Colour in the grasses at Cape St Lawrence

The well-fertilized soil of Cape St Lawrence, surprisingly to me given the nearly constant powerful winds, proximity to salt spray, and long, cold winters, abounds in wildflowers of all sorts. The wind was sufficiently strong that most of the photos I took of the plants and grasses were badly blurred and did not turn out well enough to present here; the four on this page are exceptions that show just a few of the many specimens to be seen on the coastal plain at Cape St Lawrence.

Iris near the automated light
[#1] Photo 185 of 464: Iris near the automated light
ISO 200   35 mm   ƒ⁄10   1⁄400 sec
Taken 2013 June 20 on the coastal plain near the automated light at Cape St Lawrence
GPS 47°02.472′N 60°35.874′W

Photo #1 is one of my favourite plants and has been so all my life; it grew in the back yard where I grew up in Northern New York and it is found all over Cape Breton Island. Purple iris, also called blue flag, is seen all along the coastal plain at Cape St Lawrence wherever there is a spot that is wet enough for it to thrive; this sample comes from the headland at the automated light.

Photo #2 is a yarrow basking in the sun I caught as I climbed up the ridge. It is found all over the northern hemisphere, in Europe and Asia as well as North America, and has a host of uses. See this Wikipedia article for much interesting information about this useful plant.

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[#2] Photo 186 of 464: Yarrow
ISO 200   105 mm   ƒ⁄7.1   1⁄800 sec
Taken 2013 June 20 along the northern shore part way up the hillside above Cape St Lawrence
GPS 47°02.463′N 60°35.791′W
Red-leafed ground plant
[#3] Photo 187 of 464: Red-leafed ground plant
ISO 200   105 mm   ƒ⁄6.3   1⁄640 sec
Taken 2013 June 20 on the hillside above the north coast at Cape St Lawrence
GPS 47°02.435′N 60°35.686′W

Photo #3 is of one of several clumps of red-leafed plants that were all over the hillside; these were at my feet as I ate lunch. I have been unable to identify what they are, but they sure took my eye. It is possible that these burgundy-coloured leaves may be a transitory state; if you look carefully, you will see several specimens which are now mostly green, but still reddish-tinged around the edges. Whatever they might be, they were certainly strikingly pretty.

The delicate flower in photo #4 caught my eye with its pretty blue colour; not very tall, it was buffeted about by the wind, but I managed to catch it still at 1⁄800 second. I again do not know what it is, but my wildflowers guide suggests it belongs to the violet family and, given the “spurs” on its petals, possibly is a marsh blue violet, though its leaves don’t look like those in the guide. Its companions with the buds enclosed by delicate green “fingers”, likely members of the daisy family, promise white flowers in the not too distant future.

Pretty delicate blue flower
[#4] Photo 188 of 464: Pretty delicate blue flower
ISO 200   105 mm   ƒ⁄7.1   1⁄800 sec
Taken 2013 June 20 on the hillside above the north coast at Cape St Lawrence
GPS 47°02.435′N 60°35.929′W