Friday, May 3, 2019

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 | Flower Field Guides

Many times when we're out on a walk or nature hike, I see flowers and wonder what they are; so, I included buy and use a flower field/identification guide on the 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list that I created almost five years ago now. I thought it would be FUN to have a guide and to actually start identifying the flowers and recording when and where we'd seen them.

For my birthday two years ago, Robbie gave me two National Audubon Society Field Guides to North American Wildflowers - the Eastern and Western regions. After flipping through them, I set them aside thinking I would take them with us on our hikes or travels. However, it never seemed practical to carry them with us on a hike or to waste take up space in the suitcase to have them with us on a trip.

Instead I decided to simply look up some of the flowers using the photos we'd taken along the way. Honestly, this turned out to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. For example, I'm pretty sure the pink flowers in the photo below (taken outside the Anchorage, Alaska, visitor's center) are foxglove.

However, I didn't find a photo of these orange carnations in the Western Region guide, and the purple flowers might be violets or butterwort. There was such a beautiful array of flowers around the visitor's center!

I was experimenting with the various modes on the camera when I snapped this next shot (at the Palmer, Alaska, Garden) that appears to be some type of sunflower, although (once again) I could not find a good match in the field guide.

The Eastern Region guide was no less troublesome, maybe because it's hard to find an exact match when comparing the samples in the guide to my own photos. It may also be that some of these flowers that are grown outside our local library could be considered weeds instead of wildflowers.

And even though I haven't positively identified this lovely rose blooming along the roadside at the Vicksburg Military Park, it still makes me smile as I remember the beautiful weather we had the day we visited a few years ago.

I'm sure I'll pull out my flower guides from time to time, but my guess is that I'll mostly just keep snapping photos of beautiful flowers that I'm not concerned about identifying. As I have made an effort with the guides, I'm content now to check this item completed on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 List!

Do you try to identify flowers or are you content to simply enjoy their beauty?


  1. Your flowers are beautiful. It’s hard to identify them, We tried hiking with a wildflower book once and spent so much time trying to identify what we saw we ended up putting the book away and went back to taking pictures for later reference. Sometimes we try to identify them, some times we call them pretty yellow flower, lovely yellow flower, happy yellow flower etc. These days I have an app on my phone that will try to identify what I take a picture of so sometimes I use that, You seem to be make good progress on your list.

  2. The most effective way I've ever found to identify flowers in an unfamiliar place is to pick up one of the flower guides produced in the area. They are usually small, folded pamphlets with color photographs of the flowers you'll likely see in the area. I agree that toting a book never seems worthwhile. Your photographs are beautiful!

  3. Always like photos of flowers & you have captured some really pretty ones. I believe what you called orange carnations are actually one of the many types of begonias & yes those tall pink flowers are foxglove. :)

  4. You've snapped a glorious collection of flowers! I frequently snap flowers without an inkling of what they might be called.


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