I enjoy reading Judy’s blog – she’s a full time RVer and a volunteer this summer at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. This week she and another volunteer are assigned driving the back roads of the refuge looking for purple loosestrife. It’s an invasive plant that spreads quickly and chokes out the native plants in low lying, swampy areas.
If you live around here you’ve seen a lot of it. Judy says she and her volunteer partner didn’t see any this time, and I told her we had it everywhere over here in Michigan. So when Katie and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and we saw all the loosestrife we thought of Judy. We decided you need to see this too.
The first glimpse we had was from the overlook. Down near the water you can see the purple sheen in the late afternoon sun. Looks pretty doesn’t it. And it is pretty, that’s probably part of the problem. When I drive home from work and the sun hits that purple I can’t help but smile.
Then I remember that what is beautiful is also deadly to everything native that used to live there.
Katie and I found more of it, up close this time near the pond where people fish.
Spreading across the hillside above the water.
The park people have planted other wildflowers there that are just as pretty and not invasive.
Katie and I spent a long time in the lingering sun photographing the beauty.
In hindsight I should have pulled up that loosestrife along the pond after I was finished photographing it.