drown out in an icy cold vinegar water bath before I can eat the berries. If you ever have doubts or concerns about the freshness and safety of salad greens or fruit, I definitely recommend giving it a 10-minute bath in cold water and white vinegar.

The other two things I battle most frequently are Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) and Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon). The archangel is in the mint family and is a “C” class noxious weed in my state, which means that when I pull it out of the ground, it cannot go in my personal compost or the municipal compost, but instead it has to go into the garbage.

Lamium galeobdolon ‘Archangel’, a noxious weed for Washington State USA By Melanie Reynolds

This is only a fraction of what I’m battling. Sigh.

The Fine Print:  Photo Submissions Guidelines

Email to:, 

Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.) Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file preferred. Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, and a link to your blog (if you have one.)  It’s great if you can take a current picture during the submission month, but picture you’ve previously taken is fine too.

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with your photo. Pictures must be your own or you have permission from the Photographer to share it. All copyrights belong to their respective owners. This is a free, fun, community site about nature. Non-commercial and ad free.

Take care and go have fun outside!

Photo Submissions: Rocks and Fossils

Garden statue in Mary Kings yard Washington, USA By Mary King

Hello Nature-Led friends, I hope you are ready for May because May is ready for you!

I politely stole the above image from Mary’s Facebook page. I say polite because I said, “Hey, can I steal this?” And she said, “Yes, but does it follow the rules?” And I said, “Yes, because I make the rules!” Hahaha. What I see is an adorable angelic kola bear. According to Mary it’s actually an adorable angelic rabbit. Well, I hope you’ll agree it’s an adorable chunk of concrete at any rate. Concrete is technically made up of two types of aggregate: fine (typically sand) and coarse (usually gravel, crushed stone, or recycled concrete. There is currently a race going to reinvent concrete as we know it to make it more sustainable either by making it porous enough to anchor plant life or by sequestering carbon. (See links below)

Our rockstar for sending pictures so quickly and nicely labeled is Kerfe of New York City, USA. Please enjoy the rocks of New York’s famous Central Park:

Rocks of Central Park New York NY USA By Kerfe April 2023. &

Thanks to Kerfe!, These rocks look like a nice spot to sit and read a book. I heartily approve!

Dinah shares with us some rocks from here and over there.

Near her home in Australia:

Lambert’s Lookout in Australia By Dinah

Pet rock or prehistoric glyph? By Dinah

A prehistoric pet rock.

Then there was that time Dinah went to Spain…

Somewhere on the Malaga coast Spain By Dinah

What a nice little beach protected by rocks.

Rock wall somewhere on the Malafa coast of Spain By Dinah

I love rock walls and this one is particularly interesting with the variety of shapes and sizes of rocks. They must have used mortar to keep it all together. The purple flowers are nice too.

If you’re going to travel, one must do so fashionably. I’ve never been accused of being fashionable, so fortunately we have Marika Stone to show us what a rocktastic accessory looks like.

Petrified wood belt buckle By Marika Stone Florida USA

She may or may not have been wearing this fabulous accessory when she spied a rock owl talisman…

Owl talisman By Marika Stone

As many of you are likely aware, the owl represents wisdom in many cultures, but additional attributes vary beyond that. Some cultures view the owl with positive attributes such as protection, while other consider the sight of an owl an omen of death.

What about finding this on the beach?

Stone spirals Overstrand, North Norfolk, England Oct 2019 By Inexplicable Device: “But Where Are The Knockers?”

I’m a big fan of circles, I think it’s quite possibly my favorite shape. I love the beautiful transitions of size and shapes of these rocks. IDV has a good eye for design. The links in both captions will take you to additional photos from his posts.

Chalk fossil Overstrand, North Norfolk, England Feb 2021 By Inexplicable Device: Misty Mysteries

These nice protective rocks below help keep the jetty in place. The Reynolds family is very fond of this jetty and adjacent inlet.

Protective rocks in Jupiter Florida By Mary Reynolds

Today Ms Scarlet closes our rocks and fossil photo submissions with a stacked duck and rock fudge. It seems only fitting that we should start with whimsy and finish with whimsy.

Pink “fudge” rock Clovelly beach UK By Ms Scarlett

A rock duck at Duckpool in Cornwall, England along with some other balance rocks By Ms Scarlet

I think the duck is riding a unicycle. I love the color and composition of the other picture.

May the blessings of the Angelic Kola Bunny and Unicycle Rock Duck hail the start of a wonderful week and month! May you also have the wisdom and protection of the Owl.

Photo Submissions for May?

We’re about to round out our first full year of photo submissions! Yippee! We’ve got three blank months that still need a subject matter: May, June and July. Lets hear more of your great ideas!

Maybe grasses? Bamboo is a grass and there’s lots of ornamental grasses and grass-like perennials to choose from. Pictures taken for the month of the subject are great, but it’s okay if you want to use a picture you already have. We do this for fun and the enjoyment of nature.

How about water? Lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans. This should be a fairly common subject to photograph, yes?

Let me know in the comments.

Photos Submissions Monthly List:

January: Moss & Lichen

February: Ferns & Unexpected Blooms

March: Skies & Moon

April: Rocks & Fossils




August: Unknown Paths

September: A Tree

October: Leaves

November: Mushrooms & Fungi

December: Nature At Rest


Bioreceptive concrete – Respyre –

Carbon Sequestering Concrete – Greenbiz –