Forest openings are great places to look for interesting plants and animals. One of the interesting plants we see in open areas is the yellow-flowering Whorled Loosestrife, Lysimachia quadrifolia.
Whorled Loosestrife seems to grow in abundance in places like the edge of woods and fields and next to trails or travel lanes with canopy openings above.
The edges of different habitats turns out to be a mixing place, a place for opportunity.
Another great place to look for activity and interesting plants is where the woodlands meet an open field. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bare field or one filled with planted crops. The point is that the forest has particular characteristics, like tall trees, lots of shade and leaf litter, that make it a different habitat than an open field.
Where two types of habitat blend into one another, you’re likely to find plants and animals that occupy both habitats. So, by looking at the edges of fields we can see some forest plants and some plants that prefer the open sky. A great place for bird watching, by the way.
Forest openings are sort of like the edge of the field. There’s more light in the open areas and that will let new plants grow there that otherwise wouldn’t grow in the deep of the forest where there is total shade.
(Photos taken 12 June 2015. Click to see a larger image!)
In whorled loosestrife the yellow star-shaped flowers have red dots around the center that are quite noticeable. Each long-stemmed flower seems to lay out over a leaf just below.
The insects near the top of the plant appear to be nymphs of some type of assassin bug. They will likely predate on caterpillars and others who might consume their plant.