Returning from our walk with the dogs, the Mrs. noticed a flower in bloom just above our lane. It was in the forest about 20 feet from the road. It was only about a foot high and quite happy in the shade (we have had fog-rain all weekend, so there was not much sun to test its growing location). It looked like a milkweed flower, but was too small for the six-foot high common milkweed that we nurture in any open, sunny spot. It also had four-leaves around the stem, rather than common milkweed’s two opposite leaves.
I brough the camera back to document it for research sake (and inclusion in the annual photo album). Yes, it is a four-leaf milkweed, native to this region. On the walk back up our lane, I stopped for a few other recent observations: stargrass, rattlesnake weed, jack-in-the-pulpit, and then there was that small back snake in the woodpile, annoyed that I was moving wood into the shed for next winter. I assured it that it could move into the garden to work on crickets and rodents.