Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



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.


Wetlands being taken over.

Wetlands being taken over.

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.


Closer view.

Closer view.

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.

Pretty, isn't it?

Pretty, isn’t it?

The park people have planted other wildflowers there that are just as pretty and not invasive.

Also pretty.  And not invasive.

Also pretty.

Katie and I spent a long time in the lingering sun photographing the beauty.

Makes you smile, doesn't it!

Makes you smile, doesn’t it!

In hindsight I should have pulled up that loosestrife along the pond after I was finished photographing it.



Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

11 thoughts on “Loostrife

  1. Yes, beautiful and deadly. Ontario and Quebec are overrun with loosestrife also.


  2. it is sadly the way many such things become a danger to local habitats. Bit like the ding dong british that introduced foxes to australia so they could go fox hunting – not realizing that the foxes would decimate the local wildlife and if that wasn’t bad enough – they introduced rabbits so the foxes would have something to eat – and the rabbits ate everything in sight decimating the habitat even more.


  3. Hard to believe that something so beautiful could be so dangerous.

    Sent from my iPad



  4. Those pictures give me a better idea of what I’m looking for. Thanks! I still haven’t found any in my assigned area. That’s a good thing.


    • That’s a good thing for sure. On these plants the blossoms will move up the stem as the season wears the end of summer there will only be a little purple up at the top.


  5. I remember noticing loosestrife for the first time along the Kalamazoo River. Its beauty stunned me. Later I learned that some people were purposely planting it and creating a real problem. It’s true — it spreads and crowds out other (native) species. But it’s also true that it’s beautiful. I find trying to control invasives on my property (autumn olive, spotted knapweed, garlic mustard) without hating them a real challenge.


  6. It is pretty! I didn’t realize it was an invasive species. I’m kinda glad crab grass is invasive, otherwise I wouldn’t have a lawn 🙂


  7. We don’t have any loosestrife around here, but have seen some growing up near Houghton. I agree with some of the comments up above. The invasives can be so beautiful, yet their effect can be brutal on native species. Kinda makes me think of the white folks who mostly helped decimate the native Americans. What an invasive species we can be! And yet, hopefully, we can shine with beauty too. No easy answers.


  8. This stuff is so pretty, but I didn’t know it was deadly, too. Yes, you probably should’ve pulled it up! But thanks for photographing it first!


  9. Wow! Did not know it was so bad for an area. Those are the purple plants I photograph down at the marsh. No wonder I didn’t see as much, they must have been trying to get rid of it. Thanks for this post Dawn.


  10. That stuff is invasive? How sad – it really is beautiful. I’ve photographed it many times, and also have left it growing.
    Side note: I really like your tree/queen anne’s lace photo. A very calming composition 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s