Summer is Here!

Summer Solstice 2017 will occur on Wednesday, June 21.

With the extended daylight that the summer solstice brings, it offers the best opportunity of each year to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Observe nature at a local preserve.  Listen to the calls and songs of birds in your backyard.  Go fishing.  Forage for some wild edibles.  Take a tour of any of the area bike trails.

Great Blue Heron – Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve

For more specific suggestions, consider these –

Happy trails!

UPDATE #2: A New Wildflower Information Station at Town Park

Under today’s sunny skies, I placed the third Wildflower Information Station along the south loop of the nature trail at Town Park in the Town of Halfmoon.  For those of you who frequent that park and walk along the nature trail, you’ll notice this sign (for the next couple of weeks) off the right side of the trail shortly before it intersects with the wooden bridge that links the south loop to the north loop of this nature trail.  I also removed both of the first two information station signs.

Wildflower Info Station 3 – Intermediate Dogbane

Closeup of Intermediate Dogbane

If you have a smartphone, use your QuickRead bar code scanner to download info about the wildflower mentioned at this information station.
This is a collaborative project with the Town of Halfmoon Parks Department.  If you have observed any of these signs during a visit, please let me know what you think about your experience.

During my visit, I saw these blooms elsewhere along the trail –

Maiden’s-tears  (NOTE:  This was the plant identified on station #1.)

Alfalfa

Common Milkweed (white bloom form)

Sulphur Cinquefoil

Clammy Ground Cherry

Common Milkweed (pink bloom form)

Black-eyed Susan

Daisy Fleabane

Wildflower bouquet (clockwise from bottom center):
Oxeye Daisy (large white blooms), Birdsfoot Trefoil (yellow), Cow Vetch (purple), Red Clover (red), and Lesser Stitchwort (small white blooms)

English Plantain

Deptford Pink

Oxeye Daisy

Common Elderberry

Staghorn Sumac

Everlasting Pea

Common Blue-eyed Grass

Yellow Sweet Clover

Wild Radish

Wild Parsnip (Hazardous Plant ! – DO NOT TOUCH ! Entire plant causes photo-dermatitis; avoid all contact with skin.)

Prickly Dewberry

Alsike Clover

Lesser Stitchwort

Bittersweet Nightshade

 

 

Happy trails!

UPDATE #2: A New Wildflower Information Station at Shenantaha Creek Park

Yesterday afternoon I placed the fourth (and final) Wildflower Information Station along the nature trail at Shenantaha Creek Park.  For those of you who frequent that park and walk along the nature trail, you’ll notice this sign (for the next couple of weeks) off the left side of the trail shortly after it first goes along the cliff overlooking Ballston Creek.  (The first three information stations have been removed for the season.)

Wildflower Info Station-Bush Honeysuckle

Bush Honeysuckle

If you have a smartphone, use your QuickRead bar code scanner to download info about the wildflower mentioned at this information station.

This is a collaborative project with the Town of Malta Department of Parks, Recreation, and Human Services.  If you have observed any of these signs during a visit, please let me know what you think about your experience.

During my visit, I saw these blooms elsewhere along the trail –

Marsh Bedstraw

Field Hawkweed

Common Cinquefoil

Common Speedwell

Silvery Cinquefoil

False Solomon’s Seal

Canada Mayflower

Mountain Maple

Nannyberry

Dwarf Cinquefoil

Black Medick

Prickly Dewberry

Lesser Stitchwort

Happy trails!

UPDATE: A New Wildflower Information Station at Town Park

Yesterday morning, I placed the second Wildflower Information Station along the north loop of the nature trail at Town Park in the Town of Halfmoon.  For those of you who frequent that park and walk along the nature trail, you’ll notice this sign (for the next couple of weeks) off the right side of the trail where it overlooks the constructed wetland (with Town Highway Department buildings in the distant background.  (The first information station is still there as we await the blooming of that wildflower; it appears to be later than normal.)

Wildflower Info Station – Large Blue Flag (located along north loop overlooking constructed wetland; note Town Highway buildings in distant background)

Wildflower Info Station – Large Blue Flag (some are blooming in the background as well as many Yellow Flag Iris, which is an invasive species)

If you have a smartphone, use your QuickRead bar code scanner to download info about the wildflower mentioned at this information station.

This is a collaborative project with the Town of Halfmoon Parks Department.  If you have observed any of these signs during a visit, please let me know what you think about your experience.

During my visit, I saw these blooms elsewhere along the trail –

Common Blackberry

White Clover

Red Clover

Field Sorrel

Tall Buttercup

Asiatic Bittersweet

Summer Grape

Wild Geranium

Cow Vetch

Bristly Dewberry

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Lesser Stitchwort

Ground Ivy

Cranberry Viburnum

Golden Alexanders

Bittersweet Nightshade

Happy trails!

A Stroll along the Canalway

At last!  The return of sunshine!

After such a soggy week, it felt good to stretch my legs and take a stroll along the Historic Champlain Canalway trail.  I headed to the segment in the Town of Waterford to continue my wildflower inventory.

In addition to numerous blooms, I also enjoyed the songs of many birds throughout my outing.

Here is a sampling of what I observed –

Summer Grape

Asiatic Bittersweet

Star-of-Bethlehem

Philadelphia Fleabane

Cranberry Viburnum  (NOTE:  Larger florets are infertile. The fertile flowers are those clustered within the outer ring of larger florets.)

Field Hawkweed

Alternate-leaved Dogwood

Yellow Sweet Clover

Tall Buttercup

Great Chickweed

Asparagus

White Campion

Thyme-leaved Sandwort

Wishing you all a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

Happy trails!

Spring Woodland Wildflower Sampler #4

Today, I returned to Anchor-Diamond Park at Hawkwood Estate in the Town of Ballston to continue my wildflower inventory.  This sunny day did not disappoint!

As I mentioned in the first installment of this series of spring woodland wildflower samplers, the greening of our landscape occurs quickly each spring.  Things now appear quite lush with much shade already blanketing much of the forest floor.  Another indication of the vernal progression underway is the winding down of the earliest of our spring wildflowers – the “spring ephemerals.”  Some species, such as Trout Lily, are already exhibiting yellow leaves, which indicate that those plants are already going dormant to await another growing season.  And to think they were still in bloom just two weeks ago!  By early June, there will be no evidence in this woodland that Trout Lily thrive throughout this park.

My point?  Get out there and enjoy your favorite outdoors destination each season and observe the nuances of each season!

Among the wildflowers in bloom at this time –

Cleavers

Mayapple

Wild Geranium

Sweet Cicely

Jack-in-the-pulpit  (Note the purple coloration.)

Northern Jack-in-the-pulpit  (Note the absence of purple coloration.)

Starflower

Canada Mayflower

Dog Violet

Fringed Polygala

Spring Cress

Dwarf Raspberry

Pennsylvania Bittercress

White Baneberry

Marsh Blue Violet – lots of them!

Marsh Blue Violet – a closer look…

Smaller Forget-me-not

Happy trails!

Spring Woodland Wildflower Sampler #3

On my way to the office yesterday, the day’s sunny beginning inspired me to stop at Bauer Environmental Park (located in the Town of Colonie) to see if I could find any Painted Trillium in bloom.  I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing that particular beautiful wildflower in bloom on any of my wildflower inventory walks this spring.  I’m glad I stopped!

A walk along this boardwalk trail offered these blooms to enjoy –

Pink Lady’s-slipper

Painted Trillium

Yellow Clintonia

Miterwort

Small-flowered Crowfoot

Starflower

Canada Mayflower

Common Blue Violet

Sweet White Violet

Marsh Blue Violet

Bulbous Buttercup – note that sepals are pointed downward

Celandine

Since I was rewarded with not only seeing a Painted Trillium but also my first Pink Lady’s-slipper of the year, I decided to make an additional quick stop at Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve (located nearby, also in the Town of Colonie) to check on the blooming status of another of my favorite spring woodland wildflowers.

After a brisk walk across the new bridge across Ann Lee Pond, I walked that path a short distance to where it forks in the woods.  I found one of those shrubs, Early Azalea, to be loaded with many plump flower buds.  They should be opening very soon!

I found these blooms during my short visit –

Fig Buttercup

Chokecherry

Black Chokeberry

Morrow’s Honeysuckle

Bell’s Honeysuckle

Happy trails!