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By E. Andrew Martonyi 'The Fun Geography Guy', and Children's Geography Book Author
A quick entry of “wildflower destinations” on the internet will bring up so many sites that your first reaction might be “so many destinations and so little time”. The good news is that no matter where you live in the US you can be sure that there are wildflower destinations that are near you.
You might start with a few questions only you can answer. Is this a Sunday drive? An RV outing? And or a hiking adventure? Are we just looking for the beauty of it or do our interests in the flowers and plants themselves deserve further attention.
I was asking myself some of these same questions when I came across several very interesting articles about the myths and legends associated with wildflowers and native plants.
Did you know that a native plant in Kentucky saved the wine industry in France?
Or did you know that 40 percent of the medicines that we use today are thanks to native plants and wildflowers and as far back as the first century, Pliny, the Elder wrote an encyclopedia describing wildflowers and their use in medicine?
Or how about that native plants growing freely in the eastern woodlands can kill
you if any part of this so called, “wild flower of death” is ingested? No joke!!
Stay away from the water hemlock or any of the hemlock family of wildflowers. The
Poison Hemlock which is a close relative was made famous by the execution of Socrates
in ancient Greece.
Or the famous and lovely pink state flower of Massachusetts named by the Pilgrims when they landed in Plymouth after their ship the Mayflower?
How about the lovely blue Forget Me Not? Legend says that a medieval knight was picnicking on the banks of the Danube with his lady love. Seeing wildflowers on the bank of the river he went down to pick some for his lover when tragedy struck. A sudden flash flood pulled the knight into the river. As he was being swept away he threw the bouquet of the lovely blue flowers that he had picked to his lady on the bank and said the three immortal words: Forget me not.
So as you enjoy seeing the lovely wild flowers around you think of all the stories they have to tell. There is far more than meets the eye. This jigsaw puzzle image features desert wildflowers at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southwest Arizona. Photo courtesy of NPS.
How To Make An Online Jigsaw Puzzle
1. Click on the Ghost Icon to create your workspace.
2. Click and drag the pieces where you want them.
3. Mouse over pieces and use either your mouse roller or arrow keys to rotate pieces.
4. Click on the Image Icon to see the colors better.
5. Use the full screen function for a larger, easier to see workspace.
E. Andrew Martonyi 'The Fun Geography Guy' is the author of the children's geography books 'The Little Man In the Map: With Clues to Remember All 50 States' and 'The Little Man In the Map Teaches the State Capitals!'. Both books as well as free coloring page downloads, are available online from Schoolside Press at