Tidy in White

Today’s sunshine motivated me to undertake an overhaul of my wildflower field guide for the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve. As one of my first compilations, I know it contains some errors and is in need of updated scientific names. Further, the establishment of the Community Connector Trail (which runs through the preserve and for which I’ve already compiled its own wildflower guide) and an updated trail map of this preserve (which was prepared last year by Chris Nafis) are more substantive reasons to undertake this revision. So, I began my updated inventory along the 1825 Erie Canal Towpath Trail (shown in red on the aforementioned map).

While tallying the various species I observed today, I noted a definite theme.  Most of the blooms were white…and tidy.

Oxeye Daisy

White Clover

Prostrate Knotweed

Canada Anemone



Gray Dogwood


Happy trails!


A tribute to Old Yeller

No, not the iconic movie.  The color.

Today, while continuing my wildflower inventory along the Community Connector Trail, it quickly became apparent what the color du jour would be for blooming wildflowers during this outing.

Thus, please take a peek at what I observed along the trail –

Downy False Foxglove


Common St. Johnswort

Fringed Loosestrife


Rough Cinquefoil

Wormseed Mustard

Fall Dandelion

Garden Loosestrife

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Black-eyed Susan

Common Mullein

Smooth Ground Cherry

Common Evening Primrose

Yellow Wood Sorrel

Bristly Crowfoot

Yellow Sweetclover

Wild Parsnip

Common Dandelion

Pineapple Weed

Smooth Sumac

Clammy Ground Cherry


Tall Buttercup


Sulphur Cinquefoil

Old Yeller.  Well, I think I just might be in the mood for a good movie right about now.  Going to go grab a bucket of popcorn and fire up the VCR (just kidding)…and grab a box of tissues.

Happy trails!

Summer Wildflower Sampler – Community Connector Trail

Despite a forecasted temperature in the mid-90s and an even higher heat index, I opted to stretch my legs today along the Community Connector Trail in the Towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon.  Beginning from the Town of Halfmoon end, I continued my wildflower inventory by covering the eastern half of this trail.  I was pleased to discover several species to add to my list and enjoyed seeing a multitude of colorful blooms.  Fortunately, the heat has not yet stressed the plants.

Here’s a sample of what I observed –

Fringed Loosestrife

Canada Lily (orange variety)

Creeping Bellflower

Pale Umbrellawort

Swamp Milkweed

Enchanter’s Nightshade

White Vervain

White Avens

Common Mullein

Cow Vetch

Red Baneberry berries

Yellow Sweetclover

White Sweetclover

Moneywort (invasive)


Tall Meadow Rue

Blue Vervain

Garden Loosestrife (invasive)


Rough Cinquefoil


Canada Thistle (invasive)

Bull Thistle

American Basswood

Flowering Rush (invasive)

Canada Lily (yellow variety)


SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE (7/1/2018):  I returned to inventory the western half of this trail and observed these additional blooms –

Swamp Rose


Spotted Knapweed (invasive)

Please join me Thursday evening, July 12, for a walk to identify invasive species at the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve – we will see many of the “invasive” plants noted above during that walk.  We’ll begin promptly at 6pm from the parking lot adjacent to the Whipple Bridge at the main entrance to the preserve, located at the intersection of Riverview Road and Van Vranken Road, and then take a short hike through a portion of this preserve, which will go along a segment of the Community Connector Trail.  This event is in recognition of New York Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 8-14, 2018.  I hope you’ll join me.

Happy trails!

Spring Wildflower Sampler – Part 8

Having had taken the day off from work, I decided to return trailside to continue my wildflower inventory along the Community Connector Trail in the Towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon. I walked along the eastern half (located in both Towns) today because I had hoped to see Glaucous Honeysuckle in bloom.  No such luck – I already missed its brief blooming period this year!

In any event, since the forecasted thunderstorms never materialized (thank goodness), I enjoyed a productive inventory visit by finding another nine new species.

I observed the following blooms today –

Rattlesnake Weed  (bloom) – one of the nine species I had not yet observed along this trail.

Rattlesnake Weed  (leaves – purple veins are this plant’s very visible identification characteristic)

Clustered Snakeroot

Sweet Cicely

Black Locust


Fox Grape

Smooth Solomon’s Seal

Common Blackberry

Carrion Flower

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

And, happy trails!

Spring Wildflower Sampler – Part 6

Having had taken the day off from work, I decided to return trailside to continue my wildflower inventory along the Community Connector Trail in the Towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon. I chose to focus on the western half (located in the Town of Clifton Park) today because I had viewed the eastern end of this trail during my last outing here.

What a gorgeous day!

I observed the following blooms today –

Dame’s Rocket (pink variety)

Dame’s Rocket

Bulbous Buttercup (NOTE:  The green sepals point downward along the flower stem.)


Canada Anemone

Dame’s Rocket (white variety)

Early Buttercup

White Campion

Yellow Iris

Bird’s-eye Speedwell

White Mulberry


Tatarian Honeysuckle (one of three invasive species of honeysuckles found here)


Common Lilac

Silky Dogwood

Happy trails!

Spring Wildflower Sampler – Part 4

With a forecast for rain this weekend, I decided to return trailside after work today to continue my wildflower inventory along the Community Connector Trail in the Towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon.  I chose to focus on the Halfmoon segment because of the unique habitat adjoining that portion of the trail (i.e., rocky woods, rich woods, and exposed shale bedrock).

I observed the following blooms today –

Wild Sarsaparilla

Chokecherry (Read more about them from one of my prior posts.)


Downy Yellow Violet

Wild Columbine

Swamp Buttercup

Red Baneberry

Hispid Buttercup


Morrow’s Honeysuckle (invasive species – white blooms turn yellow)

Common Cinquefoil

Purple Dead Nettle

Bell’s Honeysuckle (invasive species – pink blooms turn yellow)


Black Medick

Dwarf Cinquefoil

Ovate-leaved Violet

During this outing, I also spied this fruiting specimen –

Morchella esculenta

Thus, the morels have arrived!  Read more about these delicious mushrooms from one of my prior posts.

Happy trails!

Early Spring Wildflower Sampler – Part 2

This week’s sunny warm days continue to spur a rapid progression of first blooms of an increasing number of wildflowers.  My destination this week was the Community Connector Trail in the Towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon.

During my strolls over the past two evenings, I observed –

White Clover (white bloom atop a leafless flower stem, unlike that of Alsike Clover, which has not yet begun blooming)

Smaller Pussytoes

Plantain-leaved Pussytoes

Rue Anemone

Long-spurred Violet

Early Meadow Rue – Please note how each bloom resembles a beaded lampshade from the Roaring Twenties.

Common Shadbush

Red Baneberry

American Black Currant

Field Pennycress

Golden Alexanders

Common Winter Cress

Here’s hoping each of you find an opportunity to get out and see any of the blooming beauties now on display and, in doing so, finding your own way to celebrate National Wildflower Week.

Happy trails!