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.)

Sicklepod

Downy Yellow Violet

Wild Columbine

Swamp Buttercup

Red Baneberry

Hispid Buttercup

Hawthorn

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

Common Cinquefoil

Purple Dead Nettle

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

Apple

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!

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Spring Wildflower Sampler – Part 3

The return to sunny skies and warmer temps prompted me to go trailside to continue my wildflower inventories.  I decided to return to the Settlers Hill Natural Area in the Town of Clifton Park, which is comprised of two different segments –

  1. East trail: Beginning at Gloucester Street, this trail segment heads south across Clifton Park Center Road, Michelle Drive, Waverly Place, Summerlin Drive and Avenue of the Oaks (twice) before terminating a short distance south of 4 Leaf Manor.
  2. West trail: Beginning at either access point off Addison Way or Fairhill Road, these two access trails will intersect and then this trail segment heads west across Moe Road before generally heading south and terminating at Wildflower Drive. .

What a glorious day to be outside!

This is a sampling of what I observed today –

Thyme-leaved Speedwell

Pin Cherry closeup

Corn Speedwell  (NOTE:  This bloom is the size of a pinhead.  Sorry that it is blurred.)

Mouse-ear Chickweed

Striped Maple

Dog Violet

Wild Geranium

Dwarf Raspberry

Smooth Yellow Violet

Wild Plum

To any mom reading this, Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you enjoyed a terrific day surrounded by loved ones.

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!

Introducing Wildflower Information Stations – Town Park

Before heading off to work today, I placed a Wildflower Information Station along the nature trail at Town Park in the Town of Halfmoon.  For those of you who frequent that park, take a stroll along the south loop near the apartment buildings.  Look along the left side of the trail as you head south and you’ll notice (for the next couple of weeks) a little sign located just beyond the mowed area adjoining the edge of the trail.

Wildflower Info Station – Maiden’s-tears (located along south loop across from apartment buildings)

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

As the seasons progresses, one or more signs will be placed elsewhere along the trail to replace this sign to continue to educate visitors about other wildflowers that can be observed at this park.

This is a collaborative project with the Town of Halfmoon Parks Department.  If you observe 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 Wintercress

Woodland Strawberry

Ground Ivy

Thyme-leaved Speedwell

Wild Geranium

Wild Strawberry

Apple

Field Pennycress

Dwarf Cinquefoil

Chokecherry

Golden Alexanders

Morrow’s Honeysuckle

Garlic Mustard

Happy trails!

First bloom!

Although the landscape (particularly in the woods) belies it –

Atop steep ridge overlooking Peter Desroches Memorial Trails

Atop steep ridge overlooking Peter Desrochers Memorial Trails

…there is a vernal stirring that cannot be denied…

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

First bloom of the season!  And a “fragrant” one at that.

Others to follow soon will be the hazelnuts and red maple.

Spring is coming…honest.

Happy Spring!

Later this week, the vernal equinox will occur.  March 20th also marks the occurrence of a total solar eclipse.

With longer days to come, the new season will begin heralding the emergence of a myriad of wildflowers and the unfurling of tree leaves throughout our area.

Here is a short list of some spring activities to consider:

Also, I have compiled four new wildflower field guides; you can view or download them here.

Happy trails!

A creek flows through it

Whether referred to as Ballston Creek (in the present day and on the maps we use) or, as the Native Americans called it, Shenantaha (meaning “deer water”), this clear-flowing stream is scenic and serene…

Looking upstream along Ballston Creek from atop one of highest points along cliff

Looking upstream along Ballston Creek from atop one of highest points along cliff

While continuing my wildflower inventory at Shenantaha Creek Park today, I spied this plant for the first time –

Yellow Water Buttercup

Yellow Water Buttercup

This natural bouquet seemed to be waiting for its photo op; I obliged.

Clockwise from top:  Spring Cress, Marsh Blue Violet, Hooked Crowfoot (very bottom) and Smooth Yellow Violet

Clockwise from top: Spring Cress, Marsh Blue Violet, Hooked Crowfoot (very bottom) and Smooth Yellow Violet

Some spring blooming wildflowers are truly ephemeral.  Many of them have already finished blooming!  Some have already begun to disappear from view in the forest.  Just another reminder to take time each week for a peak inside a woodland or meadow near you to enjoy the continuing colorful emergence of wildflowers on Mother Nature’s stage.

Happy trails!