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 –



Wild Geranium

Sweet Cicely

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

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


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

The pace of the greening of the landscape has quickened substantially over the past week.  Please be sure that you seize your opportunities to get out and observe the season’s emergence of new plants and its showy blooms whenever you can.

Yesterday, I visited Anchor-Diamond Park at Hawkwood Estate in the Town of Ballston to continue my wildflower inventory.  It was quite an observational bonanza!  I spied twenty-three additional species (most not blooming) for this property as well as finding several species along trails in addition to where I had originally observed them.

Among the wildflowers in bloom at this time –


Marsh Marigold

Wake Robin

Small-flowered Crowfoot

Downy Yellow Violet

Yellow Trout Lily

Sessile-leaved Bellwort

Northern Jack-in-the-pulpit

Red-berried Elder

Red Baneberry

American Fly Honeysuckle

Northern Prickly Ash

Northern White Violet

Dwarf Ginseng


Wooly Blue Violet

Happy trails!

Early Spring Woodland Wildflowers

Sunny. No wind. Temps expected in the mid-60s.  The outdoors beckoned me.  What to do?

Without hesitation, I headed to Anchor-Diamond Park at Hawkwood Estate.  This new park (which only opened in late October 2016) is located just north of the intersection of Route 50 and Middleline Road in the Town of Ballston.  Later this year, I will prepare a page on this blog with more info and photos along its several trails.

Today, I continued my ongoing wildflower inventory and the property revealed another 10 species, increasing my total so far to more than 100.

Among those in bloom today –

Trout Lily

Wake Robin

American Fly Honeysuckle



With warm nights now a given and with more sunshine interspersed with rainfall, we can expect to see a dramatic increase in the greening of our landscape along with the occasional splashes of color from emerging blooms as the annual spring progression gains momentum.  Please be sure to take time once a week to take a walk at your favorite local preserve, park or trail and keep a watchful eye as to what is next to emerge and begin blooming.

Happy trails!

Winter Plant ID Quiz #2

Yesterday’s continuing warm temperatures once again ruled out ski touring.  So, on this President’s Day, I chose to enjoy the abundant sunshine while trekking along the trails at the new Anchor-Diamond Park at Hawkwood Estate in the Town of Ballston.  This park opened in late autumn 2016 and features several trails meandering through woodlands.


View along Stonewall Trail (blue markers) near far west end of park


View along Stonewall Trail (blue markers) in hemlock grove near center of park

My hike inspired me to once again offer you a winter plant ID quiz.  Consider this the “final exam” for this winter!  To identify each plant, simply click on “Answer” beneath each image.  Have fun!

Please ID the two stems (left to right) in the foreground (not the one with leaves) - (1) Large stem along left edge of photo: (2) Smaller stem slightly right of center of photo:

Please ID the two stems (left to right) in the foreground (not the one with leaves) –
(1) Large stem along left edge of photo:  Answer
(2) Smaller stem slightly right of center of photo:  Answer


Please ID the plant wrapped around the red twig: Answer


Someone took the time to add this adorable little snow sculpture along the trail today!

Now that the plan ID quiz is completed, I saw two other things that prompted these two extra credit questions (NOT about plants) –


What animal created these holes in the bark of this tree?  Answer


What animal created the cavity in this tree? (Please also note wood debris at base of tree.)  Answer     View a short video of the making of a cavity.

Happy trails!