This reminds me of my childhood and summer walks in a meadow.
Common chicory is also known as blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, and wild endive (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). When cultivated, it is radicchio and Belgian endive. This plant has many medicinal uses (Chicory – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
This past weekend when visiting in Big Pool, Maryland (right around Hancock, Maryland and Berkley Springs, West Virginia, I saw this one little plant in the meadow where I was hiking and could remember the name “cornflower” but nothing else. I immediately looked it up online, of course, and found the actual name and other useful background.
I lived as a child in an area where many fields were still open and unmowed. Many wildflowers peeked out from the weeds and they were just there, pretty and ready to be picked and brought home to slip into the spare old jelly glass vase with some water. That wildflower bouquet was treated like the most elegant offering and carefully arranged and profusely appreciated by all the family. My own children continued this delightful tradition, decorating their playroom with little jars of wildflowers, offered reverently to me.
Two years ago from April 11, 2012 to May 1, 2012, we went on a “wildflower” RV trip across the country from the west coast to east coast. The focus was to take many excursions and find the first spring wildflowers along the road. We left Moss Landing and drove south on 101, stopping in Santa Margarita, a small little town with lots of mud, no flowers but a panoramic view after hiking up the trail. Continuing on Route 58, we stopped at the Chorizo Plains and Soda Lake finding many lovely flowers popping up on the plains. Passing through the Tehachapi Pass we hit wet and heavy snow. Finally outside Las Vegas on the Kelso Sand Dunes we again found lovely wildflowers sprouting up everywhere.
Continuing to the Zion National Park provided the most incredible views and wonderful hikes during the days and ceiling carpets of stars at night. Onto Lake Powell and a boat ride through Antelope Canyon was amazing. Four-wheeling though Monument Valley provided no flowers but lots of excitement and red dust! The next stop was the Cliff House in Mesa Verde National Park. Along the trails many lovely flowers decorated the paths and sprung out of the rocks. From Durango, driving the scenic Route 550 to Santa Fe brought beautiful views and the cultural setting of the restaurants and museums of this beautiful city. The next landmark was the Chimayo Sanctuary and driving along the Rio Grande River to Taos and Eagles Nest and on to Cimarron with mostly prong horn and beautiful fields and the National Grasslands which quickly morphed into fields of windmills outside of Montezuma. After that the trip consisted of mostly cows until we got to Kansas City for a family visit.
All and all, the idea of a trip chasing wildflowers seemed like it would be a visit back to my childhood memories and the special bouquets in little jelly jars. It was an amazing trip with only some wildflowers but lots of beautiful monuments and parks. Going later in the summer season would likely yield many more flowers.