I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned before that one of Joanna’s many preoccupations is the study of botany. Although the topic of her graduate work concerned matters of plant ecology in particular, she has always had a thing for systematic botany (a field which is concerned with the names of and relationships among plants). She absolutely must know the name of any particular plant that catches her eye. If we are hiking, biking, or out for a walk in the woods and we should happen upon a plant that she does not know, she does not not-know it for long. Among texts belonging to her personal library are a number which will allay any questions or curiosities. Having said all that you may imagine that our bike trip along P.E.I.’s Confederation Trail gave Joanna ample opportunity to see many old botanical friends and to make new ones as well. Of the two pedaling positions on a tandem bike the front one is called the steersman (or captain, or pilot) and the rear position is held by the stoker (or rear admiral, or navigator). Because the latter does not have to steer, she is free to scan the countryside as long as continued attentions are paid to the quads, hamstrings, calves, and gleuts. For something over 200 miles of the P.E.I. rail-trail I was treated to running botanical commentary. Among Joanna’s favorite finds were Wild Calla, Pink Lady Slipper (the Provincial flower of P.E.I. by the way), Canadian Dwarf Cornel, Sheep Laurel, and Wild Azalea. The image below is of an Iris which goes by the name of Blue Flag. Click the image to view a larger version with higher screen resolution.