If you go hiking near a fresh water spring or marsh such as The Spring Trail at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary or the marshes on Red Maple Swamp Trail at Fort Hill, the chances of seeing a Water-Willow are very good. They like to grow in shallow water in July and August.
Water-Willow wildflowers are an aquatic shrub with magenta flowers whose 5 petals grow in whorls where the leaves join the stem. They are native to this area. The flowers are small, only 1/2″ to 1″ while the plant grows from 3-9 feet. You can see in the 2nd photograph how the flowers grow almost where the leaves join the stems.
This is such a delicate little flower…so pretty. Have you ever seen a Water-Willow?
Common St. John’s Wort wildflowers are blooming all over Cape Cod. You can see them along the trails and roadsides. I took this photograph at Fort Hill on the side of one of the hiking trails. I loved how the sunlight caught it.
They are a bushy branching plant with many 5-petaled dark yellow 1″ flowers and many prominent stamens. They grow to about 1-2 1/2 feet from June through September.
Have you ever seen a Common St. John’s Wort wildflower?
If you park in the first lot at Fort Hill, you can see this beautiful Common Tansy by the side of the lot. I have never seen it before, so it was a big treat to take some photographs and then do some research.
Common Tansy are tiny, yellow button-like flowers which grow in flat-topped clusters. They grow to about 3′ erect and are colony-forming. The leaves are dark green and fern-like and aromatic. The scent is similar to that of camphor with hints of rosemary. They grow from July to September.
Caution: They are poisonous so observe them from a distance! The leaves and flowers are toxic if consumed in large quantities; the volatile oil contains toxic compounds including thujone which can cause convulsions and liver and brain damage.
This is one of my favorite places to sit and relax and enjoy the spectacular views of Nauset Marsh and out onto the ocean. There is always so much to see and hear as it is ever-changing.
Have you ever sat on this bench? It doesn’t get much better! I loved the evening sun on the high grass… so pretty!
Great place for a picnic if you’re in the area!
The views over Nauset Marsh to Nauset Spit, where Nauset Beach is separated from Coast Guard Beach by a breach, is spectacular… any time of the day, any time of the year.
I really liked this photograph looking through the trees out onto Nauset Marsh from the carving stone at Fort Hill. It was evening but there were still plenty of boats out enjoying the gorgeous summer weather.
Pretty photograph, don’t you think?
I’ve seen a lot of Common Wood Nymph butterflies while hiking at Fort Hill lately, especially in the evenings as they love the grassy borders of woodland edges and openings.
The Common Wood Nymph, mostly tan and brown with two dark eyespots in an orange patch, has a 2″ to 2 7/8″ wingspan. It is very distinguishable.
Have you ever seen a Common Wood Nymph?