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Submitted by Len Harris

One of my favorite pastimes in early May on stream is to look for the really early wildflowers. I have places I look specifically for each one.

A few more examples include milkweed, top left in the photo above. Milkweed is the prime food for the monarch butterfly. This weed/flower lines the roads on the way to my favorite streams throughout southern Wisconsin.

In the middle top above is the infamous touch-me-not flower. This flower's pods explode and rain down seeds on those that touch it. Most of my late season streams in the driftless are lined with these.

The right top plant is a wild bergamot. This flower was dried and used as in a paste for acne relief. They are a very late season arrival on clean pristine streams throughout Crawford County.

Shown in the bottom left is a lily that thrives on the Fox Bluff Creek in Richland County.

The bottom middle position shows a very rare, poisonous flower located on Mill Creek in Richland County. It is called woody nightshade.

Shown at the bottom right is an aster. This flower is a favorite place for butterflies to land upon. This flower resides in Crawford County on Crow Creek.

Read more from Len Harris.

Len Harris blogs from the "Heart" of Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Len's passion is small stream trout fishing with every legal means possible. When trout season is closed he writes and takes photos. He even dabbles in a little cooking. Read more of Lenís writing on his blog at

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