Dandelions? I’m eternally fascinated with them.

Purple Dead-nettle? I think it’s beautiful

However, even I have limits. Thistles are tough on my bare feet and the dog’s tender toes.

And ants? I don’t mind them in the yard, but they’re never content to stay in the yard. They always want to move into the garage, or the kitchen, or the mailbox…

But it’s good to have limits, isn’t it? Otherwise life would dissolve into a mad, messy carnival of happiness.


On the other hand, thistles are quite pretty…

Henbit and Purple Dead-nettle

Until last year, I never gave much thought to the “purple stuff” that claims the yard each spring. A few hours experimenting with my camera’s macro function converted indifference to fascination. I had never noticed the delicate, fringed mouths and tapering, graceful throats. I had never noticed the subtle differences that mean there are two distinct species of these purple beauties.

Once again, the urge to name what I photograph sent me into research mode. Aided by a 1968 edition of Peterson’s Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America and Virginia Tech’s online Weed Identification Guide, I discovered that the purple blooms are two related species of the mint family:  henbit and purple dead-nettle.

It still seems ironic that I found them listed as both wildflowers and weeds.

I believe the first two photos are henbit, and the last is purple dead-nettle. Please comment with correction and/or confirmation!