Coltsfeet

coltsfoot in ditch

I seem to photograph the coltsfoot every year — it’s the first flower to bloom on the mountain. And this is the earliest it’s ever bloomed.

fly on coltsfoot

It’s non-native, but not particularly invasive here. I think most people mistake the blooms for dandelions (which of course bloom much later). Pliny famously classified it as two different plants, failing to observe the small leaves beginning to emerge as the flowers die. This small fly, however, seems quite unconfused.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

10 Comments


  1. Interesting, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen this plant – will look sharply if I’m mis-identifying dandelions. I love the colours and patterns of water, is it? in the top photo.

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  2. I particularly love that first one too, the way the colours work.

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  3. Thanks. It took some doing to get the color and light-levels of the ditch-water just right without over-exposing the flower. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I also altered the environment before taking the shot, removing several dead oak leaves from around the flower. I was going for that lotus-in-the-mud vibe. (And the mud is always more interesting to me than than the lotus, of course.)

    Incidentally, I have a new photo up at the photohaikublog, too. (You may have already seen it on Flickr.)

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  4. Nice images, Dave. I love the richness of the first one, and the contrast of subjects.

    Flies are tough little buggers, aren’t they?

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    1. Yes, these guys probably over-winter under loose bark or something.

      Glad you like the photos!

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  5. I love that first photo too, and thanks for admitting you’ve been known to pick up or rearrange bits around the main subject – me too :-)

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    1. Thanks. Funny how we’ve been taught to be ashamed of that — as if nature photography can only be a documentary activity.

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  6. Sulphur from viscous, primordial ooze: self-vulcanized. Really a great photograph.

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  7. hi can you bye this coltsfeet.

    Reply

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