I am a person of nature and have been all my life. I have hunted, fished, trapped, canoed, been a survival instructor and a Maine State Guide.
One of my pleasures is identifying plants as I take walks.
In the military as a survival instructor I needed to be familiar with edible plants and poisonous plants. After I retired from the military my wife and I attended college. One of the courses we most enjoyed was field botany, and I have remained interested in plant identification ever since.
I don’t go out looking for plants; but as I take walks I enjoy knowing the names of the plants I see in bloom, and if I find one I am not familiar with I look it up.
There are many plant and wildflower identification books on the market and most try to make identifications by color – this can be a hit or miss. The absolute best wildflower identification guide available in my estimation is Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb. Once you master the key you are almost guaranteed of identifying any wildflower, shrub or vine you find.
The old Newcomb’s guide I have had for years was written for the north-east; but I have used this guide from Maine and Kentucky, across Canada and Alaska and have always been able to find any plant in question.
If you are walking in rural Maine at this time of year you might wonder what plant is turning most of the fields yellow:
|Among the ferns|
It is Silvery Cinquefoil. I know: because it is in Newcomb’s.
Have a good day