We love to travel and to photograph. It is also good to find treasures close to home. Today it was photographing several species of Lithospernum – one of which is uncommon in this area – and other plants, butterflies and more at a new preserve just 30 miles away. We have visited several times to photograph the unusual fens in the two ponds and the uncommon and common species residing around the property.
Fringed Puccoon (Lithospernum incisum) is recorded here in eastern Iowa in sandy areas like the area where these grow. However, it is more likely found further west in the central plains. We have photographed it in the Badlands in South Dakota. It is less often included in field guides than the Hoary and Plains Puccoons, even for regions where it is found.
The much more common and abundant Hoary Puccoon (Lithospernum canescens) and other yellow flowers – Golden Ragwort and Yellow Wood-sorrel – served as camouflage for the occasional Fringed Puccoon plant. The Fringed Puccoon is a paler, more lemony yellow than the Hoary Puccoon which has a more yellow-orange cast. The Hoary Puccoon has soft hairy leaves that a quite visible in the image below.
This Hoary Puccoon blossom cluster was home to this tiny spider. It played peek-a-boo with the camera for some time and did not abandon its home as many will do when being photographed up to life size on the sensor in some images. We have yet to determine its species but think the white band at the front of the carapace may help in identification.
We are certain that future posts will include species and comments from this interesting place.