A creek flows through it

Whether referred to as Ballston Creek (in the present day and on the maps we use) or, as the Native Americans called it, Shenantaha (meaning “deer water”), this clear-flowing stream is scenic and serene…

Looking upstream along Ballston Creek from atop one of highest points along cliff

Looking upstream along Ballston Creek from atop one of highest points along cliff

While continuing my wildflower inventory at Shenantaha Creek Park today, I spied this plant for the first time –

Yellow Water Buttercup

Yellow Water Buttercup

This natural bouquet seemed to be waiting for its photo op; I obliged.

Clockwise from top:  Spring Cress, Marsh Blue Violet, Hooked Crowfoot (very bottom) and Smooth Yellow Violet

Clockwise from top: Spring Cress, Marsh Blue Violet, Hooked Crowfoot (very bottom) and Smooth Yellow Violet

Some spring blooming wildflowers are truly ephemeral.  Many of them have already finished blooming!  Some have already begun to disappear from view in the forest.  Just another reminder to take time each week for a peak inside a woodland or meadow near you to enjoy the continuing colorful emergence of wildflowers on Mother Nature’s stage.

Happy trails!

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Nightcaps

While visiting Ballston Creek Preserve and continuing my wildflower inventory at this preserve, I spied this cluster of blooming plants –

Nightdrops observed at Ballston Creek Preserve

Nightcaps observed at Ballston Creek Preserve

Nightcaps (Anemone nemorosa var. quinquefolia)

The Swedish botanist, C. A. M. Lindman, illustrated it in his book entitled “Bilder ur Nordens Flora” –

Anemone nemorosa

Anemone nemorosa

Compare the above photo with that painting.  They appear essentially identical to me.

Now, contrast each of those with this photo of Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia).

Wood Anemone

Wood Anemone

Note the differences in the appearance of the leaves as well as the number of petals on the flowers.

This is only the second site where I have found this particular species.  I initially discovered Nightcaps while conducting a wildflower inventory at Ann Lee Pond Nature & Historic Preserve in the Town of Colonie.

Nightdrops observed at Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve

Nightcaps observed at Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve

Happy trails!

A parade of woodland blooms

Today I continued my wildflower inventories at Ballston Creek Preserve, Shenantaha Creek Park and Veterans Memorial Park.

What a difference a little rain, warmer temperatures and a little sunshine can make!  I added several species to each destination’s total count and enjoyed the serene spring landscape of each.  Many songbirds serenaded each of my visits.  A truly great day to be in the woods.

The carpet of blooming Carolina Spring Beauty at Ballston Creek Preserve is now at peak.  At several points along Pat’s Trail, you can easily smell the wonderful fragrance of those petite pink-striated blooms.  Stop by soon if you want to witness this colorful and aromatic experience!

My hike at Shenantaha Creek Park was a wildflower menagerie…

Barren Strawberry

Barren Strawberry

Wake Robin

Wake Robin

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

Canadian Wild Ginger

Canadian Wild Ginger

Trout Lily

Trout Lily

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Northern Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Northern Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Smooth Yellow Violet

Smooth Yellow Violet

Toothwort

Toothwort

American Fly Honeysuckle

American Fly Honeysuckle

Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh

Early Meadow Rue

Early Meadow Rue

Sessile-leaved Bellwort

Sessile-leaved Bellwort

Miterwort

Miterwort

Leatherwood

Leatherwood

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

 

Concluding my woodland wanderings, I stopped by the Mooney Carrese Forest at Veterans Memorial Park.  While there, I spied these other species…

Golden Saxifrage

Golden Saxifrage

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

If you have an opportunity to visit a woodland or meadow in the near future, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what is rapidly emerging and beginning to bloom.  Enjoy.

Happy trails!