This is the second year in a row that the sincerity of a pumpkin patch in the Shenandoah Valley has drawn me to its brilliant orange-yellow fruit of the gourd family.
Childhood All Over Again
What fun to be greeted by piles and loads of pumpkins and other gourds, of every size, shape and color that you might want to imagine. And to roam the fields just knowing that some of these round or not so round squash will be begging to be brought home with me!
Not only are there pumpkins growing in those fields but unlabeled wild things. Unlabeled, unknown plants call to me. Call to me even more than the pumpkins that want to come home with me. The must be identified, or I will lose sleep. I will worry. I will fret.
The first thing that caught my eye – the frosted-glass like globes, illuminated by the sun. Beautiful! I think more beautiful than the soft-snowy white flower with deep wine colored center, highlighted with school bus yellow stamens. Intriguing.
When I come home with my giant sized pumpkin, I have more of a treasure. I have photographs of my mystery plant. Out come all my wild flower books and BINGO! I find it. My plant is Hibiscus trionum, commonly called, Flower-of-the-hour. It has been introduced to North America as an ornamental and has escaped to become a weed of cropland. So, I don’t get the prize! I discovered a weed! But still a fun mystery and I love mysteries!