We went on a wildflower hunt the other day. It had been foggy and drizzly for days so we needed an activity to lift our spirits and get us out of the house.
We headed for the country roads north/northeast of town in hopes of finding some bursts of color on such a gray day. Meandering the crossroads of Rice Lake Road, Martin Road, and Jean Duluth Road, we found ditches and meadows filled with vibrant purple, pink, yellow, orange, and white flowers.
The kids were giddy with glee to run among the beautiful flowers.
Back home, with the help of the Internet, we identified the flowers as lupine, buttercups, prairie roses, orange hawkweed, and ox-eye daisies.
Sadly, our wildflower bliss was soon to end.
We were shocked to learn that most of these flowers are considered invasive. According to the Minnesota Wildflower Information Organization, invasive species are those that are non-native and grow in non-cultivated areas (like along our country roads and ditches). Despite their beauty, they are problematic because they wreak havoc on the habitat and food sources of native insects, birds, and other wildlife.
This new knowledge started an informative conversation about ecosystems. Who knew a quest to brighten a gray day with wildflowers would turn into a science lesson?
Where have you seen wildflowers in the area that might be fun for kids to explore? Share an idea in the comment box below. Thanks!