Early spring flowers now blooming

Today afforded an opportunity to explore a couple of local trails so that I could see whatever might be in bloom and also what plants are beginning to emerge after our lengthy winter.  The sunshine alone was reason enough to head to the woods for a walk.

First, I stopped at 100 Acre Wood in the Town of Malta.  Along the entrance trail adjoining Stonebreak Road Extension, I noticed that the hazelnuts (both American and Beaked) are now in full bloom.

Beaked Hazelnut

Beaked Hazelnut

Overhead, the red maples were also in bloom, although now past prime since many blooms are now falling to the ground.

Adjoining the boardwalk through the stream valley, I saw several Leatherwood shrubs also in full bloom plus many Skunk Cabbage still in bloom.

Leatherwood

Leatherwood

And, while walking along the western end of the blue trail, I saw several Round-lobed Hepaticas in bloom, both purple and white.

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

In addition, I saw a couple of other species in bud stage:  Trout Lily and Toothwort.

Next, I hiked along the trail through the Balsam Way Natural Area in the Town of Clifton Park.  There, I saw several Coltsfoot, many Skunk Cabbage, several hazelnuts, many Red Maple and a single Northern White Violet in bloom.

As sunshine returns and add a few warmer nights, many species will soon begin to emerge in a flourish and those already up will begin to bloom.  Things will likely change fairly dramatically over the next two weeks.  Pick a trail or two and walk along them over the next few weeks to observe the changes.

Happy trails!

The blooms of Spring have begun!

Last week’s warm temperatures and abundant sunshine plus a little rain have definitely helped kick-off the spring wildflower season.

In addition to Skunk Cabbage and Coltsfoot (as noted in prior posts), the hazelnuts began blooming a little over a week ago.  Other wildflowers are beginning to emerge as well.

Today, I spied the following during my walk along the Zim Smith Trail (between the trailhead in the Town of Halfmoon and Curry Road in the Village of Round Lake):

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

Great-spurred Violet

Marsh Marigold

Ground Ivy

Red Maple

Shepherd’s Purse

Whitlow Grass

If you frequently hike at a local trail, nature preserve or park, you might want to pay particular attention to the spring wildflowers that will continue to emerge and bloom over the next two months.  Each year, the greatest number of species begin blooming during May and June.

Happy trails!