Summertime Wildflower Sampler

After yet another soggy week, today’s sunshine beckoned me to take another stroll along the Historic Champlain Canalway trail.  I returned to the segment in the Town of Waterford to continue my wildflower inventory.

Here is a sampling of what I observed –

Creeping Thyme

Chicory

Woodland Sunflower

Helleborine

Blue Plantain-lily (someone must have planted three plants along the trail)

Garden Phlox

Agrimony

Smooth Sumac

White Vervain

Sulphur Cinquefoil

Dillen’s Tick Trefoil

Purple Loosestrife

Red-osier Dogwood

Ripening now – American Black Currant; Recipes to consider:  Currant Parfait and Cherry Ginger Chicken with Currants

Lopseed

Wild Mint

Mad-dog Skullcap

Check out my revised page for the Historic Champlain Canalway Trail, now with information and photos of the trail segment in the Town of Waterford.

Happy trails!

Big Bird and a Bouquet of Blooms

Stretched my legs for a relaxing hike along the Historic Champlain Canalway Trail in the Town of Waterford today to celebrate my pre-holiday day of vacation.  Bountiful sunshine was a wonderful bonus.

Not far beyond the railroad bridge, I glimpsed the long wing of a large bird flying above the tree canopy overhead.  After shuffling along a little further while continuing my wildflower inventory here, I spied the silhouette of my trailside companion –

Great Blue Heron

Here is the virtual bouquet of wildflower blooms I found along the way –

Thimbleweed

Pointed-leaved Tick Trefoil

Common Blue-eyed Grass

Lesser Daisy Fleabane

Enchanter’s Nightshade

Asiatic Dayflower

Yellow Wood Sorrel

Great Chickweed

Pokeweed

Virginia Stickseed

Motherwort

Deptford Pink

Orange Daylily

Horse Nettle

Yarrow

Bouncing Bet

Fringed Loosestrife

Tall Meadow Rue

Daisy Fleabane

Hedge Bindweed

Creeping Bellflower

Water Hemlock

Common St. Johnswort

Rough Cinquefoil

And one last splash of color –

Red Baneberry fruit

Happy Fourth of July!

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!

First Post-Blizzard Bloom!

Today’s sunshine beckoned me to take a stroll along the Historic Champlain Canalway Trail in the Town of Waterford.  A number of little green leaves have sprouted up over the past week, but my sighting of these blooms gave me the greatest hope that spring is truly on its way.

Coltsfoot

These were the first blooms I’ve seen since the blizzard that deposited nearly a foot-and-a-half of snow on us in mid-March.  Now that virtually all traces of that snow have disappeared and next week’s temperatures may approach 80 degrees a couple of times, you can count on a rapid greening of the landscape to occur with many more plants unfurling their leaves and more blooms to come.  Stay tuned.

Happy trails!

“Snow fleas” and a couple of other trailside critters

With last weekend’s significant snowfall, I have been awaiting this weekend to get out and enjoy some additional ski touring for the season.  Unfortunately, since then the temps have been near or in the 40s and sunny days have taken a toll on all that fresh powder snow.

Nevertheless, I headed to Historic Champlain Canalway Trail for an outing.  No such luck.

I was greeted with this sign at the entrance to the trail from the northern end parking lot off Upper Newtown Road –20170218_103332-sample

So, on to plan B.  I drove over to the southern trailhead of the Zim Smith Trail off Coon’s Crossing Road.  Upon my arrival, two snowmobilers were reviewing the trail map and another pair of snowmobilers were making their way to the trail by way of shoulder of Coon’s Crossing Road.  After they cleared out, I skied westerly with a yet unknown destination in mind along the trail.20170218_111624-sample

I had not traveled very far and crossed paths with this litter chatterbox –

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

Junction of Zim Smith Trail with trail at Ushers Road State Forest

Junction of Zim Smith Trail with spur trail at Ushers Road State Forest

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Nicely tracked (from snowshoers) trails winding through Ushers Road State Forest

Winterberry fruit

Winterberry fruit frequently found along all trails at Ushers Road State Forest

Old grove of large Eastern Hemlock trees

Old grove of large Eastern Hemlock trees near intersection of spur trail and loop trail at Ushers Road State Forest

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View along southern segment of loop trail at Ushers Road State Forest

 

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“Snow fleas” were very prevalent along the spur trail and also along the southern segment of the loop trail at Ushers Road State Forest.  Watch a very brief video from today.  (Read more about them here.)

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View along northern segment of loop trail at Ushers Road State Forest

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Young grove of small Eastern Hemlock trees along north segment of loop trail at Ushers Road State Forest

Grove of large White Pine trees

Grove of large Eastern White Pine trees along north segment of loop trail at Ushers Road State Forest

Young grove of seedlings and other small Eastern White Pine trees

Young grove of seedlings and other small Eastern White Pine trees along spur trail on the way to Zim Smith Trail.

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View along Zim Smith Trail near Ushers Road State Forest

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Panoramic view of south end of Village of Round Lake from Zim Smith Trail

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Eastern Cottontail Rabbit basking in the sunshine

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I had no difficulties maintaining my speed below the stated limit.

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Trailside amenity complements of The Mill on Round Lake

I saw/heard:  Pileated, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers; tufted titmouse; American robins, white-breasted nuthatches; American goldfinches; black-capped chickadees; American crows; mourning doves; blue jays; red squirrel; Eastern cottontail rabbit; and a northern mockingbird.

In all, I skied to the Village of Round Lake (with a detour to ski the trails at Ushers Road State Forest) and back (with a second detour to ski the trails at Ushers Road State Forest).  What a gorgeous day to be outside!

Hope you find an opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature this weekend.  Happy trails!

 

 

 

November blooms

I enjoyed a short hike along a segment of the Historic Champlain Canalway Trail in the Town of Halfmoon this afternoon from Brookwood Road to the southern boundary of the Town.  I brought along binoculars in hopes of spotting some wildlife.  No luck.

What I did spy, to my surprise, were several wildflowers in bloom!

Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry

Wild Madder

Wild Madder

Tall Goldenrod

Tall Goldenrod

I also saw:  (1) Small White Aster, (2) Wild Parsnip, (3) Red Clover, (4) Common Dandelion, and (5) Cow Vetch.

Perhaps I should not yet pack away the Bermuda shorts?

Nevertheless, I have decided to dust off the snow shovel and have it handy.  Just in case.

Happy trails!

My first tracks of the season

After a wintery mix stormy week of weather, a sum total of about 7″ of fresh snow awaited my skis.  So, I headed out and made some tracks today.

I visited the Historic Champlain Canalway Trail and departed from the parking lot off Upper Newtown Road, heading south.

Glittering ash tree

Glittering ash tree

Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

About halfway between Upper Newtown Road and McDonald Creek - note white pines on right

About halfway between Upper Newtown Road and McDonald Creek – note white pines on right

Closer view of those white pines

Closer view of those white pines

McDonald Creek

McDonald Creek from atop historic waste weir

View of hills west of towpath just south of McDonald Creek

View of hills west of towpath just south of McDonald Creek

Beaver lodge north of Lower Newtown Road

Beaver lodge north of Lower Newtown Road

Can you see the solar array in the former field?

Heading back (just north of southern boundary of Town of Halfmoon)

Heading back (just north of southern boundary of Town of Halfmoon)

Looking northeasterly across solar array

Looking northeasterly across solar array

Northbound across from beaver lodge

Northbound across from beaver lodge

Old Lock No. 9

Old Lock No. 7

During my outing, I saw/heard:

  • red squirrel
  • American crows
  • American robins
  • American goldfinches
  • black-capped chickadees
  • bluejays
  • Canada geese (several migrating flocks high above)
  • dark-eyed juncos
  • downy woodpeckers
  • hairy woodpecker
  • house sparrows
  • muskrat
  • northern cardinals
  • pileated woodpecker
  • red-bellied woodpeckers
  • red-tailed hawk
  • rock doves
  • white-breasted nuthatches

Happy trails!