I see them on my 2-wheel travels. They seem to be everywhere this time of the year. Some are small, yellow in color, stuck in a patch of overgrown grass. I’ve seen a few purple colored varieties, mixed in with other unknown plants, growing wild along railroad tracks where the ground is hard as a rock. I’ve glimpsed other colorful assortments that have taken hold and pushed their way between the cracks of unused sidewalks. Others I’ve spotted are rooted along the curbs of less traveled streets.
Many can be seen creeping along chain link fences or covering trees and utility poles or growing up the sides of long abandoned homes, much like an evening shadow that slowly covers all it touches. They can be spotted growing on the roofs and between the bricks of once bustling manufacturing facilities and other derelict commercial buildings found throughout the city. The wetlands and inner woodland pathways of Belle Isle are full of them and so are other soggy areas along the Detroit River.
Many of us tend to view them as weeds, and in our small part of the world perhaps they are. But in many cases, they’re nothing more than a perennial gone wild. A perennial that someone planted years ago, in his or her small garden, on land that is now vacant and overgrown. Bicycling across this vast city, I’ve stared in awe at the colorful array of wildflowers that in several instances, seem to stretch endlessly across the many open fields of Detroit.
The variety of wildflowers in this city is quite remarkable and they seem to be everywhere this hot, dry summer.
NOTE – Please let me know if I incorrectly named any of the flowers in the photos.
On April 28th, I wrote about Detroit’s Van Dyke & Harper Neighborhood. In the story, I gave a brief history the graceful Eastown Theater, built-in the Renaissance Revival style that opened in 1930. Unfortunately that gem of a building caught fire early Monday morning (August 9th) and the vacant apartment section of the complex was completely destroyed. From what I understand, a firewall saved the theater portion of the deteriorated building, but I would not be surprised if the entire structure is demolished because of safety concerns.
What a shame.