Under the deer-diminished jewelweed

a northern water snake

  waits patiently for all to pass.

100_4672cropVExploding seed pods.  

Native remedy for poison ivy.

Neither well-known trait is readily apparent in early spring.

Rather, one comes to know the jewelweed along Little Crum Creek as a numerous but delicate and easily uprooted plant, bejeweling raindrops on repellant leaves of succulent chutes, and otherwise wilting worrisomely in the sunlight heat.

Its fragility, resilience, and recovery inspire a gentle watchfulness, even a tested vigilance. 

Nonetheless, many a vulnerable weed succumbs to a sneaking, creeping vine’s smother and tug.

April, May, June, July. 100_6259cropV

By August, we’ve cultivated quite a patient acquaintance. 

But only a flower, finally, will fully reveal to me the plant’s identity.  

Then, suddenly, some unassuming afternoon in the maple shade,  a low breeze displaces a leaf and shows to me a flowering face:

Impatiens pallida,

pale touch-me-not,

yellow jewelweed.

Very pleased to finally meet.




Who will appreciate         

the rooting determination         

of a common lawn weed         

to flower in season         

where it can?