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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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!

Sure Signs of Spring (No foolin’!)

Today’s sunny disposition offered sufficient reason to take a walk along the Community Connector Trail in the Towns of Halfmoon and Clifton Park.  I walked the eastern half of the trail, beginning from the base of the Twin Bridges of the Northway.

I found my first bloom of the year!

I also found a few blooms of Red Maple, but none were close enough to take a good photo.  This is the best I could muster (apologies to all) –

Other sure signs of spring included hearing a few Spring Peepers, a couple of Wood Frogs and a Belted Kingfisher.  And, I also saw an Osprey and a pair of Wood Ducks.

If you need any assurance that spring has arrived, you owe it to yourself to escape outdoors for a walk this week whenever you find the opportunity to do so.  The signs are there – just be sure to stop, look and listen.  Enjoy!

Happy Easter to all!

Happy trails!

Fall Colors Stroll

Today’s spectacular weather beckoned me outdoors.  I chose to take a stroll along the Community Connector Trail from the base of the Twin Bridges to the trail bridge over the outlet of Wager Pond.

Trail bridge over outlet of Wager’s Pond

Outlet of Wager’s Pond

View of Mohawk River and outlet of Wager’s Pond

View my fall colors sampler –

Virginia Creeper

Upper colored leaves = Sugar Maple, Lower colored leaves = American Basswood

Smooth Arrowwood

Northern Prickly Ash

Asiatic Bittersweet – note the Black-capped Chickadee just left of the twisted trunk of the left tree

Three-seeded Mercury

Hog Peanut

Blue-stemmed Goldenrod

White Wood Aster

Wild Columbine

Common Witch-hazel sans flowers

Chestnut Oak

Happy trails!

UPDATE #3: A New Wildflower Information Station at Town Park

Today, I placed the fourth (and final) 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 left 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.  Since Intermediate Dogbane remains in full bloom, I chose not to remove the third information station sign along the south loop.

Wildflower Info Station – Canada Lily (orange blooms near center of image)

Wildflower Info Station – Canada Lily

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 –

Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint

Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint (close-up)

Hop Clover

Deptford Pink

Sulfur Cinquefoil

Common Yarrow

Butter-and-eggs

Black-eyed Susan

Common St. Johnswort

Common Milkweed

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: 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!