Island botany

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.


19 thoughts on “Island botany

  1. I agree with the other posters – this is art! BTW have you ever been concerned with people who might copy your photos? (I am asking because of the high-res version)?

    • It’s interesting that you should ask Elke. I have added a higher resolution version of some of these recent images because of the silly things that WordPress does when rendering my images. They seem to loose resolution in the regular post view. Loading higher resolution images uses more of my storage space … but, what are you gonna do? I hadn’t really thought about someone using my images … didn’t really think they were good enough and that anyone would really care to use them. Perhaps I’m wrong … but I think not. D PS: Wouldn’t it be funny to someday find out that someone was making real money with my images? “Funny,” was perhaps the wrong word! D

      • I have stumbled upon a blog recently ( that exposes ‘professional photographers’ (a whole lot of them!) who steal other photographers’ images and present them as their work (in addition to falsely claiming rights to stock photos or public domain photos). It seems quite common unfortunately. It is not so much about really using those photos, but about bloating your portfolio as a photographer – I was also not aware of this before. Some people add a watermark in the corner of their photos.

        • Thanks much Elke. You and Joanna are on the same page regarding watermarking. Now that it’s come up for discussion I think I’ll have to revisit the issue. Thanks for opening my eyes to the problem. D

      • I went to a local craft fair a couple years ago and found a booth that was selling framed photos of PEI scenery the interesting thing was that 75% of the photos were mine taken without permission so now all my photos are watermarked.

        • This is from Wayne … right? Your name and Gravatar have changed for some reason. I’m guessing this is you because of the unique, numeric, identifier (beginning 24 and ending 42). Thanks for the story … you and Joanna are on the same page regarding watermarks. I have always resisted them thinking that no one would ever come across or want them. Now perhaps I’ll revisit the entire issue. D

          • You are correct in assuming it is I 🙂 I never once though my photos were good enough to sell until I saw them in the craft fair, I would strongly suggest, considering the amazing vision you portray in your photos, that you add a watermark of some kind to protect what is yours.

            • Indeed … after reading your comments and those of the follower called ‘Elke’ Joanna convinced me to add a watermark … it now adorns the recent P.E.I. images! Thanks for the valuable suggestion. D PS: You name and associated icon seem to have straightened themselves out …

  2. Amazing Picture love the edit on the background to accentuate the true beauty of the Iris. I don’t expect you to know this but the initial provincial flower of P.E.I. was not the Pink Lady Slipper (C. acaule) but in fact the Showy Lady’s Slipper (C. reginae). The plant is so rare on P.E.I. the Provincial legislature feared the majority of the population would never see one (we are aware of 3 locations on the island where they now grow) so in 1967 the Pink was proclaimed our Provincial flower.

    • Interesting story Wayne, thanks for taking the time to pass it along. Given what we know about human nature, Joanna and I agreed that the hefty fine for disturbing the Pink is perhaps the best way to protect it. And the protection seems to work – we saw quite a few along the trail. They weren’t thick but numerous in the small patches in which we found them. We were moving along at a good clip so when Joanna would call out, ‘Look to the left, there’s a bunch,’ we’d be past by the time I could look to see them … one of the drawbacks of field botany by bike! D

  3. Wow! The desaturating of the background really makes this image seem like a piece of modern artwork. Love all the detail of the iris. Keep those floral images coming!

  4. The post was both very enjoyable and very informative. The Pink Lady Slipper is a personal favorite so thank you for both the image and the excellent background info. I have been on hikes where our group has stopped for 30 plus minutes of photos and discussion when a Lady Slipper was spotted … I appreciate what it took to get the photos you included.

    • Hey Charlie … thanks again for taking the time to comment. I can relate to the stopping on photo expeditions. I especially feel badly for my wife who has to wait … and wait some more while I position and reposition and shoot and reshoot … she’s very good about it and I’m very appreciative. I’m glad you enjoyed the image. Have you seen the one here … D

Respond to this post if you'd like.

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: