Monday, May 13, 2013

Springtime in Missouri

John and I made another trip down to Farmington this past week-end.  Springtime there is at its peak, so we are enjoying a second spring, having had our first sighting of flowering trees and bushes on our way up from the south several weeks ago.  In Farmington, while driving around the town, I noticed a very tall (probably about 30 foot) flowering tree.  The purple flowers are quite beautiful, we thought perhaps it is a catalpa.  The tree is also know as a Mexican bean tree, or as a cigar tree.  In the fall it produces slender bean pods which some people like to light up and smoke.
Also in the town are some massive spirea bushes.
I am always amazed at the medicinal value of many plants.  The spirea bush contains methyl salicylate oil, a compound with the similar medicinal properties of aspirin.  Southern Missouri is also popular for its numerous azalea bushes.  The ones pictured below are located also in Farmington.
Saturday our brother-in-law Jim joined John and I for a hike in Millstream Gardens Conservation area. St.Francis River, a tributary of the Mississippi, has some great white water boating in this park.
In case you are wondering, the kayaker pictured above flipped over seconds after I took his picture.  The river is a bit of a challenge presently for boaters because it is at flood stage.  At the conclusion of our hike in Millstream Gardens we were surprised to discover a patch of irises.  I do believe that the area where they are located was once a part of a farmer's homestead, but I are not too sure about that.  Ordinarily the iris flower does not grow wild without someone first planting them.

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