Pharmacy visit

September 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

One of the most useful things about keeping natural history records is that, after a while—several years, at the very least—you begin to know what to expect will happen in your corner of the natural world. (I don't make the same claim about the human world.) And so, this being September, my past experiences, culled from my photo database and my notebooks, have me expecting that if I journey to the stone bench peninsula of the Henne preserve and comb a stretch of upper wetland shrubbery, I'll find a wildflower known as Turtlehead in full bloom. Happily, predictability was in flower, and the gorgeous, cream-colored, lipped blossoms were there for the viewing, their shape giving rise to the plant's common and scientific genus name, Chelone, which is Greek for tortoise but serves as the more general moniker for turtle. (The flowers bear a resemblance to a turtle's head.) Bumblebees love the blossoms, which, it turns out, serve as more than a source of pollen and nectar. The bees can glean a natural medication from the blooms—a drug that helps free them from intestinal parasites. Clearly, I'm not the only organism that has Chelone glabra on my September must-visit list.


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