Position available

Wildflower Enthusiast:
There is a temporary need for a part-time wildflower instructor willing to traipse around in the woods and point out and identify pretty flowers. Availability primarily on weekends and late afternoons during the Spring season. May also be needed for summer day trips to the NJ Pine Barrens.

Must be able to discern weeds from wildflowers and recognize garden escapees. Infinite patience with the beginner is desirable. Resistance to poison ivy helpful. Must not be deterred by wet feet, muddy knees or mosquitos. Love of rock-eating black labs might prove useful, as would a good sense of humor.

There is no salary; good company is the only thing on offer. Possibility of barter is negotiable. To trade: above-average knowledge of birdsong, organic homemade rabbit fertilizer (by the ton), best local pizza, free-range mixed baby koi/goldfish, familiarity with essential inferior poetry.

To apply, simply state the name of the flower pictured herewith. Serious inquiries only, please.

11 thoughts on “Position available”

  1. Dear Somewhere,

    First I should like to introduce myself and point out that we have a lot in common. I was born in Dover, New Jersey ages ago now. I am an avid nature photographer, rabbit whisperer and wildflower enthusiast. I also keep goldfish.

    You might enjoy my blog which can be found here:


    The wildflower you have there is Cut-leaved Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata) which is a member of the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae). Toothworts are spring flowers. The common name refers to the tooth-like projections on its underground stems or rhizomes.

    Now, I would like a piece of pizza please.

    With my very best wishes,

    Forest Green

  2. I wish I didn’t live so far away. I’d love to go wild-flowering with you… I’m just a little past beginner, but not quite expert and I would have many false starts as I struggle with new flowers in my Newcomb’s guide… I think my Lolli would have fun with your dog while we hunted down flowers.

    I found Cutleaf Toothwort blooming yesterday, too.
    Click here for Flickr photo.

    I wrote about it last spring, too. Click here for blog post.

  3. Well, LH, sounds like a nice job opening, but since the depicted wildflower isn’t native to this area I’m not of much use to you – I had to look it up. I’ve a keen eye for identifying Lepidoptera, corrupt “public servants”, faulty political dogma, bad computer code, and SMDs, however.

  4. Wow–you have on the spot wildflower identifiers reading your blog.
    I would have to do reams of research first, and even then might not get it.

  5. Jennifer and Forest: It’s funny how close I was to guessing this one. I was thinking it was a mustard because of those four petals, and even considered a few of the other “worts” as look-alikes, but there’s so darn many of them I just gave up!

    Forest: Thanks for the comment and ID help… will check out your blog soon. May need to send you an IOU on the pizza.


    Jennifer: Thanks for the help and the links to your pics. Funny that you found it yesterday, also. I would love someone else to puzzle these out with, fellow beginner or no.

    Dr. Know: Yeah… I often look online when I’m stumped with a wildflower, and as often as not I think I have it figured out and then realize that whatever flower I’ve decided on only grows on the other side of the country. Pretty frustrating.

    Mary: I hope some of those seeds will sprout for you. I’ve never had much luck with starting them myself. Hope you’ll share pics.

    KGMom: lol! Believe it or not, I spent a few hours searching for a name, then posted this in desperation!

  6. Laura,
    I wouldn’t even begin to try and look up a wildflower online unless I already had some idea of it’s genus. I have an old field guide, “A Field Guide to Wildflowers” by Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny. It concentrates on North Eastern and North Central wildflowers exclusively. Taxonomy being what it is, there may be changes in classification that are not reflected in a book of its age.

    But it’s suitable for beginners in particular because it begins the identification process by flower color. Easy! The book is old, I don’t know if it is even in print anymore, and the plates are drawings rather than photographs. Audubon probably has better available – but get yourself some kind of field guide to take on trips. Also, try a native plant rescue group. Much of the stuff I have planted here has been collected from areas where the developers subsequently ravaged the land to the clay. My wildlife rescue Jack-in-the-Pulpits just bloomed today.

    FYI – and have fun.

  7. Laura,
    I couldn’t identify it like I could the Lesser Celandine I gave you earlier. It’s easier to identify wildflowers in most cases by their foliage than by the flower. It’s kind of like using field marks on birds rather than color. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide is set up this way. Many other guides are set up by color of the flower and this can confuse identification.
    There is an excellent way to improve your wildflower knowledge. There’s a place near Lambertville, NJ called the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. Here’s a link to their website. http://www.bhwp.org/
    While it’s in PA, it’s just across the river from Lambertville. It’s worth the trip.
    G Beetham

  8. Just go ahead and advertise for people to send you about $500, show up there on a specified Saturday, bring their own stuff, and go do what you wrote about!

    You’ll be a millionaire and on Oprah before hardly anything.

    Who wouodn’t want to do that???

    Even us bunns would .. think of the good eats! And, we would not even eat your pizza!

  9. Dr. Know: Books – bah!

    I have the Newcomb’s and a Peterson’s and a Hal Borland book. How often do I use them? Only when I’m really, really frustrated. I feel like I have a fairly good knowledge of plant families and try to work from that. The internet is lazy, on my part I know, but it’s so easy sometimes.

    I found a few Jacks the other day, too. I’d think they’d be long past blooming down your way already.

    g. beetham: Hi. Yes, I’ve heard of Bowman’s Hill – in fact I think I know someone who volunteers there – but don’t travel that way often. You make it sound like I should find an excuse to though.

    You bring up an interesting point re: photos v. drawings for identification. I can only relate it to my knowledge of birds, but as someone with intermediate skills with birds, I would NEVER consider a photographic guide to be useful compared with sketches. But as a beginner with wildflowers, somehow I find photographs more helpful than drawings. I wonder why it is that as a beginner I prefer photos?

    thebunns: Good plan, that. I’d be a millionaire, plus an expert wildflowerer!

  10. I wish we lived closer together, because I would certainly buy you a pizza if it meant I could go wildflowering with you.

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